Note: uses uncooked egg component

For your dîner à deux, if you serve this specially created dessert which teams chocolate with strawberries, the food of Venus, goddess of love, and voluptuous mascarpone cheese, you will have the foundation of a really good evening and more..... This dessert is prepared ahead, leaving you plenty of time to set the mood and to get yourself ready.

For the Cake:
4 Elizabeth Shaw Chocolate Crisps
2 slices of Madeira cake or 1 bought sponge flan case
1 egg yolk
50g (2 oz) caster sugar
125g (4 oz) mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
2 ripe strawberries, sliced

For the Sauce:
About 200g (7 oz) ripe strawberries
Icing sugar to taste


  • With a large, sharp knife, chop the Chocolate Crisps into fairly small pieces (or use a blender to roughly chop).
  • Using heart-shaped cutters about 7.5 cm (3 inches) across at the widest point, cut two heart shapes from the cake or sponge flan. (If using a sponge flan, the remainder can be used for a trifle or Queen of Puddings.) Stand the cutters on something that is freezer proof.
  • Whisk the sugar and egg yolk together until thick and paler in colour. Beat in the mascarpone cheese then, using a large tablespoon, gently fold in the brandy, if using, and chopped Chocolate Crisps.
  • Divide the mixture between the cutters (if there is too much, freeze separately for a ‘cook’s perk’). Put into the freezer until firm but not frozen. Put the sponge on top and gently press in. Return to the freezer for at least 5 hours.
  • To make the sauce: purée the strawberries and pass through a sieve. Add icing sugar to taste. Chill until required. Dip a knife into boiling water, dry it, then run it between the dessert and the cutter. Invert the desserts on to individual plates, hold each cutter and plate together, and give a good shake.
  • Leaving the sponge on the bottom, lift the cutters away and decorate the tops of the desserts with strawberry slices. Return the desserts to the fridge while you have the rest of your meal. Pour the sauce around the desserts just before serving; serve any extra separately.



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