Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekend recap: Valentines Dinner, Craft & New Raleigh Restaurant

Rachel & Todd came over for a little last minute Valentine's dinner on Saturday night.  We had a delicious and rich dinner -- a cheese plate fit for a king to start (thanks, Rach!), filets w/ Bearnaise and mushroom gravy, sauteed mushrooms, deluxe au gratin potatoes (thanks, Rach!), lemon & Parmesan asparagus & molten lava cakes for dessert.

The great thing about this decadent dessert is you probably have all the ingredients on hand.  I only had to buy the bittersweet chocolate.  It is easy and impressive, make it for your Valentine!

Ingredients (to make 4 individual cakes):
5.5 oz. of butter (1.4 sticks)
5 oz. of bittersweet chocolate (chopped or use chips)
3 eggs
3 egg yolks (in addition to 3 eggs)
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Grease the tins / ramekins and set aside.

In a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate together, stirring occasionally   Then let the mixture cool slightly.

While the chocolate and butter are melting, in a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, egg yolks & powdered sugar.
Then whisk the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture.  I was careful to pour a little at a time and was stirring quickly and constantly so the eggs didn't scramble (because I wasn't patient and didn't allow the chocolate long to cool).  Then add and whisk the flour into the mixture.  Pour carefully into individually greased dishes.
If you bake immediately you only need to do so for about 5-7 minutes.  If you refrigerate (like I did), refrigerate until you are ready to bake (up to a day in advance is ok) and bake a bit longer ~10 minutes.

Here is my little whisk licker - she approved!

You can serve with all kinds of toppings.  We served with vanilla ice cream and a raspberry sauce.  

Raspberry Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 bag frozen raspberries
1/8 c. sugar

Puree together in food processor.  Optional: pass raspberries through a sieve to get rid of most of the seeds ( I did not do this).  Then chill until ready to serve.  You can then decorate plate with puree and could add puree to whipped cream.  Decorate with raspberries.

Here are are finished products!  Full disclosure: as you can see, Rachel's was a bit TOO molten.  I just realized while typing this post that I had the oven at 400, not 450.  No wonder!  I kept mine (right) in the ramekin and served with a bit of raspberry puree and ice cream.

Valentine Craft
We have no Valentine's decorations, because Josh, like many men, thinks it is a made up holiday.  I'm not expecting gifts, but I do like a decoration or two. (AND an orchid & card please, Josh!)

If you've been following, I am fresh out of cash monies for the month of Feb -- in fact, took care of that in January :)  So if I wanted a decoration it would have to be something FREE.

I cut off part of a box from my office move and cut out the shape of heart and started gluing left over tissue paper onto it.  Now this is actually arts & crafts...

Our front door may now look like we have a kindergartener living here :)

In other news - we tried Battistella's on Friday night with Josh's family and it was EXCELLENT.  I highly recommend you try it for dinner one night soon.  They also have an excellent Sunday brunch menu that I'm dying to try.

It's self described as "New Orleans and upscale Southern."  We had a little of both -- apps: coconut shrimp (special), barbecue shrimp (didn't taste really barbecue, better to me -- delicious sauce), gumbo and entrees: herb roasted chicken, rib-eye (special), catfish (special), seafood trio - oysters, shrimp & catfish.  Every single thing we tried was delicious.
Left: Herb chicken, right: ribeye

Stay warm!


1 comment:

  1. Those molten chocolate cakes look amazing! I think we'll be adding them to our Valentine's menu!