How to Make Sweets for Your Valentine
What better way to show you care about someone than with a homemade gift? You don't have to spend a lot of money or even have cooking skills to make a delicious sweet for your Valentine. Homemade desserts are an easy way to say "I love you" that will make your loved one swoon.
Chocolate mousse seems like a fancy dessert: it's loaded with rich chocolate flavor that is packed into such light, airy texture. But, believe it or not, chocolate mousse is one of the simplest desserts you can make. And it's easy to dress it up for Valentine's Day. Add unique flavor to your mousse with flavored liqueur, or try making a layered dessert with dark chocolate, milk chocolate and/or white chocolate mousse. Our black forest chocolate mousse with chocolate and cherries has the perfect color and flavor for a beautiful Valentine's Day dessert.
Black Forest Chocolate Mousse
This rich, creamy black forest chocolate mousse is the perfect way to end a home cooked meal on Valentine's Day or just because. The unbeatable combination of cherries and chocolate make this dish a definite crowd pleaser.
- 1 1/4 cups whipping cream, divided
- 1 can (16 1/2 ounces) pitted Bing cherries, in heavy syrup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kirsch, cherry brandy (See note below)
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Grated semisweet chocolate, for garnish (optional)
- Mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)
- In deep, 2-quart bowl, whip cream to form firm peaks. Reserve 1/2 cup in small bowl; cover and refrigerate. Set aside larger amount of cream.
- Thoroughly drain cherries in strainer, reserving 1/4 cup of syrup in small saucepan; add kirsch.
- Place chocolate chips in container of blender.
- Bring syrup mixture to boil; reduce slightly to about 1/4 cup. Immediately pour over chocolate chips, and blend until completely smooth, scraping sides of container as needed. With rubber spatula, scrape chocolate mixture into larger portion of reserved whipped cream and fold in until streaks disappear. Fold in cherries, reserving 4 cherries for garnish.
- Cover and refrigerate 2 to 6 hours.
- Spoon into 4 stemmed dessert glasses. Dollop with smaller portion of whipped cream, and garnish with remaining cherries, grated chocolate and mint sprigs.
Makes 4 Servings.
You can eliminate kirsch and use a total of 1/3 cup syrup from cherries, bring to a boil and reduce to 1/4 cup.
If you already have a favorite baking recipe, like cookies, brownies or cake, it's easy to make it perfect for Valentine's Day! Check out your favorite kitchen gadget store or discount store for heart-shaped pans, molds and cookie cutters. Baking up your favorite cake in a heart-shaped pan and pairing it with a cute message may be all it takes to bring a smile to a loved one's face this Valentine's Day. This brownie heart cake is the perfect ending to a Valentine's Day meal.
For baking novices (or those of you who just want to keep things simple), chocolate covered strawberries are a great easy treat. Why spend $5 per strawberry at an upscale chocolatier when you can make dozens at home for close to the same price? Buy a few bars of good quality chocolate, melt them down and dip fresh strawberries. For a fancy touch, you can do a two-tone strawberry dipped in both dark chocolate and white chocolate. These are perfect served with champagne.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
What better way to kick off a romantic Valentine's Day than with chocolate dipped strawberries? This recipe is so simple that anyone can make these elegant treats.
- 18 strawberries with stems
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- Wash strawberries in cold water and gently pat dry. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.
- In small saucepan over low heat, melt 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate with 1 teaspoon oil, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and set saucepan in a pan of hot water to maintain a good dipping consistency.
- Dip strawberries into coating until 2/3 of each berry is covered. Allow excess coating to drip off; place strawberries on waxed paper-covered cookie sheet.
- Refrigerate 30 minutes or until coating is set.
- When coating is set, melt the remaining 4 ounces of chocolate with 1 teaspoon of oil, again stirring occasionally until smooth and setting pan in another pan of hot water to keep the consistency. Dip each berry a second time just a little bit higher than 2/3 of the berry to form a smooth line but still revealing the red tops.
- Refrigerate to set.
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