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Posts Tagged ‘Valentine’s Day dessert’

Raspberry Port Trifle The choices are endless when it comes to choosing a dessert for Valentine’s Day. But choosing the perfect dessert depends on exactly who your special Valentine is. Like my Valentine, a trifle is never boring, very versatile, and always indulgent. Come February 14th, my Valentine will be served a trifle that is composed of layers of fresh raspberries, vanilla cake, good tawny port, raspberry jam, and homemade crème anglaise. Make one large trifle or several individual ones. Make a haphazardly messy trifle like mine or a structurally engineered one, but any dessert as rich as a trifle deserves to be topped off with fresh whipped cream! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Raspberry Port Trifle
The Grand Central Baking Book

INGREDIENTS
Crème Anglaise
2 cups (16 fluid ounces) whole milk
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Layers
2 pounds leftover plain cake
3/4 cup port
1 cup raspberry jam
2 pints (4 cups) fresh raspberries

Whipped Cream
2 cups (16 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated or confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Garnish
Fresh raspberries, for garnish (optional)
Lightly toasted almonds or fresh fruit, for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS
Make the crème anglaise:
1. Heat the milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until a skin forms on its surface, just before it comes to a simmer.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar, vanilla, and salt until well blended and slightly thickened.

3. While whisking continuously, slowly pour about 1 cup pf the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture. Then, still whisking continuously, slowly pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot milk.

4. Cook the custard over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula until it thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon; this will take about 10 minutes. (If you run your finger down the spoon, the custard shouldn’t run into the track.)

5. Immediately remove the custard from the heat and pour it through a fine-mesh sieve into a 2-qt bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, placing it directly on the surface so the custard doesn’t form a skin. Let the custard cool to room temperature.

Assemble the trifle:
1. Slice the cake into 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick pieces. Arrange one-third of the slices on the bottom of the trifle bowl, pressing the cake to fill the bottom.

2. Pour 1/4 cup of the port evenly over the cake, then spread 1/3 cup of the jam over the cake.

3. Cover with a layer of raspberries, using about 1-1/3 cups, then pour 3/4 cup of custard over the berries.

4. Repeat the entire process two more times.

5. Cover the surface of the trifle with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to two days.

Make the whipped cream, garnish, and serve:
1. Well in advance of serving, put the whipping cream in a bowl in the refrigerator, along with a whisk.

2. When you’re ready to serve, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until it holds soft peaks, 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Pile the whipped cream atop the trifle and garnish with the fresh fruit and toasted nuts.

Serves 10 to 12 generously

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. For the cake, I bought a box of Trader Joe’s Vanilla Cake & Baking Mix and baked it the day before assembling the trifle.

2. Also, to make it easier, I purchased Trader Joe’s Sliced Honey Roasted Almonds. These are ready to use, no toasting involved. Plus, they will be great in my Homemade Granola Bars.

3. As seen in the photo, you can make one large trifle or several individual ones. I used brandy snifters for the small trifles.

4. Keep in mind that trifles need to sit for awhile. This trifle can be made up to 2 days ahead.

Enjoy!

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Silken Tofu Chocolate Mousse Want to serve your sweetheart a killer dessert for Valentine’s Day that won’t kill him? Instead, present him with this cool and creamy mousse that’s rich in flavor, but not heavy in saturated fats, cholesterol, and calories. Don’t mention to him that the base of this luscious chocolate-orange treat is silken tofu—he’ll never guess. Before some of you utter, “Eww . . . tofu,” make this dessert for yourself and then recognize that silken tofu, with its smooth texture and neutral taste, makes the perfect base for a healthy mousse. Plus, after you check the nutritional data below and see that this dessert has no cholesterol, only 40 calories from fat, and a mere 1.5 G of saturated fat, it might just become your favorite dessert.

Silken Tofu Chocolate Mousse
The Whole Foods Market Cookbook by Steve Petusevsky

INGREDIENTS
12 ounces silken-style tofu, drained well
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup maple syrup (barley malt or rice syrup may be substituted)
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules (decaf or regular)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 ounce almond liqueur (optional)

DIRECTIONS
1. Process the tofu, cocoa powder, maple syrup, orange zest, coffee granules, vanilla, salt, and optional liqueur in the bowl of a food processor or in a blender for 1½ minutes, until smooth.

2. Pour the mousse into wine or champagne glasses or dessert-type serving dishes, and chill overnight.

3. Serve the mousse with fresh orange sections, toasted almonds, or shaved chocolate garnish over the top.

Serves 4

Per Serving:
Calories 240
Calories from fat 40
Calories from saturated fat 15
Protein 13 G
Carbohydrate 35 G
Total Fat 4.5 G
Saturated Fat 1.5 G
Cholesterol 0 MG
Sodium 70 MG

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. In general, but depending on brands, tofu is a good source of calcium. Look for brands in which the tofu has been set with calcium sulfate.

2. Because a rich chocolate flavor is critical to this dessert, use a good quality cocoa powder. I used Sharffen Berger Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder.

3. Amaretto is the almond liqueur I used. Rather than add the full amount of liqueur at first, I would add it to taste.

4. Adapt this recipe using other flavors. Raspberry, mint, or coffee liqueur would be interesting variations to the recipe.

5. I filled 3 champagne glasses to the brim with one recipe’s worth of mousse. If I had not filled them to the top, I probably could have gotten 4 servings out of the recipe.

ENJOY!!

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