ROMANCE Part 2 – CHOCOLATE – Ala Year on the Grill

OK ladies, I gave you my advice on how to really make a meal your man would love for romantic occasions (like Valentines day) a couple weeks ago. I was dead serious that what men really want would be MOINK BALLS. Beef Meatballs, wrapped in bacon says lovin‘ to that man of yours. Click HERE to get to that post. But, you all being women, I really don’t expect you to do the logical thing and give your men what they want. Instead, you are going to try to foo foo the day up and make us men folk pretend to enjoy things like this…

Chocolate Covered Strawberries dressed in Tuxedos…Accented with Chocolate Hearts!

 

Sigh, ok, I’ll bow to the conventional wisdom (but as an experiment, put 6 Moink balls in front of your man, and 6 Chocolate covered strawberries next to the moink balls and see which plate ends up empty… But i digress)… As I was saying, I bow to conventional wisdom and will give you all a lesson in the easiest thing you will ever see me make.

It looked SO EASY, I was sure that even though I have never made anything with melted chocolate before, I CAN COOK THAT!

Credit where credit is due, I saw these on Regis and Kelly this week. It was just as easy as they made it sound. the only ingredients and supplies you need is some…

Dark Chocolate bark
White Chocolate bark
Strawberries
Parchment paper
double boiler and water
Pastry bag for decorating (or just a ziplock bag with a corner cut out)
and a spoon…

First, set up a double boiler. This was my first time melting chocolate in a double boiler, but it worked just like it was supposed to.

Get some water boiling, put a bowl in the water. I put a couple spoons around the edge so the bowl never touches the bottom of the pan, nor the sides.

Watch it carefully, stir occasionally and in about 10 minutes, you have melted chocolate. Do the white first…

 

Just like it looks, you are making the shirt front only, so you only need to dip the front in the chocolate. Allow it to cool.

Meanwhile, it is time to make a few chocolate hearts… With that rustic homemade look that you will pay big bucks for in a candy shop…

 

This is easier if you use your wife’s pastry bags. Or, if you don’t have a wife with pastry bags, put the still warm melted chocolate in a plastic bag and cut just a tiny hole in one of the corners.

Make two dots, about the size of quarters, use about 2/3rds of the amount of a Hershey’s kiss in each dot. Space them about 1/2 inch apart. use the flat side of a spoon to spread the dots out so they touch and then swirl down to form the heart. Allow to cool and viola.

I made several, til I was out of white chocolate. So, now it’s time to do the same meltything with the dark.

 

I am sorry I did not take more photos of the process of the dark chocolate to get the tux look on the strawberries. But, just dip from the side, being careful to leave the white “V” shape of the front of the shirt showing.

Then use another pastry bag (or a very tiny hole in a plastic bag) and draw a little bow tie and a couple dots for buttons. Guys would still rather have Moink Balls, but women folk go weak in the knees over this kind of stuff.

 

Here’s the plate I gave my wife for an early Valentine’s Day gift. Her knees were so weak, she could hardly climb the stairs to thank me in the only way better than Moinkballs… But I digress…

Here’s something really important…

A lot of this post should be dedicated to a wonderful blogger, katherine from SMOKEY MOUNTAIN CAFE. Just this week, Katherine had an opportunity to go to New York City, meet regis and Kelly, take cake decorating classes from a celebrity baker and have her cake entered in a charity contest to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Do me a favor (and yourself), and visit Katherine’s site for details on her trip. Also, take just a second and follow the link she gives to “vote” for her cake. With each vote, the good folks at Electrolux will donate a dollar to the fund. A great cause and a fun read. Click HERE to get to Smokey mountain Cafe and the post on her day of cake decorating!

Ok ladies. You are now armed with the recipe for romantic loving, Moink Balls, and for these silly little trifles. Let your conscience be your guide as to what you think your man would REALLY like for Valentine’s Day.

See you all next Thursday!

Dave here from MY YEAR ON THE GRILL.

And BTW, I do wish there was an “I was trying to be funny, please don’t be insulted” Font.

You say zabaglione, I say sabayon: Don’t call the whole thing off, Save Room for Dessert

Do you remember the song? Louis Armstrong and Fred Astaire both sang this romantic tune over the decades, and this dessert from the Joy of Desserts archives would be pretty to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day no matter how you pronounce it.

Whether you call this dessert zabaglione like the Italians, or sabayon like the French, it is the same classic dessert made with egg yolks and a sweet dessert wine. It only takes about 15 minutes to make and can be prettied up by serving in a glass with berries.

Italian Zabaglione or French Sabayon
Prep time: 15 minutes
Makes 4 servings
2 packages (6 ounces each) raspberries
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dry Marsala or other dessert wine

Divide berries between four 8-ounce dessert dishes or stemmed glasses.
Fill the bottom of a double boiler (or a saucepan with a metal bowl fitted snugly on top) with 1-2 inches of water or just below bowl. Bring water to a simmer.
Beat egg yolks and sugar in top of double boiler or bowl with an electric mixer or wire whisk until fluffy and light in color, about 5 minutes. Maintain water at a low simmer while beating.
Add Marsala, 1 tablespoon at a time, continuously beating until mixture forms very soft peaks, about 8 minutes.
Pour zabaglione mixture over berries and serve immediately.

Nutrition Per Serving: 238 calories, 4.79g total fat, 1.64g saturated fat, 3.39g protein, 37.47g carbohydrate, 209.78mg cholesterol, 2.04g fiber, 192mg sodium
Recipe and nutrition values from Driscoll’s, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)

Healthy tips:
* Substitute blackberries, blueberries or about 3 cups sliced, hulled strawberries
* Try a mixed berry zabaglione with some of all the above berries
* 1 cup of strawberries provides an amazing 93% of your day’s supply of Vitamin C
* 1 cup of raspberries and blackberries each provide 50% of your day’s supply of Vitamin C
* Blueberries have one of the highest antioxident values at 5,486 ORAC Value (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) per cup

Happy St. Valentine’s Day,

Joy of Desserts

Save room for dessert: peach ice with regal raspberry sauce recipes

Welcome to The Krazy Kitchen’s first weekly Save Room for Dessert!

I was brainstorming for a catchy name, and I’m so glad Tamy of 3 Sides of Crazy came up with a real winner.

I always save room for dessert because it’s my little secret for not gaining too much weight! Yes, you read that right!

Medical and scientific research proves that:

  • Not depriving ourselves keeps us from both overeating other foods and binging on the “forbidden” foods later;
  • Learned responses help us stop eating after dessert or wanting bigger helpings if we don’t eat dessert;
  • Sugars found in desserts actually send satiated messages to the brain, literally telling us that we are full;
  • Desserts trigger cheery thoughts and memories of comfort for most people, which helps in preventing depression and from just moping around, promoting a more active lifestyle.

That’s why I’m such a big advocate for eating dessert — always in moderation — as part of a balanced diet and appropriately active lifestyle. It all works together so that we can eat our cake and stay fit too.

This week I have two recipes for you. They are perfect served together and for celebrating July’s National Ice Cream Month and National Berry Month. I offer you Iced Peach with Regal Raspberry Sauce.

It is a variation on the classic Peach Melba, created by French Chef Auguste Escoffier in the 1890s at the Savoy Hotel in London to honor opera soprano Dame Nellie Melba. The classic Peche Melba is made with vanilla ice cream, fresh peaches and a raspberry sauce.


Peach Ice
1 medium can (28-29 oz.) or 2 small cans (15 oz.) peaches in heavy syrup (reserve syrup)
1 cup of the reserved peach syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light-colored, light-flavored honey
1 cup peach schnapps or peach brandy
juice of 1 lemon

Combine reserved peach syrup, sugar and honey in a saucepan, and bring to a slow boil while stirring. Sugar should dissolve completely, but not caramelize. Add alcohol and simmer for a few minutes and let cool.

Puree peaches in blender with lemon juice. Add syrup mixture and blend well.

Pour into a freezer-safe pan and freeze.

To serve, scoop peach ice into wide-rimmed glasses and nap with Regal Raspberry Sauce (below).

Optional Decorations:

  • Top with a few fresh raspberries or peach slices and a sprig of mint
  • Top with edible pansy (available at farmer’s markets or organic grocery stores)

Regal Raspberry Sauce
1 small basket of fresh raspberries (or frozen, about 2 cups)
1/4 cup raspberry or red currant preserves
1/2 cup Chambord liqueur (raspberry)
1-2 Tablespoons diluted cornstarch (only if needed — usually if too thin when using frozen berries)

Combine all ingredients, except cornstarch, in a saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat while stirring. Do not bring to a boil.

Continue to simmer while stirring until thickened. If sauce is too thin, add diluted corn starch to the sauce, and stir.

Optional: Strain sauce to remove raspberry seeds.

Let cool and serve with peach ice.

Can also be served:

  • Over vanilla ice cream
  • Over peach pie
  • With fresh fruits
  • With chocolate cake
Enjoy! See you next Wednesday for another Save Room for Dessert.
Don’t forget to visit the other participants and to comment on their blogs.
(Stop by Joy Of Desserts to enter my latest giveaway, too!)