Love and chocolate for Valentine’s Day

This coming Thursday is Valentine’s Day and I wish all of you “Happy Heart, Happy Chocolate, Happy Love and Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you.”

Some facts about Valentines Day: Valentine’s Day was introduced to Japan in 1936 and gained immense popularity right off. However, due to a translation error by the chocolate firm, only females purchase Valentine chocolates for their partners, boyfriends or good friends.

A math fact about Valentine’s Day: Valentine’s Day is of course a celebration of and for love, plus a day for hearts, feelings, roses, chocolate candy and Valentine cards.

Each chocolate is like a portion of life: Some are crunchy, some nutty, some are dark and some are white, some are soft and some are hard but all are delicious!

If chocolate were mandatory and part of breakfast, people would not be so grouchy in the mornings.

All you need is love but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt either.

Valentine’s Day should not just be celebrated once a year, but every day, showing your love and affection to your loved ones. However, February 14 is the yearly day that everyone, young or old, should express their love to others. Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest days for stores that sell flowers, cards and chocolates and a day we must forget our diet and eat the candy like vitamins, plus when someone gives you a box of chocolates it would be rude not to eat them.

Today I am enclosing some really delicious Valentine desserts which are easy to make and I am sure your loved one will appreciate and enjoy.

So show love, understanding and kindness and tell them how much they mean to you. Until next week, don’t forget ” love is in the air.”

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Mocha Ice Cream Valentine

24 chocolate cream sandwich cookies, crushed

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 gallon coffee ice cream

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate

5 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 cup sugar

dash of salt

2 5 1/2-6 ounce cans evaporated milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups heavy cream, whopped

1 1/2 ounce Kahlua liquor

powdered sugar

3/4 cup chopped nuts

Combine cookie crumbs and butter and press into bottom of a butter 9×13 pan. Refrigerate. When chilled, spoon on softened ice cream and freeze. Melt chocolate and butter. Add sugar, salt and milk. Bring to a boil, stirring, until thickened. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Chill and spread on top of ice cream. Freeze. Whip the cream. Add Kahlua and powdered sugar to taste and spread over chocolate layer. Sprinkle top with chopped nuts. Freeze.

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Individual Chocolate Frangos

1 cup butter

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

4 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

4 eggs

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1 cup whipped cream

2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs

Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add chocolate and mix well. Add eggs and beat 3-4 minutes after each addition. Add flavoring and salt, mixing well. Fold in whipped cream. Place about 1 teaspoon crumbs into the bottom of each of 24 paper-lined muffin tins. Fill with the chocolate mixture and sprinkle with remainder of crumbs.

Topping:

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 cup powdered sugar

2 eggs

3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

Beat butter. Add sugar, beating until light. Add eggs and chocolate and mix well. With a pastry tub, place dollop of chocolate onto each piece. Press slightly into mixture so it sticks when frozen. Freeze. When hardened, can be stored in plastic bags. Serve frozen.

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Death by Chocolate

chocolate cake mix

1 cup Kahlua

3 packages chocolate mousse, made according to directions

1 16-ounce and 1 12-ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed

5 Skor candy bars, frozen

Make cake according to package directions in a 9×13 pan. Cool. With a large fork, poke holes in cake. Pour Kahlua over and let sit overnight. In a large bowl, layer 1/2 of cake, cubed, 1/2 of mousse, 1/2 of whipped topping and 1/2 of candy bars, broken. Repeat layers. Chill at least 3 hours.

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Touchdown Surprise Truffles:

1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream

2 squares semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

Heat cream to boiling in small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chopped chocolate and stir until melted. Cool 10 minutes. On sheet of waxed paper, shape mixture into 8-inch log. Wrap and refrigerate 3 hours or freeze 2 hours or until firm. Cut into 8 equal pieces.

Cake:

4 squares semi-sweet chocolate

1 1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 large eggs, room temperature

3 large egg yolks, room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Melt chocolates with butter in medium bowl in microwave on high for 2 minutes; stir until completely melted and smooth. Cool to room temperature. Preheat oven to 400. Butter and flour eight 6-ounce custard cups. Tap to remove excess flour. Place on cookie sheet. In a mixer bowl, combine eggs, egg yolks and sugar. Beat at high speed until mixture is thick and forms a ribbon when beaters are lifted, 8-10 minutes. Sift flour over mixture and fold in gently. Fold in cooled chocolate/butter mixture in 2 batches. Pour batter into prepared custard cups. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly place one truffle in center of cake. Truffle will sink. Return to oven and bake 4-5 minutes more, until tops of cakes are dry and begin to pull away from sides of cups. Cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes. With small knife, carefully loosen cakes from cups and invert onto 8 dessert plates. Sift confectioners’ sugar lightly over toops. Serve warm with whipped cream and ice cream and raspberry sauce.

Raspberry Sauce:

10 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Place in blender. Blend and strain.

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Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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