I love Valentine’s Day right down to the cutesy paper valentine cut outs that say ‘Be Mine’.
In the early years of our marriage dining out was not a possibility. One year as Valentine’s Day approached, I decided to have a romantic evening at home. Ralph had been on the road all week and was not due to arrive until early evening which gave me enough time to ‘get things ready.’ When I say ‘things’, I’m not referring to the food – funny but I don’t even remember what I cooked – I’m referring to getting the girls ready for their date with Daddy. They were five years old. When Ralph walked through the door, he was greeted by three little girls sparkling in their favorite dresses and slippery shoes. That’s what they called their patent leather shoes because they slid instead of stuck, the way sneakers did, when they walked. With Frank Sinatra serenading in the background, the girls took turns being lifted into Ralph’s arms as he waltzed with them around our kitchen until long after their bedtime…
It remains my favorite Valentine’s Day.
CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE HEARTS – adapted from The River Cafe Cook Book
½ lb unsalted butter
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), coarsely chopped
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
5 large eggs
1 ½ cups of sugar, divided
½ cup water
Preheat oven to 325°F
Butter 20 heart-shaped miniature cake tins, line the bottom with parchment and butter the parchment.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
Using a stand mixer, beat together the eggs and ½ cup of sugar at high-speed until it has quadrupled in volume. It will take about 10 minutes.
In a small saucepan over medium heat add the remaining 1 cup of sugar with ½ cup of water and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is clear (about 2 minutes.)
Pour the hot syrup into the melted chocolate, stirring to combine. Allow the mixture to cool for about 2 minutes.
Add the chocolate mixture to the eggs and sugar in a steady stream while beating at medium speed.
Beat until combined then finish by hand to make sure that the batter is completely mixed.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pans then place the cake pans into a large shallow pan.
Add enough boiling water to reach about 3/4 of the way up the sides of the cake pans.
Bake just until set about 30 minutes.
Cool the cakes completely in the water bath before removing from pans – about 1 hour.
Run a thin knife around the edges of the cake pan to loosen if necessary.
Turn cake upside down on a small piece of parchment and bang cake out.
Carefully peel off the parchment.
THE LOVE: To me, there is no more spectacular combination than chocolate and raspberry. I served my hearts with raspberry sauce and whipped cream…
Chocolate Truffle Hearts – click link for printable copy
one year ago: rich root veg and boursin soup
Thanks for reading.