Thursday, February 14, 2008

Some Sweets for Your Valentine (Or, How to Make Cupid Fat)

Before I get into the culinary side of things, I just had to show you these gorgeous roses that my beloved gave to me yesterday (since we did the whole V-day thing yesterday because he worked this AM). They are so so so pretty I just can't get over it! My sister is supremely jealous, but I think I'll pick her up a rose or some sort of "funky flower" (her words, not mine) since she is kind of left out this holiday, being the only one without a partner for now and all. Maybe birds of paradise? I'll have to see.

This other photo is Andrew's tired grin that he gave me while we were out at our sushi lunch yesterday. We had an agreement that we would pay for each other, which worked out well since we both ordered lunch sets (the same price too, haha!). I have to say I was disappointed with the quality of my fish yesterday, it was a little, shall we say, mushy. Ah well, some day I'll get him down to Gonoe Sushi for some extraordinarily wonderful rolls!

No other real stories today, just 4 easy, super-sweet desserts that are perfect for sharing with that special someone, a group of your best friends, or if it's been that kind of a day, eating all by yourself while watching "hater" movies. Don't forget the Ben & Jerry's, either!

Hope everyone's Valentine's Days were sweet, or at least bearable (as my sister whines about the stupidity of holidays like these, created by Hallmark). Give your loved ones, no matter who they are, a hug today and let them know they're special!

Nutty for Valentine’s Squares
Serves 9
¼ c butter
¼ c Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut spread)
1 c + 2 tbsp whole-wheat flour
Pinch salt
1 c brown sugar
¼ c corn syrup
2 ½ tbsp whole-wheat flour
½ tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla or cherry extract
2/3 c sliced, pitted cherries
¼ c chopped hazelnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine butter, Nutella, flour and salt.
  3. Spread into the bottom of a 9” pan.
  4. Bake 10 minutes and let cool.
  5. Combine remaining ingredients in order given, folding in cherries and hazelnuts last.
  6. Bake 30 minutes and cool completely.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 307.7
Total Fat: 10.9 g
Cholesterol: 60.9 mg
Sodium: 39.4 mg
Total Carbs: 50.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.0 g
Protein: 4.8 g

Cupid’s Pillows
Makes 32
1 pkg. (17.3 oz.) puff pastry sheets (2 sheets), thawed
1 egg white
3/4 cup good-quality semi-sweet chocolate chunks
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, pitted cherries, or chopped strawberries (or a mixture)
  1. Roll a single puff pastry sheet into about a 16" square, and brush lightly with egg white.
  2. Cut pastry sheet into sixteen 4"x4" squares.
  3. Place about 1 tsp. chocolate and one or two berries in center of each square.
  4. Fold to form a triangle and press firmly on both edges with a fork or pastry crimper to seal.
  5. Prick the centre of the pastry with a fork.
  6. Repeat with remaining pastry sheet, chocolate and raspberries.
  7. Put filled pastries onto large un-greased sheets, and freeze for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  8. Pastries can be fully frozen individually at this point and sealed in a heavy-duty bag for later use.
  9. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  10. Bake 17 min. or until puffed and golden.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 168.9
Total Fat: 10.4 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 148.5 mg
Total Carbs: 16.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.7 g
Protein: 2.9 g

Chocolate Macadamia Decadence
Serves 12
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups macadamia nuts, toasted
1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temp
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup low-fat raspberry or strawberry yogurt
2 tbsp all-fruit raspberry or strawberry jam
½ tbsp vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F, grease a 9” round pan.
  2. Stir chopped chocolates in top of double boiler over simmering water until melted and smooth. Cool slightly.
  3. Process macadamia nuts in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Transfer to a small bowl.
  4. Add butter and sugar to processor (no need to clean) and blend using on/off turns until mixture is smooth.
  5. Add egg, yogurt, jam and vanilla, process until smooth.
  6. Add melted chocolate and process, add nuts and mix until just combined.
  7. Bake 40 minutes, or until tests done.
  8. Cool cake in pan on rack 30 minutes. Invert cake onto rack and cool completely.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 236.0
Total Fat: 17.6 g
Cholesterol: 31.8 mg
Sodium: 49.0 mg
Total Carbs: 21.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g
Protein: 3.0 g

Cherry Divinity Cake
Serves 16
1 cup dried cherries
¼ cup fresh orange juice
5 ounces semisweet chocolate
¼ cup cultured butter
3 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon almond extract
½ cup cake flour

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine dried cherries and orange juice. Simmer for 5 minutes and set aside.
  2. Combine chocolate and butter, and cook until melted. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed about 5 minutes or until thick.
  4. Beat in chocolate mixture, milk, and vanilla.
  5. Beat in flour. Stir in un-drained cherries.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Pour into a greased and floured 9-inch spring-form pan and place on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
  9. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely.
Amount Per Serving
298 Calories
14g Fat
5g Protein
43g Carbohydrate
3g Dietary Fibre
58mg Cholesterol
68mg Sodium

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

all those look and sound so good, amazing post u complement me to much but i know u won't change it and i love you no matter what, thanks for thebread sticks my valentine ( yes i know its past but you'll always be mine) :)