How I “discovered” my favorite Valentines Day desserts:
Several years ago I began a tradition of getting all of my female friends together for a pre-Christmas party. It was an all girl get-together that we all joking came to call Karen’s “I don’t have a man so you’re not bringing yours” party.
My friends came from various backgrounds, so many of them didn’t know each other. As the years went on, they got to know each very well and looked forward to another fun night together. Those evenings were filled with lots of delicious food that we enjoyed amidst the talk and laughter. The highlight, of course, was always dessert. Every great get together needs a fabulous dessert. Up to this point the absolute favorite of all the desserts I served was my domed lemon semifreddo cake.
One year I decided to move the party to Valentine’s Day. Many of my friends were single and it was a great reminder that love comes from all around us and you can celebrate love with your female friends too. As always, we came together over great food. It was a pot luck dinner, so everyone brought their favorite dish. Dinner was fabulous, as it always was.
In planning my dishes for the party (as hostess I always made several things) the highlight was always what dessert we would finish with. In my mind Valentine’s Day is always associated with chocolate, so I knew that chocolate had to be the star ingredient this year, but in what form? Several forms, it turns out.
I found beautiful chocolate cups in a bake shop. They looked quite fragile so I bought a few extra just in case. I made my homemade chocolate cheesecake and filled the base of the chocolate cups with the rich, creamy cheesecake. I covered that with sliced strawberries, then a thin layer of caramel.
How do you top off a dessert of decadent chocolate? With more chocolate of course. I made mini chocolate truffles and decorated them with a variety of coatings. There were a few chocolate covered strawberry pieces in there as well. I topped the chocolate mousse filled cups with the mini truffles and chocolate covered strawberry pieces. The result looked like a beautiful masterpiece, but was actually quite easy to make.
Needless to day, dessert was a triumph. It was everyone’s new favorite and hasn’t yet been topped. I must say that finding the pre made chocolate cylinder shaped cups was the best starting off point to a great dessert. The rest was not difficult at all but made an impact, both in how it looked on our plates as well as in the delicious and decadent mix of flavors.
As I look at the Shari’s Berries Valentine’s Day gifts I think I may not even make dessert this year.
Is there a woman in the world who wouldn’t love that combination? Rich and creamy cheesecake with chocolate covered strawberries. I’m in.