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    CREAM OF THE CROP: Horsham chef Ryan Walker with a Valentine’s Day dish of rack of lamb with pomme purée and garden greens. Picture: LOTTE REITER

Valentine's Day recipe for romance

In time for Valentine’s Day next week, a Horsham chef has shared two of his favourite recipes to help spread the love.

Baa3400 chef Ryan Walker said that when it came to the romantic occasion, or any special day of celebration, it was difficult to go wrong with a luxurious gamey main followed by a rich dessert.

“A rack of lamb with fresh greens and creamy mash – inspired by Joël Robuchon and Gordon Ramsay – and a warm bowl of sticky toffee pudding with ice cream will make for a perfect start to any couple’s night-in on Friday next week,” he said.

Rack of lamb with pomme purée and garden greens

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Lamb rack:

Six ribs 

Salt and pepper, to taste

1tbsp olive oil 

20g butter

Pomme purée:

500g of Dutch cream potatoes

125g of butter, chilled and cut into small cubes

125ml of milk

Salt and pepper, to taste

Garden greens:

200g of baby peas

6 spears of asparagus with woody parts 

1tsp of sugar

Butter and salt and pepper, to taste


Take lamb out 30 minutes before cooking. 

Boil potatoes in salty water for 25 minutes, keep the skins on and stop when tender, allowing to cool before peeling skins off.

While waiting, pre-heat oven to 190°C, season the asparagus with salt and pepper and prepare a small pot with salted water for blanching the peas.

Add a small amount of water in the bottom of a saucepan, then add milk and slowly warm, do not boil.

Run peeled potatoes through a food mill on the smallest setting into a pan, then heat on a medium heat for about five minutes to remove excess moisture. 

Turn the potatoes to a low heat and slowly start to add small cubes of chilled butter as you stir quickly until creamy. 

Once butter is mixed well, add warm milk and whip to make smooth. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Add olive oil to an oven-proof pan over medium-high heat and brown the lamb on all sides, roughly one minute each side.

Place lamb fat side down and add butter to the pan and baste the meat until butter begins to brown, then place pan in oven for 8-10 minutes. When removed, rest for 4-6 minutes. While waiting trim the woody ends off the asparagus, so the spears reach about 5 inches long. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and let it start to smoke.

Add the asparagus spears, sauté for 90 seconds or until the green of the asparagus brightens.

Flip the spears, add butter, and shake the pan so the butter can melt to the bottom of the pan. Let the butter brown and the asparagus spears char for another 90 seconds. Keep warm.

Blanch peas in salted boiling water for one minute, strain water and add peas back to pan with a small amount of butter and sugar. Shake to coat peas.

After meat is rested, slice in between the rib bones to make three chops and plate up dish using purée as a base.

Sticky toffee pudding




110g of unsalted butter, softened

175g of light brown sugar

4 eggs, beaten

225g of self-raising flour, sifted

1tsp bicarbonate soda

2tsp Bushells Coffee Essence Sweet Chicory

225g of dates, stoned and chopped

275ml of boiling water

Butterscotch sauce:

125g of butter

175g of dark muscovado sugar

70g of double cream

To serve:

Vanilla ice cream, cream or crème fraiche.


Preheat oven to 190°C and line a 20cm loose-bottom cake tin with greaseproof paper.

Use a wooden spoon or food mixer to cream the softened butter and sugar, and then slowly add the beaten eggs until combined.

Carefully fold in flour and set aside.

Mix together bicarbonate of soda and coffee essence and pour this over the chopped dates, followed by the boiling water. Mix well, allow to cool for 10 minutes and then pour into creamed pudding mixture.

Bring together to create a very runny batter, then pour into prepared cake tin and bake for one hour and 15 minutes, or until springy to the touch.

While the pudding is baking, make the butterscotch sauce by combing the butter and dark sugar in a small pan and placing on a low heat. 

Stir to dissolve and combining, then mix in the cream. Keep warm.

When pudding is done, cut into desired portions and serve with hot butterscotch sauce, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, cream or crème fraiche.

The entire February 5, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!