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Novel’s February Recipes

3 February 2021

With Shrove Tuesday, Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day and St Patrick’s day on the horizon, February is a busy month full of events and what better way to celebrate then cooking up a storm!

It’s so important that we fuel our bodies with healthy and tasty dishes! Planning on hosting a dinner for your social bubble? We have you covered! This month we are sharing some of our favourite traditional Chinese and Irish recipes, as well as some other sweet and fluffy desserts, covering you with an option for every holiday this February.

We guarantee these dishes aren’t only delicious, but they will make you feel all warm inside too (especially after a very cold January!)  – leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Fluffy Japanese pancakes – make sure you have crumpet rings!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes per pancake
*add some food colouring to brighten up your Shrove Tuesday!

  • 150g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed, sunflower or grapeseed oil
  • 180ml milk
  • Dash of vanilla extract
  • Oil spray for cooking or a mild-flavoured cooking oil
  • Topping of your choice!


Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and add the sugar, eggs and oil. Gradually add the milk and use a whisk to beat it all.

Put a non-stick pan over a low heat and put one or two non-stick muffin or crumpet rings (about 3.5 cm high). Add ¾ of the batter into each then cover the pan with a lid and cook the pancakes for about 10 mins on a very low heat.

Very carefully turn the pancakes over. Cook for another 1-2 mins. Keep warm while you use up the rest of the batter. Serve with your toppings of choice!

Valentine’s Yogurt Bark
Prep time: 15 minutes
Set time: 3 hours
A simple and healthy treat

  • 150g of blueberry non-dairy yogurt
  • Strawberries, sliced and cut into X’s, O’s and hearts (use mini cookie cutters)
  • Blueberries
  • Pomegranates


Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Pour the non-dairy yogurt into the pan and spread out evenly. Place the fruit on top, gently pressing down just a little in order to secure it in the yogurt.

Freeze for a few hours or until set. Cut into squares and serve!

Chinese Dumplings (18)
Chinese dumplings are one of the most important foods at Chinese New Year. They symbolize wealth as they are shaped similar to that of ancient gold or silver and this is why, traditionally some families hide a coin in one of the dumplings!
Prep time: 1-2 hours
Cook time: 10-30 minutes

For the dough

  • 140g/5oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 125ml/4fl oz very hot water


For the stuffing

  • 110g/4oz pork mince
  • 75g/3oz Chinese cabbage or spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • ½ tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • ½ tbsp dark and light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ tbsp finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cold chicken stock or water


For the dipping sauce

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp white rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp chilli oil


For the dough, place the flour into a bowl, gradually stirring the hot water in until incorporated. Put the dough onto a clean surface and knead it with your hands, dusting the dough with a little flour if it’s sticky. Knead until smooth – this should take about eight minutes. Then, put the dough back in the bowl, cover it with a clean damp towel and let it rest for about 20 minutes.

For the stuffing, combine the stuffing ingredients in a large bowl and mix them together.

After the resting period, take the dough out of the bowl and knead it again for about five minutes. Once the dough is smooth, shape it into a roll about 23cm and about 2.5cm in diameter.

With a sharp knife, slice the roll into 16 equal-sized pieces. Roll each of the dough pieces into a small ball and then, with a rolling pin, roll each ball into a small flat pancake shape, about 9cm in diameter. Put the dough on a lightly floured tray and cover them with a damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.

Place about two teaspoons of filling in the centre of each ‘pancake’ and moisten the edges with water. Fold the dough in half and pinch together with your fingers. Pleat around the edge, pinching with your fingers to seal.

To cook, heat a large, lidded frying pan until it is very hot. Add the groundnut oil and place the dumplings flat-side down into the pan.

Reduce the heat and cook for about two minutes until they the dumplings are lightly browned. Add the water, cover the pan tightly and simmer gently for about 12 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Check the water half-way through and add more if necessary. Uncover the pan and continue to cook for a further two minutes – serve with your dipping sauce of choice!

Guinness Chocolate Puddings
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 18 minutes

  • 150g unsalted butter, plus extra for the ramekins
  • 200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • 90g golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 90ml Guinness (remove for a non-alcoholic option)
  • clotted cream or thick double cream, to serve (optional)


Butter four 9 x 5cm ramekins and set aside. Tip the butter, chocolate and a generous pinch of salt into a small pan and heat until melted, then remove and leave to cool a little.

Put the sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and beat. Add the melted chocolate and the Guinness. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins, then chill in the fridge for 1 hr. Heat oven to 200C/180C and put a baking tray on the top shelf to heat up.

Place the ramekins on the hot baking tray and bake for 18 mins. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for a minute, then serve with a dollop of cream, if you like.

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