Queen of Hearts Cocktail… The Perfect Drink for Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and with it, many people will be planning a romantic evening for their loved ones. What better way to start the celebrations than with a beautiful cocktail?

I have to confess, I really love cocktails! The different flavours all blended to perfection to make an even better flavour, the colours, the glassware…. I just love them! They are the perfect way to enhance any celebration. In fact I enjoy them so much I even bought a cocktail shaker set to make them properly! You don’t need one of those though. Any container with a tight fitting lid will do the job just fine. Thermos flask, large screw-top jar… the list is endless.

When I think of cocktails, I think of alcohol, fruit juices and Monin syrups. Monin is recognised by many as the market leader in flavoured syrups and has won several international quality awards. Their syrups are used in the hospitality industry, both in cocktails and in hot beverages such as coffee. I personally use them in cocktails, coffee, hot chocolate, and baking, and they never fail to impress me with their flavours.

I was recently sent an email telling me about a romantic cocktail created using 2 of their syrups. Obviously I had to try it and all I can say is WOW! Allow me to introduce you to the Queen of Hearts. She is a thing of beauty. Fruity, sweet, delicate but powerful, and with a warming aftertaste which lingers after the last sip has been taken.

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The Queen of Hearts contains Monin Grenadine syrup, which is a beautiful combination of slightly tart red berries and a hint of a vanilla. This syrup is widely known for its use in a Tequila Sunrise. It has a rich red colour which is perfect for romantic cocktails, with red traditionally being the colour of love and passion. The Queen of Hearts also contains Monin Vanilla syrup, with its warm and comforting properties. The alcohol content in this cocktail comes from white rum. There are many brands to buy but I used Bacardi. It is my rum of choice for drinks where a white rum is needed. So how do you make one? I’ll tell you.

THE QUEEN OF HEARTS COCKTAIL

Fill a cocktail shaker (or any container with a tight fitting lid) with ice. Add 20ml Monin Grenadine syrup, 20ml Monin Vanilla syrup, 40ml of light/white rum, and 60ml of orange juice. Shake well, and strain the liquid into a cocktail glass.

You can serve it like that, but if you want to add a touch of romance, I think cocktail glasses look better rimmed with sugar. You need to do this BEFORE you pour the liquid in to it! Just pour some water on to a plate and place the glass upside down on to the plate. Sprinkle some caster sugar on to another plate and press the glass rim on to the sugar. It will stick perfectly, giving a lovely frosty look. To go one stage further, garnish with a strawberry heart. This is a really simple but oh so pretty garnish. Just slice a strawberry from top to bottom, and you will have a slice which is very similar to a heart shape. You can trim it slightly to make it look even more like a heart. Cut a small slit diagonally upwards near the bottom. Dip into the leftover caster sugar from the glass dipping to coat both sides, then position on to the edge of the glass using the slit you cut. I’m sure you’ll agree that looks so pretty and just says romance!

Monin Grenadine syrup is available in the spirits aisle in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, priced at £2.99 for 250ml.

Monin Vanilla syrup is available in the hot beverages aisle in Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Ocado, at the same price.

If, like me, you plan on making lots of cocktails, I would recommend buying bigger bottles from UDAL SUPPLIES. This company stocks a massive range of Monin syrups at amazing prices and it is much more economical to buy larger bottles. (This is where I bought mine from too). Delivery is 1-2 days and your bottles arrive packed so securely there is no chance of any breakages. Their customer service is friendly and efficient. Perfect.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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DISCLAIMER: Monin sent me details of how to make the cocktail (apart from the garnish) but I bought the ingredients myself. I received no compensation in any form for writing this post. Udal Supplies also provided no compensation. I am just happy to recommend good products and services. All views and opinions are my own. 

Chocolate and Vanilla Marble Loaf – Bakedin Baking Club September Recipe

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Do you love to bake but sometimes just don’t have the time? Work commitments keep eating into your free time? Say hello to Bakedin Baking Club.

I subscribed to the Bakedin Baking Club a while ago and have to say the recipes just keep getting better. Just when you think they’ve peaked with how delicious a recipe can be, they bring out the next one and it’s another “Wow Factor” one!

Every month you receive a wonderful box full of all the dry ingredients you need to bake a recipe created exclusively by Michel Roux. You also receive extras needed such as baking paper, skewers, etc. You just need to provide the eggs and any chilled ingredients.

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This might just look like 6 ingredients but it’s not. Different ingredients that go in to the recipe at the same time are packaged together in one bag for convenience, all of them weighed out exactly for you. Only top quality ingredients are used too. You don’t have to spend ages weighing everything out, which is great when you are short of time. All of this costs just £7.99 a month which includes delivery so it is fantastic value for money. The recipe card is clear and easy to follow and all the measurements of the dry ingredients are listed so you can make the recipe again any time you fancy.

I love marble cakes. The different colours and flavours really appeal to me, so I was very excited to get this Marble Loaf in the oven! The recipe said to line the loaf tin with the baking paper provided, but I have a huge supply of loaf tin liners so I decided to use one of those instead. I followed the rest of the recipe to the letter though. The vanilla and chocolate aromas from each bowl made my mouth water. Just look at all the flecks of ground vanilla in there! Yum!

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Spooning the 2 mixtures into the loaf tin and gently swirling them together was fun. I tried not to do it too much as I didn’t want a chocolate loaf on it’s own. (Well I wouldn’t have minded really but I wanted to do it right hehe). So this was how it looked before and after baking:

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The next part was to make the chocolate glaze topping, melt the white chocolate using their brilliant chocolate melting method, and make the feathered design on the top. They had provided skewers to test the loaf was ready, to swirl the mixtures, and to make the effect on top. Perfect!

Every recipe card has a Top Tip from Michel Roux on a way to enhance the recipe even more. The tip with this one was how to make a hot chocolate using any leftover chocolate topping. As you can see in the main picture, I did that, and it was scrumptious! The Marble Loaf went down really well in our house and with some Mums at my son’s school, who I gave some to. I will definitely be making this again and again, and making sure I have extra topping for more hot chocolate!!!

Bakedin Baking Club is perfect for beginners and for more experienced bakers alike. The recipes are exclusive and the numbered packages of ingredients make them super-convenient and easy to follow. They are also ideal to make with children, as the recipe includes clear photographs of each stage. Perfect for quality fun time with the family.

If you are tempted to try a Bakedin Baking Club recipe box for yourself, click HERE and you will receive your first one for just £1.99! That doesn’t even cover their postage to send it! You will receive your first box within a few days of ordering it so you don’t have to wait weeks like you do with some other subscription boxes. You can cancel at any time, although I know you won’t want to once you’ve tried your first one. Happy Baking!

DISCLAIMER: I pay for my subscription and have not been asked to write a review. I just love to promote fantastic products and services and this is definitely in that category! All views and opinions are my own honest thoughts.