It’s not that there aren’t plenty of possibilities for a special Valentine’s Day dessert. There are, so that’s not the problem. The boondoggle, as always, is the what, how and when.
For a few dollars, you can buy a fancy heart-shaped cookie cutter or a multi-size set of cutters. Spending a bundle of bucks will get you a Valentine candy-making kit or a specialty pan that will give you either a big heart cake or a bunch of little heart-shaped somethings.
Think of these options as the gift that keeps on giving, because you’ll be giving up a mega block of time on down the line, fussing and fooling around, getting the appropriate type of frosting on just right, and then applying various Valentine-themed decorative touches.
Or, for a little less money but a whole lot less time, you can stir together a souper chocolate dessert. At the last minute, too, when the whim strikes or the family’s ready to finish off dinner and leave the table.
Let’s thank Everett cook Ann O’Donnell, a longtime friend of mine and now your friend, too, for sharing the following how-to for chocolate soup.
After reading the recent request for this newcomer, she went on a seek-and-find mission and now tells us, “Here is a chocolate soup recipe from the Food Network for Jeanie Kitchens.”
It’s entirely possible that finding the mini biscotti, not to mention the fresh raspberries and mint leaves, could turn into a real monkey wrench or just plain too much money to spend on a single dessert.
In that case, a dollop of whipped cream topped with a sprinkle of chocolate curls and/or a drizzle of raspberry sauce might work every bit as well. Maybe even better.
41/2cups whole milk
1cup sweetened condensed milk
1vanilla bean, split and scraped
10ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
5tablespoons cold water
Mini chocolate biscotti
Fresh mint leaves
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir togther the whole milk, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla bean and scrapings. Bring the mixture almost to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove pan from the heat and let mixture steep for 20 minutes.
Strain milk mixture and return to the pan. Put the pan over low heat, add the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate melts. Combine the cornstarch and water to form a slurry. Add the slurry to the chocolate mixture, a little at a time, whisking constantly, until the soup is thick and smooth.
You will know it is ready when the bubbles are gone and the chocolate has thickened, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with the biscotti, raspberries and mint leaves.
Makes 4 servings.
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