In recent years restaurants have been booked weeks in advance for the evening of Valentine's Day. Forget their crowded dining rooms and have your own celebration at home.
Relax and plan a meal that puts the least strain on you. Save the plucking of Cupid's bow for dessert. Chocolate, what else?
But not any old chocolate. There is a whole gorgeous bookful of dark inspirations in "Death by Chocolate" by Marcel Desaulniers (Rizzoli). The following recipe makes the perfect, wicked finale to dinner.
Rose's chocolate pots de creme
Yields 8 servings.
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 egg yolks
1 tablespoon Kahlua
Heat heavy cream and milk in 2 1/2 -quart saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil. While cream is heating, heat 1 inch of water in bottom of double boiler over medium high heat. Place chocolate in top half and stir with spatula until melted.
Whisk egg yolks into melted chocolate. Slowly pour boiling cream and milk into chocolate, whisking constantly. Bring to temperature of 160 F, about 3 1/2 to 4 minutes.
Remove mixture from heat and transfer to stainless-steel bowl. Add Kahlua. Cool in ice-water bath stirring constantly with whisk to temperature of 90 F, 4 to 5 minutes.
Evenly divide mixture into 8 small pot de creme forms or custard cups. Cover each with film wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours to set before serving. Serve within 2 days.
To make ice-water bath, partially fill stainless-steel bowl with ice and water. There should be enough ice and water in bowl so that outside surface of container to be cooled will be surrounded by ice and water.