raspberry & chocolate dessert for valentines
Over the next several posts there will be an abundance of romance…from a seductive cocktail, to an entire dinner whose every element entices, to a dessert on one plate to be eaten with two spoons.
To set the mood, let’s just begin at the end. In recent posts I’ve shared chocolate mousse and French lemon tart (the very name suggests…) Today’s is certainly easier to prepare than those though – it’s both quickly made and pretty to serve. Before love arrows begin flying, I hope to offer yet one more sweet option to finish your meal.
This is more about presentation than recipe. You can adapt that in any number of ways. The sauce can be made several days in advance with no harm done. I tried using silicone heart molds for the ice-cream, but once un-molded the little melty hearts began sliding into the center of the plate where a lovely smear of raspberry sauce was elegantly waiting. Not what I had in mind. I ended up simply scooping the ice-cream into a bowl to be shared, drizzling raspberry sauce, a dusting of dark chocolate, a scattering of fresh berries (with more to be toppled on the ice-cream or eaten with fingers.)
- 12 ounce package frozen raspberries
- 4 to 5 Tablespoons sugar
- ½ vanilla bean, split open (or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 1 Tablespoon Kirsch (cherry liqueur)
The rest of it: Chocolate ice-cream, fresh raspberries if you can find them, squares of melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, a dusting of cocoa powder
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the frozen berries along with 4 Tablespoons sugar and the vanilla. Raise temperature enough to simmer very gently for about 10 minutes – until the berries have softened and the liquids have just begun to evaporate. Add the Kirsch or other liqueur. Simmer another couple minutes. Taste for sugar. If you prefer it sweeter, add up to another tablespoon of sugar and cook long enough for it to dissolve.
Pour the contents of the pan into a fine sieve that’s been placed over a bowl. Stir and press well, helping all the liquid to make its way to the bowl. Discard the seeds or add them to tomorrow smoothie. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature, or serve still warm. (Covered and kept in the refrigerator it will be good for several days.) Of course you have the option of not straining the sauce (as seen below.) It will certainly go further that way. SInce the seeds have softened considerably in the cooking, they aren’t the same issue that they are with fresh berries. If you’re going for elegant, best to strain.
This sauce is also very good over French Vanilla ice–cream, or cheese cake, or over yogurt for breakfast.
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Plate any way your imagination suggests. (Also very pretty served in a martini or champagne glass.)
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for a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here.
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