Valentine’s Eating in Brisbane… with Dominique Rizzo

A salacious sweet sets the mood nicely, while an invigorating breakfast restores that precious energy so one can Eat, Sleep, Romance, Repeat. Brisbane's very own domestic Goddess Dominique Rizzo serves up sweets for dessert and breakfast that eloquently says "I love you like a Zombie loves brains".

This article was first published on our original site MyCityLife way back on the 11th February 2014

A salacious sweet sets the mood nicely, while an invigorating breakfast restores that precious energy so one can Eat, Sleep, Romance, Repeat. Brisbane’s very own Italian domestic goddess Dominique Rizzo serves up sweets for dessert and breakfast that eloquently says “I love you like a Zombie loves brains”.

A night in on Valentine’s Day guarantees one thing for sure: a speedy trip from the table to the boudoir. A salacious sweet sets the mood nicely, while an invigorating breakfast restores that precious energy so one can Eat, Sleep, Romance, Repeat. The City’s very own domestic Goddess Dominique Rizzo serves up sweets for dessert and breakfast that eloquently says “I love you like a Zombie loves brains”. You can easily source these saucy ingredients from any of Brisbane’s delightful delis and marvellous markets, because you want to sure you keep it #lovely and #local.

There is nothing better than cooking for someone you love! It’s a wonderful way to show them how much you care and how much you are thinking of them. Even if your culinary skills are not the best, it still shows that you did your best to make something special. 

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DATE, CASHEW AND WALNUT YOGHURT STRAWBERRY TART

I love this dessert for a couple of reasons: there’s no baking, It’s quick, simple and healthy to put together, gluten-free and delicious. You can substitute the strawberries for any of your favourite fruits or swap yoghurt for fruche, sour cream, or fresh whipped cream – for that richer effect.

Serves 7
150g fresh pitted dates
70g walnuts
80g raw cashews
150g thick yoghurt of your choice
250g fresh strawberries
10g (80%) dark chocolate, shaved

* In a food processor, combine the walnuts and cashews with the fresh dates until crumbled and blended together so that when you press the mixture in your hands it sticks. 
* Remove the mixture and press into 6 x 10cm fluted tins with removable bases. I use heart shapes for this recipe.
* Divide the mixture evenly among the bases and press into the moulds so that they are evenly covered. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 
* When the bases are set or firm to touch, remove them from the moulds and place onto your serving plate, dollop in a tablespoon about 25g of the thick yoghurt and top with strawberries and shaved chocolate.
* Dust with icing sugar just before serving.
Instead of heart fluted tins, you can use a coffee cup or similar. Just line it with some glad wrap or baking paper before you press in the base. 

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VALENTINE SPELT HOTCAKES WITH BERRIES AND CINNAMON QUARK

For the lovers, these hotcakes are a perfect way to start a blissful day, packed with wholesome goodness, nuts, oats coconut and using fresh seasonal berries and sexy spiced cinnamon honey. They ignite all the senses and will have you definitely reaching for more. Quark is a type of soft cheese that is ideal for using as a spread instead of cream cheese. It is perfect for baking cheesecakes and also in other savoury dishes

1 ½ cup spelt flour
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup toasted crushed almonds
2 tblsp shredded coconut
2 tblsp muesli
½ cup sour cream whisked with ½ cup water
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla essence
45g melted butter
20g butter extra for cooking the hot cakes 
2 cups of fresh berries, raspberry, mulberry blue or strawberry
2 tblsp of your favourite marmalade or jam
¼ cup water 

To serve
½ cup quark
2 tblsp creamed honey
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp powdered ginger
Pinch of ground cloves

* Combine the spelt flour with all the other dried ingredients and mix well.
* In another bowl whisk together the sour cream with the water, eggs, melted butter and the vanilla. Stir this into the dry ingredients until just combined.
* Place a small pan onto a moderate heat and add in the marmalade or jam and the water stirring to remove any lumps, bring the jam to a simmer then add in the berries and cook them for about 3-4 minutes until the berries have softened. 
*Set them aside.
* Melt the butter in a large pan over a moderate temperature. Place spoonfuls of the mixture in to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden on both sides. Continue until all of the mixture has been used up.
* To serve the hotcakes, stack them onto a plate and top them with the berries and some of the sauce. 
* For the cinnamon quark, combine the creamed honey with the spices and fold this through the quark. You can also use ice cream or yoghurt.

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