Posted by: Thermador Culinary Team
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner—what better way to prepare for this heart-filled holiday than sharing the love? Whether you are hosting an intimate dinner for two or sharing your special evening entertaining a group, we have the perfect way for you to make this Valentine’s Day exceptional.
The Perfect Pair
No Valentine’s Day is complete without some vino, and one way to elevate your evening is to serve a fine wine to accompany your spread. That’s why we have the perfect pairing for your berry and chocolate-filled menu! The dark, fruity undertones of a smooth Merlot will not only pair well with your meal, but will also set the mood for a night of sharing the love with your special someone or with friends and family.
Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate
Chocolate is as much a part of Valentine’s Day as wine, but rather than the basic and all-too-familiar ‘heart shaped box’ of assorted sweets, why not try something a little more exceptional…like a decadent chocolate delicacy? Nothing says “share the love” more than Chocolate Souffle Cake with fresh berries. This dessert is ideal for sharing and will leave your guests feeling satisfied and full of love.
To prepare the Soufflés, here’s what you’ll need:
– 2 tbsp. sugar for the ramekins
– 8 oz. bittersweet 70% dark chocolate, finely chopped
– 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
– 1/3 cup milk
– 3 large eggs, yolks separated, at room temperature
– 1 large egg white, at room temperature
– 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 8 6-oz. ramekins
And let’s not forget the topping, just three easy ingredients:
– 1 cup heavy cream
– ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
– 1 tbsp. powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
So here’s how you whip this up:
If you are baking the soufflés right away, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375°F. Butter the ramekins and sprinkle with sugar. Place the chocolate, butter and milk in a large heatproof bowl, then place the bowl in a large skillet of barely simmering water. Stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted and the consistency is smooth. Remove the bowl from the water bath and whisk in the egg yolks. (Don’t worry if the mixture stiffens slightly or is less than perfectly smooth at this point.) Set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Gradually sprinkle all of the sugar and beat at high speed until the whites are stiff but not dry. Fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites.
Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins, filling each three-quarters full. (The soufflés can be prepared to this point, covered, and refrigerated for up to two days. Bake directly from the refrigerator.) Place the soufflés on a cookie sheet. Bake until they rise and crack on top, so that a wooden skewer inserted into the center emerges moist and gooey. Bake about 14 to 16 minutes, or a minute or so longer if the soufflés have been refrigerated.
Meanwhile, make the topping: beat the cream with vanilla and sugar until it holds a soft shape (or stiffer, if preferred). Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve. When done, remove the soufflés from the oven and serve immediately, with a little powdered sugar sifted over the top if desired. Add whipped topping.
Chocolate décor, need we say more?
There’s no such thing as enough chocolate—that’s why we think chocolate covered strawberries make the perfect centerpiece. Not only do they look fabulous, but they also make a great shareable to enjoy at your party. Who says décor can’t taste good?
To make this tasty centerpiece, all you need is an 8″ Styrofoam craft cone, approximately 42 strawberries, chocolate, wooden skewers and wax paper.
Once you have your supplies, separate strawberries into sizes and group into layers for the tree. Melt dipping chocolate using the ExtraLow® feature on your Thermador cooktop and allow the chocolate to perfectly melt.
Dip the strawberries in the chocolate and place on the wax paper to set. When dry, place skewers (you may have to break them in half) into the craft cone for the bottom layer. Slide on the bottom layer of strawberries. Continue the layers to the top of the cone and top with a strawberry!
And that’s how you share the love! We hope you have a happy Valentine’s Day! J