Sophisticated Savories

Sophisticated Savories

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Valentine's Day Ideas

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner… remember to be creative when plating! Since it is the one time of the year when “hearts, gold, glitter and red/black/white colors” are encouraged… why not allow your artistry to shine on the plate?

A few ideas… if you have time to make your own chocolate sauce, you will not be disappointed. If time is a commodity, purchase an already made sauce… Sur La Table, Central Market, Fresh Market, FRESH by Brookshire’s are a few stores that carry chocolate sauces. Simply transfer your sauce into a squeeze bottle (in order to have more control). Be sure that the sauce is at room temperature… too hot and it will spread too much; too cold and it will not escape form the squeeze bottle! Channeling “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” it should be “just right.” Again, room temperature or slightly warmer will do the trick. One can easily drawl hearts and other decorations when plating dessert. Remember a brilliant combination: chocolate and raspberries… be it chocolate molten lava cake/truffles/pot de crème… raspberries provide a necessary sweet tang to brighten chocolate (especially dark chocolate, since that is the most bitter in flavor).

Crème anglaise, though a more advanced sauce, is a wonderful compliment to almost any dessert. What is crème anglaise? Essentially, it is the “base” of French ice creams. In fact, the only difference between crème anglaise and vanilla ice cream? The crème anglaise is run through an ice-cream machine and frozen. Aside from that process, there is no difference. So why can you just not melt ice cream in order to transfer the process and make crème anglaise? When ice cream freezes, ice is incorporated into the frozen state. When melted, ice cream is diluted from the increase in water (melted ice). Ergo, the “crème anglaise” would not be as potent, nor creamy as compared to freshly made. Crème anglaise may be served warm or cold… although I prefer cold since it more closely resembles ice-cream (without the ice-cream headache bonus!)

In terms of an easy, yet sophisticated dessert… using a martini glass, place chocolate cake at the bottom of the glass (about ½ way full). Add a layer of smashed raspberries, then cover with crème anglaise (to the top). In the middle of the crème anglaise, create a circle of dots with chocolate sauce. Using a toothpick, to swirl through the circle, creating a circular trail of chocolate hearts, floating atop of the crème anglaise. Finish with a sprinkle of edible glitter to add an extra dazzle.

“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” – Harriot Van Horne

Love y’all! ♥

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