Valentine’s Day 2 Days To Go

Two days to Valentine’s and its getting cold out there. Well, here’s a nice drink for être qui t’est cher (and I hope that translation’s right… check my on this you French majors out there). Let’s get back to warming up that chilly evening…

Here’s what you’ll need:

Drink:

  • 1 oz peppermint schnapps
  • 1/2 oz dark crème de cacao
  • 1 tsp crème de menthe
  • hot chocolate
  • whipped cream

Combine these in a nice mug and top with shaved chocolate.

Desert:

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees .

Grease 3 – 9 inch round cake pans. In medium bowl, pour boiling water over cocoa, and whisk until smooth. Let mixture cool. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at time, then stir in vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture. Spread batter evenly between the 3 prepared pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool.

Now, I like to empty a can of cherry pie filling, and add a jar of my own cherries preserved in peppermint schnapps, and heat this in a bowl. Use this in between the three layers of cake and top the cake with a little powdered sugar.

 

Valentine’s Day 5 Days To Go

Ok, here’s my third no-fail valentines day charmer… think warmth… a hot chocolate kiss.. topped with a real kiss no less, and hot chocolate pudding… who can say no to pudding.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Drink:

  • 1 1/2 oz peppermint schnapps
  • 1/2 oz coffee liqueur
  • hot chocolate
  • whipped cream and a Hershey’s Kiss for garnish

Combine the liquors with the hot chocolate in an Irish coffee mug, the top with whipped cream and toss a Hershey’s kiss on top.

Desert:

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups nonfat or low-fat milk, divided
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lightly beat egg in a medium bowl.

Combine 1 1/2 cups milk, 1/3 cup sugar and salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, cocoa and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Whisk in the remaining 3/4 cup milk until blended. Whisk the simmering milk mixture into the cocoa mixture. Pour the mixture back into the pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and glossy, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. I know I know it’s a pain with all the whisking and transferring, but you don’t want too much heat or the mixture will burn quickly.

Whisk about 1 cup of the hot cocoa mixture into the beaten egg. Return the egg mixture to the pan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until steaming and thickened, about 2 minutes. Do not boil. You really need to stay on top of this, its not one of my usual recipes where you can put the thing on auto-pilot and watch the Giants…

Whisk in vanilla. We’re almost there… get those fancy martini glasses and use them to serve the pudding… you could top these with a Hershey’s kiss also… or diced strawberries.