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What are you baking for Valentine's Day?


Ling
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To me, Valentine's Day means chocolate chocolate chocolate and over-the-top desserts! :wub:

I am considering a flourless chocolate cake after seeing all the great recipes in this thread: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=60266

The chocolate pave recipe in the Pierre Herme thread also looks wonderful, but I don't have the book. The nutella tart is a possibility though, since I think I've seen the recipe on the web before.

I have also yet to try a chocolate pecan pie, although that's not a very romantic dessert, is it?

What are you baking for your special dinner?

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Well, I've cut out a heart stencil sheet, a arrow stencil sheet and bought a couple heart shaped molds...........but I still haven't started to think about what I'm actually making. I promise to post further on this topic when I get my act together. In the mean time, where is everyone else? What is everyone making.

Oh, and don't forget to do a site search on the topic. I recall talking with Brian Fishman last year about what he was making.

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I don't know yet either. I'm only baking for the kids' school parties, but I haven't had time to think about it yet. In years past, I've done cookies on a stick (pastel frosting with messages), heart shaped strawberry marshmallows (Neil's recipe) and heart-shaped 'ding-dongs'.

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Well right now I am thinking that I will do some molded chocolates. Since the two weeks before Valentines day there are two family birthdays and I am doing some baking for each event. Sooo I am thinking that I will do white molded chocolates filled with either a raspberry ganache or a pink champagne ganache or something else in a red or pink vein. I have just ordered 2 polycarbonate, mini heart shaped, chocolate molds from JB Prince and I plan (if they arrive in time) to spray the bottom of the molds (the top of the chocolates) with plain cocoa butter, then a layer of red, then a dusting of gold powder and finally mold white chocolate with white chocolate ganache. I wanted to do something like this for Christmas but just ran out of time. If the molds don't arrive in time I'll go to plan B what ever that is.

Fred Rowe

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I'm not baking anything for personal purposes, since my husband and I believe that Valentines

Day is yet another one of those materialistic "retail holidays" designed to make people feel guilty if they they don't buy chocolate or flowers or take their sweeties out to dinner. We celebrate Valentines Day by not celebrating Valentines Day, and trying to do nice things for each other 24/7 365. Easier said than done. :wink:

Anyway.

On the career side of things, I'm doing a wedding cake for Feb. 13th that's kinda cute. When I consulted with the couple, I discovered they were cat lovers and had two black and white kitties they doted on quite a bit. They really had no clue what they wanted, so I suggested a cake with kitty paw prints going around and up each tier, with a cake topper (custom made by me) of two black and white kitties "dressed" as bride and groom. At the bottom of the cake will be a ball of "yarn", and the "yarn" will weave in and out of the pillars separating each cake, where it will end up at the top tangling in the cats' tails and tying them together. They loved the idea, so that's what I'm making.

Oh yeah, and I'm making chocolate dipped shortbread heart cookies for the wholesale end of things.

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Here's the computer "sketch" I submitted to the couple.

After I finish the cake, I'll snap a pic (as always) and post it.

Then we'll see how close I come to the original idea.

Usually, when I work on the cake, I make some changes, because somehow what looks

good on paper doesn't always translate well to a real cake. Don't know why that is.

I'm pretty sure this cake will be right on the money though. We'll see!

catcake.jpg

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while i hope he isnt peeking at this particular eg thread.....im baking him a heart shaped chocolate cake (trying to do sugar free)..its the topping thats actually going to be the surprise.....so i wont say anythig more in case he reads this..... :laugh:

a recipe is merely a suggestion

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One of my favorite Valentine's Day recipes is one I haven't made in years, but I have really fond memories of it. I think the recipe in the magazine called it "Chocolate Bombe" but in our family it's "Mt. Vesuvius."

It starts with a standard brownie recipe baked in a pan big enough to make the brownies about 3/4" to 1" thick. (Probably a half sheet pan.) Find a bowl to use as a mold, and make a paper pattern that will allow it to be lined without gaps. Cut the brownies out and line the bowl.

Fill the bowl with a bittersweet chocolate mousse. You can use extra pieces of brownie to make a layer about halfway, to provide a little stability. Refrigerate several hours and turn out onto a plate. Cover with a chocolate glaze, poured on to cover unevenly.

Another wonderful dessert used to be available at a local restaurant, which called it "Chocolate Sack." They covered the inside of a very small, oiled chocolate paper bag with tempered chocolate, allowed it to harden, then peeled the chocolate away. The sack was filled with chocolate mousse, whole fresh fruit, mainly berries, and garnished with creme anglaise. I think a similar thing could be done with that technique of coating balloons with swirled white and dark chocolate, and then the balloons are removed. I have a feeling this has been done to death in the pastry world, but among mere mortals it never fails to impress.

For me, Valentine's Day desserts should be something different and delightful, that wouldn't be done on most other occasions.

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You have no idea how badly I'd love to eat one of those heart cookies this morning. They're making my mouth water!!

And I'm going to make it worse.... They are soooo good. I flavor them with vanilla and almond in the cookie and then flavor the glaze with almond. I underbake (which I know you like) so the cookie is softer and melts in your mouth.... And you can't stop at one!!

Josette

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You have no idea how badly I'd love to eat one of those heart cookies this morning. They're making my mouth water!!

And I'm going to make it worse.... They are soooo good. I flavor them with vanilla and almond in the cookie and then flavor the glaze with almond. I underbake (which I know you like) so the cookie is softer and melts in your mouth.... And you can't stop at one!!

if you are going to tease us, Josette, how about the recipe for those cookies!

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Oh, that's easy it's the Cook's Illustrated one:

2 sticks butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp almond extract

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups flour

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the extracts and then the eggs. Stir in dry ingredients.

Here's how I get them perfect. Right away you can plop them in two batches between two sheets of parchment paper. Give them a roll to about 1/4 inch and then in the fridge to chill. When they are good and chilled, peel off one side and then turn the dough over to that paper and peel off the other side. Use your cutters to pick up the dough and drop it on the sheets. Bake at 325 for about 10 minutes if using heavy duty dark pans. Bake at 350 otherwise and watch them until they just turn golden on the edges.

Glaze with royal icing flavored with 2 tsp almond extract.

Eat.

Josette

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JSkilling - Thanks so much for posting your recipe! I wasn't quite brave enough to ask (so thanks to sarah o for asking also). I thought your decorated heart and snowflake cookies were absolutely gorgeous! You've kindly provided me with a Valentine project. After reading all the posts, I thought I'd try diluting the royal icing to flooding consistency with the corn syrup and putting them under a lamp to help with the shine. Thanks again!

Support your local farmer

Currently reading:

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

Just finished reading:

The 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith & J. B. MacKinnon

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Lemoncurd,

You are very welcome and thanks! Someone else here gave it to me when I couldn't link so I'll pass on the favor. It really is the nicest of the sugar cookie recipes I've tried. What I've found is that if the butter to sugar ratio is higher then you'll get a better and softer cookie. There are times for crisp cookies (add more sugar) but I really like the softness of these once you get past the crackly of the icing.

You'll note that I did not say to use Toba's glacé icing. It's lovely but doesn't dry so tonight I made ballet slippers with white and pink royal icing and it's just so much easier to deal with. Though, I'll say for a translucent border I really like to thicken the glacé icing up and pipe that around. And that does get hard.

If you are going to decorate them like this, it works nicely to simply dot your wet base color with another color and then drag a toothpick through the dot to make patterns like hearts. You might already know how to do that but I thought I'd pass it along....

Josette

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If you are going to decorate them like this, it works nicely to simply dot your wet base color with another color and then drag a toothpick through the dot to make patterns like hearts.  You might already know how to do that but I thought I'd pass it along....

Thanks for the tip. I figured the toothpick route was the technique but wasn't sure if you did the dots first or the base. I'm also planning to do the icing with meringue powder which is a product I've never used before - hopefully all will work out OK.

Support your local farmer

Currently reading:

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

Just finished reading:

The 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith & J. B. MacKinnon

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Ling, when i think romantic on valentines im thinking dessert wine very much. And to start I would select a chocolate port dessert wine.

With this a simple bittersweet chocolate and port poached pear tart could go wonderfully. Maybe even make a hazelnut crust for it.

Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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I got a copy of Pierre Herme's Chocolate Desserts today and I think I will make the Tarte Grenobloise--chocolate crust, ganache, pecans and caramel. *shudder* :wub:

Thanks, JSkilling, for the cookie recipe! I want to make those too. (I always seek out cookie recipes with a high butter to flour ratio!)

chiantiglace: What is chocolate port? Is it chocolate liqueur added to a port wine? Please enlighten me. :smile:

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