Are you looking to put a home-made touch on your Valentine’s Day dinner? We’ve got some sweet dessert recipes that are fun to make and will surprise and delight your sweetheart.
Creamy Strawberry Panna Cotta
This rich, Italian (eggless) custard is amazingly easy, elegant and irresistible.
Time: 30 Minutes
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 1/4 cups whole-milk plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup (about 6-8 medium) strawberries, hulled and sliced
In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water and let soften for 15 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together one cup of cream with the yogurt, vanilla, and salt. In a medium saucepan over low heat, heat the other cup of cream with the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is just simmering. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin until dissolved. Whisk the heated mixture into the cold cream and yogurt mixture.
Arrange strawberry slices in the bottoms of six 6-ounce ramekins and pour the cream mixture over the strawberries. Or, pour the cream mixture into small jars or glasses and place the strawberry slices on top.
Refrigerate until cold, then cover and continue refrigerating overnight. If using small jars or glasses, serve as is. If using ramekins, heat a small paring knife under hot water. Gently slide the knife along the inside of each ramekin to separate the panna cotta from the edges. Carefully turn each ramekin upside down onto a plate to release the panna cotta, with strawberries on top.
Garnish with mint and more strawberries, if desired.
149 calories, 6 g. fat, 21 mg. cholesterol, 63 mg. sodium, 23 g. carbohydrate, 0 g. fiber, 3 g. protein
Orange Chocolate Truffles
Time: 60 minutes (30 minutes day 1, 30 minutes day 2)
Servings: Approximately 40 Truffles
Elegant and sumptuous, this special occasion indulgence is surprisingly easy to make.
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
Zest of 1 orange, finely chopped
1/4 cup cocoa, sifted, or
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans mixed with finely chopped zest of 1 orange
Place the chocolate pieces in a heat-proof bowl. On the stovetop, heat the heavy cream just to boiling and then pour the cream over the chocolate. Let this sit for one minute and mix in the Grand Marnier and orange zest until it is well blended and smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the mixture overnight.
After chilling the mixture overnight, use a small scoop or spoon to form 1-inch balls and place them on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Place the tray in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to firm up the truffles before rolling each one into a ball. Coat each truffle in cocoa powder or pecan/orange zest mixture, or both! Truffles will keep refrigerated for up to a week.
Serve these elegant treats with a fine coffee, Chai tea or Champagne.
Calories: 166, Fat: 8 g, Cholesterol: 8 mg, Sodium: 21 mg, Carbohydrate: 20 g, Dietary Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 1 g