When my kids were little, we would address valentines to classmates, deliver flowers to neighbors and decorate the house with hearts and snowflakes (cut from white coffee filters). For dinner, I would make their favorite meal: dessert! Why not? I'd melt chocolate (the good stuff) and let them line up their dippers. They thought dessert for dinner was magical. Of course, I'd fed them a protein-packed after-school snack and served "dinner" early so they could get their sugar wiggles out before bed. Delightful!
Happy Valentine's Day!
2 cups heavy cream
1 pound premium semisweet chocolate (recommended: Lindt or Callebaut)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brandy
Strawberries, bananas, pineapple, brownies, waffles, marshmallows, walnuts, Oreos, pound cake, pretzels or any other dipping item of your choice! Get creative!
- Put approximately four inches of water in a saucepan and bring to a slow boil. Place a mixing bowl on top and pour in the heavy cream. Let heat. Or, use a double boiler. Meanwhile, break up or chop the chocolate into small pieces. When the cream feels hot to the touch, add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk in vanilla and brandy.
- Pour into the fondue pot and light the handy fuel underneath. Keep the flame low as not to burn the fondue. Arrange dippers on a platter and enjoy.
For the grown-ups, a spiked chocolate drink from our friend, Martha Stewart
The Spiked Jones
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup whole coffee beans
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate (61% Valrhona), chopped
- 2 tablespoons Kahlua
- 1 teaspoon confectioner's sugar
- 1 tablespoon dark chocolate-covered coffee beans, chopped
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, 1/2 cup cream, and whole coffee beans. Bring to a simmer, turn off heat, cover, and steep beans for 1 hour. Strain liquid and return to saucepan; discard beans. Bring the milk-and-cream mixture back to a simmer, add chocolate, and whisk until incorporated. Remove from heat; whisk in Kahlua. Whip remaining 1/2 cup cream and the confectioners' sugar until soft peaks form. Divide the hot chocolate between 2 cups and garnish each portion with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of chopped chocolate-covered coffee beans.