Valentine’s Day Chocolate Desserts to Enjoy




February 11, 2020

A Valentine’s Day “Book of Love” cake. Photo: Eurokinissi / Thanasis Kalliaras

The classic Valentine’s Day gift is roses and chocolate. Many couples also go out for a romantic dinner at a favorite restaurant. For those looking to share a romantic dessert together at home, try the following chocolate sweet treats with a Greek twist.

Chocolate mousse may not immediately come to mind as a Greek dessert, but using Greek ingredients transforms this no-bake dessert into a quick, yet elegant way to complete your meal. The word “mousse” is French for foam, and the history of the foamy dessert can be traced back to at least 1768 with the publication of the book L’Art de bien faire les glaces d’office… avec un traité sur les mousses (The art of making ice creams properly… with a treatise on mousses).

Chocolate mousse can be enjoyed as a cake filling or on its own as a dessert with a dollop of whipped cream. Chocoholics should take note that adding dairy to chocolate will decrease the strength of the chocolate flavor. The following recipes use Greek extra virgin olive oil.

Greek Chocolate Mousse

7 ounces good quality dark chocolate

3 eggs

2/3 cup superfine sugar

1 tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons brandy

3/4 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat. Make sure the water does not touch the chocolate or it will seize. Allow the melted chocolate to cool slightly. While the chocolate is cooling, separate the eggs, placing the egg whites in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until the egg whites are frothy. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar and continue beating until a shiny meringue texture forms with stiff but creamy peaks. Be careful not to overbeat. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until pale and thick. Add the coffee dissolved in water and the brandy. Gently fold in the olive oil and the melted chocolate followed by the egg whites until completely combined. Pour the mixture into ramekins for individual servings or into a serving bowl. Refrigerate to set the chocolate mousse for 4 hours or up to overnight. If preferred, serve with chocolate cake, recipe follows.

 

Chocolate Cake

3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon Greek sea salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 cups cold water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center and add the vanilla, olive oil, vinegar, and the cold water. Stir until thoroughly combined. The batter will be liquid. Pour into a lightly oiled 13 by 9 inch baking pan. Tap the pan on the counter three times to release any air bubbles and then bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour depending on the strength of your oven. A cake tester inserted in the center should come out clean. Cool completely on wire rack before serving. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.



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