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raspberry & chocolate dessert for valentines

ChocHeartsWithRasperries-9

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.)

Raspberry Sauce

  • 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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35 Comments Post a comment
  1. Looks lovely! So simple. It could be fun to write a sweet little love note on the plate with this!

    February 6, 2012
  2. Chocolate and raspberry — just about my very favorite combination in all the world. This sounds amazing. And the presentation…be still my heart! Look at that tulip!

    February 6, 2012
    • It’s one of my very favorites too Ashley!

      February 6, 2012
  3. That sauce looks amazing…wow! What a special valentine’s day treat!

    February 6, 2012
    • I love when “special” can be simple. :)

      February 6, 2012
    • Deb schneider #

      Of course you will make something(s) special for valentines day. That’s what you do so well – put love on the table. I love your experimentation with the heart shaped ice cream! Would blue agave work as a sweetener in the sauce? I cannot wait to try your raspberry sauce, and the whole creation, for a bit belated valentines dessert in march perhaps.

      February 8, 2012
      • Deb! Well, as to the heart-shaped ice-cream, had I used a deeper (ie taller) heart mold it would have held its coldness longer, so it’s doable for sure. Also, freezing the serving plate ahead of time would have helped. As to substituting agave syrup, absolutely! And a dinner for lovers can happen any night of the week, in any month. March sounds good! Take good care! Then hurry home!

        February 8, 2012
  4. It’s all so luscious. I mean even that napkin is kind of making me blush! Seriously, great stuff here.

    February 6, 2012
  5. Darlyn #

    yummmmmm! That sounds wonderful even though I am not a chocaholic

    February 6, 2012
    • Well, maybe you want to think about becoming one. ;)

      February 7, 2012
  6. Now *this* is beyond perfect. I always love chocolate-and-raspberry treats (as does Richard, conveniently enough), and your raspberry sauce suddenly reminded me of our most memorable ice-cream-with-raspberry-sauce dessert. There’s a particular restaurant in Munich that we love and once, when we were in Germany on tour with R’s choir, we went with a group of them for dinner to this favorite place and had, as always, fabulous classic German entrees all around the table. When it came to dessert, Richard and I just had to have their house dessert trademark of ice cream (vanilla, in this instance, and a very nice rich one) with boiling hot raspberry sauce poured over it the instant before serving. They call it Heisse Liebe (Hot Love), and while we did in fact love it, you can imagine what a laugh all our companions had over us sharing our Hot Love while at the table with all of them. As it happens, I also have part of a bottle of good Himbeergeist (high-octane raspberry eau-de-vie from Germany) in the cupboard that would be not only a good substitute for the Kirsch but a further reminder of that excellent episode at our Munich hangout. I certainly know what I need to fix for my Valentine this year!!! Thanks!
    xoxoxo
    Kathryn

    February 6, 2012
    • Sharing Hot Love at the table…once again, Kathryn, you are priceless! If you do try this, I’ll be anxious to hear if it in any way rises to sit alongside (even at the feet of) the beautiful memories you have of sharing love at that table in Munich. I think serving the sauce hot is brilliant. Thanks so much! xoxo!

      February 7, 2012
  7. It’s interesting that this sparked this memory of Kathryn’s… when I first saw your photos I thought immediately that it looked like a beautiful and elegant gourmet dessert one would order in a high end restaurant. I love your artistic presentation and those flavors… the ultimate for a Valentine’s Day treat.. Excellent post today!! Can’t wait to see what else you offer up to tempt us:) xoxo Smidge

    February 6, 2012
    • Thank you for sweet words Smidge!

      February 7, 2012
  8. Val #

    Ye can’t beat a good raspberry sauce! Looks delicious!

    February 7, 2012
  9. How wonderful and very sexy looking. Also, pretty easy to pull together as this is one meal I don´t want to spend hidden away in the kitchen…!

    February 7, 2012
    • No, there’ll be no hiding in the kitchen on Valentines night! :)

      February 7, 2012
  10. My friend and I were just talking about how we love the combination of raspberries and chocolate. Have you been eavesdropping ? Do you have my phone tapped? Mighty coincidental that you should post this amazing recipe right now. Love it!

    Thanks,
    Ronnie

    February 7, 2012
    • Ronnie, I suppose I should have let a little time pass between bugging your phone and sharing here what I heard!

      February 7, 2012
  11. The best desserts are luscious, tempting. You cannot wait to have a taste. This is one of those, Spree. Without a doubt! And I’m a seedless raspberry sauce kinda guy. If the pit is larger than a strawberry’s, it has to go. Then again, I’m not manic about it. A few seeds, for example, are not going to get in the way of my enjoying this dessert. I ain’t crazy!

    February 7, 2012
    • No you ain’t, John! You’re just crazy fun. (And just between us, I’m completely with you on the seeds.)

      February 7, 2012
  12. Reblogged this on batagorihsan.

    February 7, 2012
  13. I really cannot wait for your book, the last image is beautiful and would make a fabulous cover, stunning!

    February 7, 2012
    • Oh you liked it! I guess I’ll have to put it in the running. Thank you Lesley!

      February 8, 2012
  14. chocolate and rasberries are a match made in heaven, the colors, the flavors, the textures. beautiful recipe Spree

    February 7, 2012
    • Thank you Sawsan. I so agree with you on where the match was made! ;)

      February 8, 2012
  15. You betcha I am going to try this–thanks!

    February 7, 2012
  16. oh that looks so lovely! I’m certain that extra spoon is for me ;)

    February 7, 2012
  17. I’m such a big fan of chocolate!
    This looks definitely delicious, can’t wait to have some free time to give it a try!
    And I agree, it’s more about the presentation!!
    Great job!

    February 15, 2012
  18. Your photography is simply amazing!
    I make a similar recipe with blueberries but never thought of doing it with raspberries. What a delicious combination! I will be trying this immediately..

    February 16, 2012
    • aw, thank you LLB! (may I call you Lovely? ;) ) we sure love this sauce around our house – and with chocolate, Ohhh!

      February 16, 2012
      • Of course, I love it! I think this recipe will quickly become a staple here!

        February 16, 2012

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