Me, I love bread. So much so I used to have a sign in our kitchen questioning “Toast, have you had yours today”. So when Roberts Bakery got in contact to find out if I was interested in hearing more about their Valentine’s Day recipe I was certainly curious to find out more.
For those who don’t know, Roberts Bakery began as a grocery store in 1887 selling freshly baked bread to the residents of Northwich, Cheshire. Nowerdays they’ve expanded their reach a bit, baking white, wholemeal, seeded, malted wheatgrain and oatmeal loaves, as well as teacakes and hot cross buns. Your local supermarket probably sells it, mine does.
For the festive occasion that is Valentine’s Day, they’ve come up with a little treat. Their special romantic themed sandwich recipe was designed by Channel 4 TV series Turn Back Your Body Clock nutritionist Carina Norris; “Black pepper and strawberries may sound strange, but give it a try – it works.” Carina says. “I wanted to make a ‘fruity’ sandwich, and I’d seen a dessert using fresh strawberries with a dash of black pepper. I thought this would transfer well to a sandwich, but needed something creamy to set off the sweet and sharp flavours…” It’s basically Roberts white bread, sliced strawberries, cottage cheese, rocket leaves and some freshly ground pepper all sandwiched together.
Black pepper and strawberries isn’t a new combination to me, I’ve had a couple of cocktails with it in and it’s a really nice mix. I really liked Carina’s idea of mixing the spiciness of the black pepper, sweetness of strawberries and combined with a creaminess to bind them together. But as cheese and I don’t get on so well, I twisted the recipe and added chocolate hazelnut spread – just as strawberries and cream are a good combination, I figured so are strawberries and chocolate.
Keeping the festive theme I cut out some heart shaped piece of bread before toasting. I was impressed with Roberts thick, soft and fluffy white bread, which was light and soft but held together when faced with a heart-shaped cutter. After toasting the slices I spread a generous layer of chocolate spread, sliced fresh strawberries and a dusting of black pepper. The freshness of the strawberries, chocolate creaminess and kick from the pepper were a lovely combination with the crunch of the toast.
Whilst I had this for dessert last night, it could also make a nice indulgent breakfast on Valentine’s Day. Maybe with something sparkly to drink…
Disclaimer: I was sent a Valentine’s hamper from Roberts Bakery which contained a loaf of bread which I used in this post, I bought all the other ingredients myself. Why you ask? Who doesn’t love an excuse to have Nutella and toast for dinner? As always I wasn’t obliged to be nice unless I meant it, because my mummy brought me up to be polite but honest. Also, though I didn’t use it I feel the need to quote the greatest television show of all “bit of rocket, happy days”.