Valentines Day is one of those “holidays” that chocolates, candies, and just desserts of all kinds take center stage. While these aren’t chocolate focused I do think that they make great and pretty festive options to share with your sweetheart, girlfriends, or let’s be honest just to indulge all by yourself.
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 2 ounces red food coloring
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cupa unsalted butter
- 2 cupa confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoona vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the shortening, eggs and sugar.
- In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa and food coloring.
- Add the paste to the shortening mixture.
- Sift the flour and salt together over parchment.
- Add to the batter alternately with the buttermilk in 3 additions.
- Add the vanilla extract.
- Fold in the baking soda and vinegar.
- Pour the batter into 2 greased 9-inch cake pans.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean.
- Let cool on a cooling rack.
- Invert the cakes from the pans.
- Over medium heat, cook the flour and milk until thickened. Let cool.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the flour mixture.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line a heavy large baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Combine the water, butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar, and salt in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the butter melts. Add the flour and stir over medium heat for 1 minute. Cool 5 minutes.
- Crack 2 eggs into a measuring cup. Use a wooden spoon to beat the eggs into the dough, 1 at a time. Spoon 10 or 12 (1 1/2-inch) mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl to blend. Gently brush the egg over the dough mounds (do not drip the egg onto the baking sheet).
- Bake the pastries until they are amber brown, about 50 minutes. Allow the pastries to cool completely.
- Mix the mascarpone, ricotta, vanilla, and remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until cold. Using a serrated knife, cut the tops off the pastry and set aside. Spoon the mascarpone mixture into the pastries and top with its lid.
- Combine the chocolate-hazelnut spread and cream in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds until warm. Stir the mixture. Spoon the chocolate-hazelnut sauce atop the pastries. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and serve.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup Marsala wine
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 pound mascarpone cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 1/2 cups brewed espresso or very strong coffee, cooled
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- One 7-ounce package savoiardi or ladyfingers
- 2 cups halved strawberries
- 1 square semisweet chocolate, for grating
- In a saucepan, bring some water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Have ready 2 mixing bowls that will fit over the top of the pan but not sink all the way in.
- Put the egg yolks in one of the mixing bowls off heat.
- Add 1/4 cup of the sugar and whisk until the yolks start to turn pale.
- Place the mixing bowl over the saucepan with the simmering water.
- Slowly add 1/2 cup of the Marsala wine and whisk to combine.
- Cook over the simmering water until thick, using a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl, about 5 minutes.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool.
- Put the white chocolate in the second bowl and melt over the pan of water. Set aside to cool.
- Put the mascarpone in a bowl and stir until smooth.
- Pour in the cooled white chocolate and mix to combine.
- Combine the cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a mixer and whip until not quite stiff.
- Add the mascarpone-white chocolate mixture and chilled egg yolk mixture to the bowl of whipped cream and fold gently.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
- Put the brewed espresso, vanilla and remaining 1/4 cup Marsala in a bowl or measuring cup.
- Arrange about a third of the ladyfingers in a single layer in a 9-by-13-inch pan.
- Spoon a small amount of the coffee mixture over each ladyfinger (keep it under 1 tablespoon per cookie and you’ll be fine).
- Plop one-third of the cold cream mixture on top and spread it into a layer.
- Make a layer of one-third of the halved strawberries and grate over some semisweet chocolate.
- Repeat the layers 2 more times.
- Cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving; this allows for more moisture to soften the cookies and the whole mixture to meld together.