14 February 2010

Valentines

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  Every year, I have grand ideas of cards and things I want to send out to my friends, but somehow I run out of time.  Every year.  Imagine that!  However, this year, I did get to make some Valentine-y decorations because my mom was here to help me.  She's in town for a few days and since she's the craftiest person I know, I recruited her to help me transform construction paper and staples into something pretty for my door.
Chocolate, tea, and company constitute a good Valentine-making session.

I live in an old building (built in 1908) that used to be full of offices.  Most of the apartments still have the original tile and wood floors and the old windows with wavy glass.  It's fun to think about who may have used my apartment before me.  I picture men from the 1940's sitting behind their desks in full suits smoking cigars.  The secretary sits over by the front door and waits for the mail to be delivered.  Lucky for me, those cute little mail slots are still there!  I have my own, which the property manager still uses to distribute notices and parking tags.  It's a perfect display area for some red hearts, I think....
The inside of my front door...

and the outside!

And what would Valentine's be without a little (more) chocolate?  Back at Christmas, my parents had given me a calendar that features a new recipe from Gourmet almost every day.  February 14's recipe was for little chocolate-raspberry molten cakes, and hey! I had all the ingredients!  I still had to mess with it, as usual, like swapping out the raspberry preserves for orange marmalade, and decreasing the butter because I had chocolate that had already been mixed with butter (long story).  I also used more chocolate than what it called for, and I made 12 cakes in my muffin pan.  Please excuse the half-gone-ness of the dessert in this picture... they were really good.

Mini Chocolate Molten Cakes
from Gourmet magazine
Serves 6

8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 3/4 c. unsalted butter, diced
2 Tb. seedless raspberry preserves
4 eggs
1/4 c. sugar
1 Tb. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325.  Butter 6 ramekins (or a muffin pan).  If using ramekins, remember to place them on a baking sheet before putting them in the oven. 
2. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl.
3. Stir together the chocolate, butter, and preserves in a medium heavy saucepan over low heat until all the chocolate is melted.  Take of the heat and stir occasionally until it cools off a little.
4.  Slowly whisk the chocolate into the eggs.  Pour batter into cups and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your baking containers.  Let cool 15 minutes before removing from pan.  Serve with whipped cream.

4 comments:

GoodTimes said...

Mmmm! Now I really wish I was there ;)

Marlene said...

Valentines through your door,chocolate dessert and Mom, what could be better?!!

Lisa Haveman said...

I am so going to try this recipe!

Me! said...

And who better than your particular Mom for making pretty things?! None. Absolutely none! You must have had the best time! The snow escapade scares me a little about you two, though. I've gotta get together with her. Seems like it might be time for a coffee date.
~ Debbi