I’d never heard of GALentines day before this February 14th, but I thought it was the CUTEST thing when my fave gal at Boone & Sons (the new market close to us) said it to me while I was purchasing ingredients for the evening’s meal.
David is out of town. Tracy’s Wayne is out of town (on the same adventure) and other fabulous girls in my life were available for a nice dinner on this night otherwise specified for romance.
Let me be straightforward: I don’t really get down with Valentine’s day too much. I HATE going out to eat on this day (too many people, shitty service from pissed off servers, etc), and I generally don’t expect/wish for anything too out of the ordinary special. That being said, flowers sent to work always make me feel warm inside and blush on the outside. I don’t hate Valentines day, I just don’t get wrapped up in it. I want David to be around ALL the time, so missing Feb. 14th with him isn’t any worse than missing Feb. 13th (or 12th, or 11th, or…)
I DO get wrapped up in feeding people I love. This past Friday, I was able to make really wonderful salmon (beautiful, and purchased from Boone & Sons-just a little smoked salt, garlic powder, pepper, and butter/lemon juice) a salad (red kale/red leaf lettuce/avocado/cranberries/toasted almonds/goat cheese feta/dijon-lemon dressing), and THIS dessert. (Other menu items brought by other girls)
Super easy recipe, adapted from this one from Ambrosia Baking. I’ve actually made another round already, and it’s so easy I’ve already memorized it.
2 cups cream
1 cup whole milk
5 oz dark chocolate, in chips or coarsely chopped. I used a combo of Olive & Sinclair 75% cocoa bar (made in Nashville!) and Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips
6 egg yolks (use the whites to make an omelette!)
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbs amaretto (the first time I only used 2, and found myself wanting more of the almond flavor)
Preheat your oven to 325˚
Heat the milk and cream in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly, and remove from heat as soon as it simmers.
Pour the milk and cream mixture over the chocolate in a large bowl and mix with a whisk until all the chocolate is melted into the cream. I used glass because it seems to conduct less heat to my hands than a metal bowl.
Cover the chocolate cream with plastic wrap so that the wrap touches the cream (mine got a little frothy). This minimizes that tasty but weird “pudding skin”. A man at Mitchell’s Deli told me this afternoon that it’s the milk separating from the water. I don’t know about all that science-y stuff, but I do know I have always really enjoyed pulling it off the top of a freshly cooked butterscotch batch.
Anyway, enough about pudding skin.
Let the cream cool for about 10 minutes while you whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.
After the chocolate cream has cooled, slowly whisk in the yolk/sugar mixture. Add the amaretto.
Prepare 6 ramekins by fitting them into a large glass baking dish. I found my ramekins in our house from before I moved in (there’s a lot of that). As it turns out, they are Arcopal, a French company that doesn’t make dishes anymore. They are pretty sought after because they are quite resilient, and very lightweight. They worked splendidly for me.
Ladle chocolate mixture evenly into ramekins.
Fill the baking dish with hot water, about halfway up the ramekins.
Cover each ramekin with foil
Bake for an hour. When you pull them out of the oven, they should be jelly-like but a little soft in the middle.
Chill for at least 3 hours, uncovered. Serve with whipped cream (perhaps the rest in the carton) and chocolate shavings. Maybe toasted almonds or a salted almond brittle to go with the amaretto flavor.
I think in the future I may try a different liquer, like creme de menthe.