LOVE IS IN THE AIR

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Taste - Love let­ters can be jazzed up into In­sta­gram-wor­thy desserts to cel­e­brate the fes­tive sea­son.

Choco­late love let­ters ‘satay’, with (from left) salt and pep­per, bunga kan­tan, crushed love let­ters, lime zest, hazel­nut, poppy seeds, chilli flakes, pis­ta­chio, chilli flakes, and sesame seeds. Pho­tos: RAY­MOND OOI/The Star THE mod­ern love let­ter is a crispy, crunchy scroll inked in choco­late and straw­berry. And Julie’s Love Let­ters are jus­ti­fi­ably pop­u­lar – with every tin you open, you will find their hall­mark fresh­ness and qual­ity in­gre­di­ents.

They are great for ev­ery­day munch­ing and when it comes to spe­cial oc­ca­sions, they can be jazzed up to more than meet the needs, too.

When a more “atas” dessert is called for, im­press your guests with a plated dessert like a straw­berry charlotte, a recipe made easy by us­ing Julie’s Love Let­ters with straw­berry cream as the base.

Then you can cre­ate your own riff on the clas­sic charlotte with any flavours you fancy. Like a charlotte with a bunga kan­tan and lime cream cheese mousse fill­ing, to cre­ate the per­fect end­ing to a fes­tive feast of ren­dang and ke­tu­pat.

And for the young and young-at­heart, Julie’s has you cov­ered as well. The love let­ters with choco­late cream are just fun to dip into ... more choco­late. And whether you want to call this recipe choco­late satay or sticks, is up to you.

It can be served like a DIY choco­late fon­due, where you dip the love let­ters into pots of molten choco­late and then coat them with top­pings of your choice. It works bril­liantly with a choco­late fountain, too.

Both the recipes can also be pre­pared ahead and kept chilled, leav­ing you plenty of time to enjoy the fes­tive oc­ca­sion with loved ones.

CHOCO­LATE LOVE LET­TER SATAY

Makes 24-30 sticks

200g white choco­late

200g dark choco­late

24-30 Julie’s Love Let­ters with choco­late cream

Top­ping chopped toasted pis­ta­chios or hazel­nuts chopped bunga kan­tan lime zest crushed Julie’s Love Let­ters blue poppy seeds dried chilli flakes freshly ground black pep­per and coarse sea salt grated co­conut rose petals, etc

To melt choco­late

Roughly chop the white choco­late and place in a heat­proof bowl set over a saucepan of sim­mer­ing wa­ter. Do not let wa­ter come into con­tact with the bot­tom of the bowl. Al­low choco­late to melt com­pletely.

In an­other bowl, re­peat the process with the dark choco­late. You can also melt the choco­lates by zap­ping them briefly in the mi­crowave oven.

To fin­ish

Dip love let­ters into melted choco­late, then coat with pre­ferred top­ping. Set aside upright in a rack to al­low choco­late to set. Serve chilled.

LIME AND BUNGA KAN­TAN CREAM CHEESE CHARLOTTE

Makes 6 char­lottes

For the straw­berry com­pote

200g fresh or frozen straw­ber­ries 40g sugar

For the base

70g crushed straw­berry love let­ters 30g melted but­ter 20g brown sugar

For the mousse

150g cream cheese

50g caster sugar

1 lime, zest and juice

6g bunga kan­tan, chopped

4g gelatin pow­der, soaked in 20ml wa­ter 200g UHT cream, whipped to soft peaks To as­sem­ble and plate

24 straw­berry love let­ters some love let­ter crumbs, for gar­nish­ing bunga kan­tan petals, for gar­nish­ing lime zest, for gar­nish­ing

To pre­pare straw­berry com­pote Com­bine the straw­ber­ries and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and sim­mer for 5 min­utes. Re­move from heat and set aside to cool, then chill.

To pre­pare the base

In a small mix­ing bowl, com­bine the crushed love let­ters, melted but­ter and sugar.

To make the base, place 20g of the mix­ture in a 7cm ring mould. Press down lightly to com­pact the mix­ture so that the crumbs hold to­gether. Re­peat to make six bases. Freeze un­til hard. To pre­pare the mousse

Us­ing an elec­tric mixer or wire whisk, beat the cream cheese and sugar to­gether un­til smooth. Add in lime juice and bunga kan­tan.

Zap the gelatin in the mi­crowave oven for a few sec­onds un­til dis­solved – you can also do this on the stove­top.

Add the gelatin to the cream cheese mix­ture and mix well.

Lastly, fold in the whipped cream and trans­fer to a pip­ing bag. To as­sem­ble the charlotte

Break each of the 24 straw­berry love let­ters into three seg­ments us­ing a pair of scis­sors – snip them into un­even lengths for a more in­ter­est­ing look.

Re­move the base in the ring mould and ar­range the love let­ter seg­ments around the ring – if you use a 7cm ring mould, you will need 12 love let­ter seg­ments.

Pipe in the cream cheese mousse and re­turn to the freezer to set. When set, slide a flat spat­ula un­der the charlotte to dis­lodge it, and re­move the ring mould.

You can keep the char­lottes frozen un­til serv­ing time. They keep well in the freezer for one week. To plate

Re­move charlotte from the freezer and let it sit at room tem­per­a­ture for 5 to 10 min­utes.

To serve, place a charlotte on an in­di­vid­ual dessert plate. Place some straw­berry com­pote on the plate and dec­o­rate with love let­ter crumbs, bunga kan­tan and lime zest.

You can also top the mousse with the straw­berry com­pote.

Make a lime and bunga kan­tan cream cheese charlotte, for a very pretty plated dessert to wow guests with this fes­tive sea­son.

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