Catherine Celebrates Valentine's airs RTE One on Monday 8th February at 7.30pm

Ingredients

Makes: 3, size depending (3 x 180 ml jars)

For the custard pots

  • 200ml double cream 
  • 100ml milk 
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar 
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds extracted
  • 100g white chocolate, melted

For the strawberry compote

  • 170g strawberries, hulled & quartered 
  • 50g caster sugar 
  • Juice and zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 tbsp cold water 

To serve:

  • Lemon whipped cream, to pipe on top
  • 100ml double cream
  • ¼ lemon, zest 
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar 

 To decorate:

  • Strawberries, to decorate 
  • 1 tsp hazelnuts, roughly chopped & toasted hazelnuts 
  • Mint or sweet geranium leaves, to garnish

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C / gas 3.
  2. To make the custard pots, pour the cream and milk into a saucepan and heat gently.
  3. Add the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla seeds into a bowl and whisk well until light and fluffy.
  4. Pour the hot cream over the egg yolks, whisking very well, a little at a time so that the yolks will cook.  Fold in the melted chocolate.
  5. Transfer the mixture into pretty cups, ramekins or glass jars and place them into a bain marie (This is an oven tray. Half fill the tray with boiling water once in the oven) 
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until just set. Take them out of the bain marie and leave to cool before placing in the fridge. 
  7. To prepare the strawberry compote, place the berries, sugar, star anise, lemon zest and juice and water a saucepan and bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer for 6 to 8 minutes until a syrupy compote forms. 
  8. Leave to cool completely. Remove the star anise
  9. For the lemon whipped cream, whip together the double cream, lemon zest and juice and icing sugar.  Taste and adjust to your liking.
  10. When ready to serve, spoon the berry compote over the cream custards and pipe a swirl of the lemon cream on top. Scatter over the toasted hazelnuts and finish with some mint or sweet geranium leaves.