GUEST POST: Mom’s Valentine’s Day Rescue
February 19, 2011 § 2 Comments
With most of my cooking adventures, the end result rarely resembles the initial goal, and I mean that not in a good way. But this time was different. It all started when my friend showed me a Valentine’s Day recipe in USAWeekend. It appeared to be a simple, fool-proof recipe using ready-made short cake cups (the kind you can buy in the produce aisle, next to the strawberries), raspberry preserves, chocolate and whipping cream. Sounded like a winner. But I didn’t plan on Safeway running out of the little ready-made cups the night before Valentine’s Day. Now what? “Plan B” — making my own shortbread or biscuits — was Regina’s suggestion from the get-go. For Regina, making things “from scratch” is the preferred method as well as the “easy” method. For me, it ranks right up there with cleaning the mini-blinds or flossing my teeth. After all, I was trying to keep this dessert simple and quick. Plan B prevailed, with Regina convincing me that it would take no time all, and reminding that, after all, “Dad loved the way his mother made biscuits from scratch.” Arghhhhh…
Once the decision was made to make biscuits from scratch, I decided the companion ingredients should be worthy. I selected high quality strawberry preserves and used one of my favorite chocolate sauce recipes. The end result was a winner! Thanks for talking me into it, Reg!
P.S. Full disclosure to Regina: When I told Dad that I would be blogging this recipe, he suggested a “minor” tweak. He would have preferred the chocolate drizzled on the biscuit, rather than smothered. (I know, crazy!)
Mom’s Valentine’s Day Rescue Ingredients:
Biscuits from Scratch (recipe below)
Chocolate Sauce (recipe below)
1 small jar of high quality preserves (I used Bonnie Mamam’s Strawberry Preserves)
fresh fruit for garnish
Mom’s Valentine’s Day Rescue Method:
1. Slice one heart-shaped biscuit in half. Spread strawberry preserves on one side. Place “top” on bottom layer.
2. To the side, garnish with fresh whipping cream and fruit.
3. Just before serving, drizzle (or pour!) warm chocolate sauce over the biscuit. Serve immediately.
Biscuits From Scratch
(Adapted from Simply Recipes, originally adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, July 2003)
3 cups white flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 +1/2 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons cold butter, unsalted, cut into small pieces
1 cup regular cream
1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
1 +1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Toss with a fork to combine. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or a fork until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. (Or pulse several times in a food processor.)
2. Combine the cream, milk and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the cream mixture into the well. Mix with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened and just combined; it should look shaggy and still feel a little dry. Gently knead by hand five or six times to create a loose ball.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat into an 8 inch square, 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat, cover with plastic and chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Cut the dough with a heart-shaped cookie cutter and place them about 2 inches apart from each other on a baking sheet. Reshape the leftover pieces to make additional biscuits. Bake until the biscuits are medium golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Makes approximately 9 biscuits.
Memere’s Chocolate Fudge Sauce
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 +1/2 cups sugar
1 can (13.5 oz) evaporated milk
8 tablespoons butter, chilled, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon vanilla
1. Start with a heavy-bottomed saucepan, at least 2 quarts because sauce doubles in size. Place sugar in pan with cocoa powder. Stir with wooden spoon until well-incorporated. Add evaporated milk. Continue to stir until mixed. Then, turn heat to medium.
2. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to boil (about 5 minutes). Let it boil for another five minutes, stirring constantly. Make sure chocolate doesn’t burn. Pull sauce off heat and add butter. Stir sauce until butter is completely melted. Add vanilla and serve over ice cream. Store sauce in refrigerator and reheat in microwave or water bath.