Food Porn Friday – Valentine’s Day

(Image via We Heart It)

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and whether you’re marking the occasion with someone or not, is there any better excuse reason to make homemade treats made with chocolate.

(No nutritional value information is allowed for today’s post.  This is pure indulgence.)

I love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  I think I’ll “have to” try this recipe!  The only cooking you have to do is melt the butter.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

A chocolate truffles recipe from Gourmet magazine.

MAKES ABOUT 60 TRUFFLES (DO NOT DOUBLE RECIPE)

Ingredients

  • 11 oz Valrhona chocolate (56% cacao)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • Valrhona cocoa powder for dusting

Preparation

  • Finely chop 8 ounces of the chocolate and put in a bowl.
  • Bring heavy cream to a boil in a small heavy saucepan. Make sure your pan is small, so you’ll lose the least amount of cream to evaporation, and heavy, which will keep the cream from scorching. Linxe boils his cream three times—he believes that makes the ganache last longer. If you do this, compensate for the extra evaporation by starting with a little more cream.
  • Pour the cream over the chocolate, mashing any big pieces with a wooden spoon.
  • Then stir with a whisk in concentric circles (don’t beat or you’ll incorporate air), starting in the center and working your way to the edge, until the ganache is smooth.
  • Let stand at room temperature until thick enough to hold a shape, about 1 hour, then, using a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch opening or tip, pipe into mounds (about 3/4 inch high and 1 inch wide) on parchment-lined baking sheets. When piping, finish off each mound with a flick of the wrist to soften and angle the point tip. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt 3 more ounces of the same Valrhona and smear some on a gloved hand. Gently rub each chilled truffle to coat lightly with chocolate. The secret to a delicate coating of chocolate is to roll each truffle in a smear of melted chocolate in your hand. Linxe always uses gloves.
  • Toss the truffles in unsweetened Valrhona cocoa powder so they look like their namesakes, freshly dug from the earth. A fork is the best tool for tossing truffles in cocoa. Shake truffles in a sieve to eliminate excess cocoa. Store truffles in the fridge.

And a chocolate mousse from Bon Appetit magazine.

  • PREP: 25 minutes
  • TOTAL: 4 hours 25 minutes (includes chilling time)

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
  • 3 large eggs (preferably organic), separated, room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • Food Safety Note

    Raw egg is not recommended for infants, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems. To avoid the risk of salmonella infection, use pasteurized egg yolk.

Preparation

  • Place chocolate in medium metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Add egg yolks to melted chocolate and whisk until smooth. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites and pinch of salt in another medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, beating constantly until whites are glossy and medium-firm peaks form. Using silicone or rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of beaten whites into chocolate mixture to lighten. Gently fold remaining whites into chocolate mixture just until incorporated (do not overmix or mixture may deflate).
  • Divide mousse among 4 bowls. Cover and chill until set, about 4 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
  • Beat cream and 1 teaspoon sugar in another medium bowl until peaks form. Spoon whipped cream atop mousse.
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