Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chocolate Valentines and Port

Today is Chocolate Heart Day brought to you by Kate at Serendipity! A few weeks ago I received some chocolate that Kate had sent from Belgium. The idea was to use it to make something and post it on Valentine's Day. That was a challenge. In my mind I made quite a few different things and finally settled on two different dishes. They were both delicious as was the Port!

This month's Fine Cooking had a number of chocolate temptations. I kept gravitating toward the recipe for Devil's Food Cake Verrine. It was involved but I couldn't pull myself away from the magazine! It looked too good to pass up. This was well worth the time and effort. It wasn't that it was complicated, it was that there are four different layers to make...chocolate sauce, devil's food cake, chocolate mousse, and chocolate streusel. All layers were quite delicious.

Served with Robert Hall Vintage Ruby Port 2006, to die for...

I also saw a recipe in Sunset Magazine for Two-Bite Chocolate Cream Pies! What could be more cute than these?

Two Bite Chocolate Cream Pies
Sunset Magazine, February 2010
Yield: Makes 24

Cooking-oil spray
About 30 chocolate cookies, such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 large eggs (1 separated)
1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons cornstarch
5 teaspoons Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 2 mini-muffin trays (12 muffin cups each) with cooking spray. In a food processor, whirl cookies into fine crumbs. Measure; return 1 1/2 cups crumbs to food processor, along with 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar, the salt, and 1 egg white. Pulse to blend evenly.
Spoon 1 tbsp. crumb mixture into each muffin cup. Press crumbs over bottom and up sides of cups. Bake until set, 15 minutes.

Put chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe container and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring often, until melted.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar, the cornstarch, and 4 tsp. cocoa. Pour in a few tbsp. of the milk and whisk into a smooth paste; whisk in remaining milk. Transfer to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until thickened and large bubbles appear, about 3 minutes.

Put reserved yolk and remaining egg into a medium bowl. Whisk in about 1/2 cup hot milk mixture. Scrape egg-milk mixture into milk mixture in pan and cook, whisking, until just starting to boil, about 30 seconds. Whisk in melted chocolate and butter.

Spoon hot filling into chocolate shells. Press plastic wrap over surface of mini pies to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until set, at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Remove pies from trays. Whisk cream with remaining 2 tbsp. sugar into soft peaks. Spoon a dollop of cream onto each mini pie. Dust pies with remaining cocoa.

PRINTABLE RECIPE


I have mentioned that I am not a fan of dark chocolate. I think I need to revise that statement. I had absolutely no trouble biting into these!

Each chocolate dessert was different and delicious. I would make either one a second time!
Do visit Kate at Serendipity today to see the other exciting chocolate surprises!
On my quest for chocolate ideas, I found a few cocktail recipes in Sunset Magazine that couldn't be passed up! I had to try them out.


Ruby Port Sparklers

For each cocktail, pour 2 tbsp. each chocolate liqueur (such as Godiva) and ruby port into a Champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon-zest strip.

Chocolate and Port Sippers

For each drink, pour 2 tbsp. each chocolate liqueur (such as Godiva) and ruby port in a 4 oz. highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

These cocktails are not on my list of favorite drinks. I prefer my port in a glass by itself. The Godiva might best be enjoyed in a martini...I certainly would not recommend mixing any of these together. I thought they were....well, horrible.

All in all it was a Chocolate Valentine Day and I really enjoyed making something special for my Valentine!

20 comments:

  1. I want to eat at your house! All that chocolate is calling me.
    I love verrines, a few bites to temp the appetite, and this one would be the ultimate.And those chocolate cream pies...sigh.
    Happy Valentines Day!
    Pam

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  2. It looks like a chocoholic's paradise! Delicious! I love Fine Cooking and the Devils Food Cake Verrine caught my eye immediately. Happy Valentine's Day!

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  3. I wish I have a piece of this right now...Happy Valentine's Day.

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  4. How lovely, Kate! Especially the pics with the lilies ... beautiful! Happy Valentine's Day.

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  5. The two bite cakes are scrumptious!You've had your chocolate 2 weeks:)?
    Imagine that:) What a festive post Kate..very very sweet.

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  6. chocolate overload! ha--as if that were possible. :)
    good stuff, kate!

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  7. Oh my. Those both look wicked good, love the verrine especially!

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  8. These look great! I bet they would do very well at a party.... And I believe they would turn anyone's heart to love dark chocolate, yes!

    Love the name of your blog!!

    ~Katherine @ Night Owl Chef

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  9. dang you had way to much fun, i wanna eat like this everyday please! i love it all! how could you ever pick a favorite... oh my i am envious of all you get to enjoy! i am back going to edit you in at food with style for valentines, to much good stuff to be doubly shared!

    happy happy day to you, but with chocolate thats a given!

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  10. My pancreas is about to explode, looking at all that chocolate! What a perfect post for Valentine's Day. I'm making un-chocolate goodies, but I'd love a bite of that chocolate verrine. Gorgeous! Hope you have a Love-Filled Day.
    Deb

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  11. Both of your treats look delish, how much are we loving Kate for this idea??
    Thanks for stopping by in Normandy.
    ~Maggie~

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  12. You put your chocolate to good use. Both your choices look delicious. Kudos. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  13. I love port and chocolate, your combinations are wonderful... a port-chocolate drink is brilliant!!!! Fun stopping by... I have a port coming in a few weeks... can't wait to try it!

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  14. Oh, these looks so-o good and I love port. What a fun project.

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  15. Those little chocolate cream pies look wonderful, Kate. But chocolate in drinks...I don't think so. Happy Valentine's Day.

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  16. Wow, so many great ideas and recipes in this post. Those little chocolate cream pies are going to be stuck in my head until I make them. Thank you for posting! I love Sunset...must renew the sub.

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  17. Kate! Verrines! YIPPEE! WHAT a great idea. I'm stealing it. (But I'll give you credit for it...) Chocolate four ways. What's better than that? Chocolate in two bites! These are both wonderful. I can't wait to try them myself.

    Thanks for participating!

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  18. Wow, so many choices on the chocolate! I love what you've done with it, although I agree that port should be kept on it's own mostly!

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  19. You've outdone yourself, chocolate-wise! Yowee!
    Devils' Food Cake verrines! What a super idea. So much chocolate, don't know where to start!

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  20. Wow Kate. What beautiful pictures and tempting chocolate. You really have outdone yourself.

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