Advertisements
Tag Archives: romantic

Decadent Flourless Chocolate Cake & Very Berry Sauce

13 Feb

I live and die by chocolate. I can never get enough. Whether it’s a miniature chocolate peanut butter cup or French silk pie, I’m not going to turn it away.

Have you eaten flourless chocolate cake? The best place I’ve had it is at Mia Francesca. Oh my, it is sinfully good and my husband knows he’s lucky if he can sneak in a bite or two.

We haven’t been to Mia Francesca since the night we got engaged, so it’s been awhile. But my longing for flourless chocolate cake never fades. I thought trying to make my own would be a special touch to our Valentine’s Day Dinner. I found the recipe on Epicurious and all of the ingredients are things I had on hand. I paired the cake with a basic mixed berry sauce. I love the combination of chocolate and fruit.

Holy chocolate! This was such a decadent dessert. The cake is very rich and fudgy. The berry sauce had large chunks of fruit and really stood up to the richness of the cake. Perfect pairing!

FYI – I made a lot of berry sauce. Since I’m not one to throw things away, here are some suggestions on what to do with the leftovers:

  1. Use it as syrup for pancakes, waffle & French toast.
  2. Would go great over ice-cream!
  3. Mix it into your Greek yogurt.
  4. Make your own berry cream cheese.

The berry sauce will freeze just fine. I’m going to freeze the sauce in ice trays, that way I can use little portions whenever I need it.

If you love chocolate as much as I do, you won’t be disappointed in this dessert!

Flourless Chocolate Cake  – Recipe from Epicurious.com

  • 4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper. (I used heart shaped baking tins)
  2. Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate. (The heart shaped tins took 20 minutes to bake)

Cake keeps, after being cooled completely, in an airtight container, for 1 week.

Very Berry Sauce

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 16 oz frozen berry mix, (I used cherry, blackberry & blueberry mix from Trader Joes)
  • 1 tbs cornstarch
  • 1 tbs water

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine water and sugar. Bring to a slow boil and boil for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add berries to syrup, reduce heat and simmer another 5 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch or arrowroot powder with the water. Slowly stir into the syrup, bring back to a boil and cook until thickened.
  3. Serve with flourless chocolate cake!

This amount of cornstarch will create a semi-thick but still runny sauce, about the consistency of syrup. If you want it thicker, add more cornstarch & water.

Advertisements

Caramelized Apples & Onions Chicken Roll Ups

12 Feb

I’m in South Bend this weekend celebrating Valentine’s Day with the Hubby.

Don’t you like my “vase”?

There wasn’t much going on in South Bend this weekend, so we relaxed and ate all weekend. It started off at one of SB’s finest establishments, Red Lobster, for dinner. I ate so many of those delicious cheesy buttery biscuits. I couldn’t stop until my dinner was placed in front of me only to realize I was stuffed… but that’s ok. Those biscuits are total genius. I need to make those and have them for dinner at home. They would pair nicely with some wine.

On Saturday, it was really cold and a small snow storm passed through. I knew we would be staying in for the evening so it was the perfect opportunity for me to make us a home cooked meal.

I spoiled Jim with a special chicken dinner. I caramelized apples & onions, combined it with prosciutto & gorgonzola cheese, placed the “stuffing” on a butterflied chicken breast and rolled it up. Once cooked, it was topped with a creamy honey Dijon sauce. It was dynamite!

Caramelizing the apples and onions bring out their sweetness. It went well with the salty prosciutto & gorgonzola cheese. However, I think the sauce brought all of the flavors together. I have a lot of sauce left over… but I think it would be divine on pork or veggies.

This is the chicken roll up before I added the sauce.

Now with the sauce.

YUM – YUM – YUM

Make this chicken for someone special in your life. They will love you for it. 🙂

Caramelized Apples & Onions Chicken Roll Ups

  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, cored, quartered & sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • Prosciutto, 4 thin slices
  • 1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 4 chicken breasts, butterflied
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add the onions, oregano, salt and pepper and cook until the onions are softened, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the apple; lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, until tender, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes.
  4. Lay out the butterflied chicken breasts. Put one slice of prosciutto, apples & onion mixture and cheese on top of a chicken breast. Roll the chicken and secure with a toothpick. Repeat this step with the other chicken breasts.
  5. Bake the chicken in the oven for 40-45 minutes. Serve on top of rice (I used 90 second Uncle Ben’s Rice!) and Creamy Honey Dijon Sauce.

Creamy Honey Dijon Sauce

  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 pint (2 cups) heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs honey
  • Thickening agent – combine 1 tbs cornstarch with 1 tbs water.
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Parsley, chopped for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt butter; add onions & garlic. Once the onions are tender, deglaze pan with white wine. Cook until liquid is reduced by half.
  2. Add cream, Dijon mustard and honey. Taste and add salt & pepper if needed. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and add the thickening agent slowly while stirring. Simmer for 1o minutes.
  3. Serve on top of roll up chicken. Garnish with parsely.