Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentines Day Countdown--Dessert

February 14 is tomorrow. These past few days I have been sharing with you recipes for preparing a special dinner in your own home. Today I am sharing with you a recipe from Giada DeLaurentis:

Chocolate Zabaglione Tiramisu

  • 6 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus 1/3 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 1/2 cup sweet marsala wine
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2/3 cup (4 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 1 store-bought chocolate cake mix, such as Betty Crocker Super Moist Dark Chocolate, baked according to box instructions
  • One 3.5-ounce bar white chocolate, such as Lindt, for chocolate curls


In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until blended. Whisk in 1/2 cup cream, the marsala and salt. Place the bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water). Whisk constantly until the mixture is thick and a thermometer inserted into the center registers 160 to 170 degrees F, about 15 minutes. Place the bowl on a work surface and add the chocolate chips. Whisk until the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is smooth. (Can be made 1 hour in advance. Let stand at room temperature. Whisk before using.)

Whisk the remaining 1/3 cup cream and the mascarpone in another medium bowl until thick. Dice the cake into small cubes. Place about 1/2 cup of the cake cubes into each of 6 old-fashioned glasses or water goblets. Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of zabaglione on top. Top with a dollop of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat the layers. (Wrap any leftover cake cubes in plastic wrap and freeze.) Top with white chocolate curls and serve.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valentines Day Countdown--Salad

February 14 is just a few days away. Going out for dinner is easy--but it's also expensive, crowded, and stressful. With just a bit of pre-planning, you can make a memorable meal for your loved one.

Here's a suggestion for the first course (salad) that is easy, inexpensive, and tasty:

Mixed Salad with Vanilla-Pear Vinaigrette and Toasted Walnuts

1/4 cup vertically sliced red onion
2 cups mixed salad greens, or fresh spinach
3 tablespoons vanilla-pear vinaigrette (see below)
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted

To prepare salad, combine onion and greens/spinach in a large bowl. Add Vanilla-Pear Vinaigrette, and toss well. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Vanilla-Pear Vinaigrette
1 (15-ounce) can pear halves in juice, undrained
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of ground red pepper

To prepare dressing, drain pears, reserving 1/3 cup pear juice. Combine pears, juice, vinegar, and remaining ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.