14 February, 2007

Treats for your Sweet

Unfortunately I do not have a whole lot of time for chit-chat this week (you've probably figured that out already though). Never fear, I’ll be back to my Chatty-Cathy little self by next week. But this week has me getting things pulled together for both mini’s Valentine’s Party’s, getting ready for mini #1’s 5th Birthday party (which is Saturday), and doing a thorough cleaning in every corner and crevice of the house since our family will begin arriving on Friday morning. Top this off with another potential private school visit too. So this week is a little hectic for me, as it is every year.

At any rate, I realize today is Valentine’s day and while some of you like going overboard for this holiday, other’s of you are probably like me, and just prefer something low key. So I thought I’d give you a few really simple but memorable deserts you can whip up for your someone special. And don’t fret that you don’t have the ingredient’s sitting on your pantry shelf. One quick stop into the grocery on your way home from work will provide you with everything you need, but yet not leave you standing on your feet for hours attempting to make banana’s flambé.

Chocolate Mousse Box
5 Hershey‘s® (or a higher end brand such as Ghiradelli if you prefer) chocolate bars (1 cut in half)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Small plastic bag or piping bag
1 recipe chocolate mousse

1. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave and pour into a small piping bag for “mortar.”
2. Use one whole Hershey’s® chocolate bar to form the base of the box.
3. Pipe melted chocolate along one long edge and press a second whole bar upright into the melted chocolate to form the back of the box. Hold in place for about 30 seconds until set.
4. Repeat using one of the half bars to form each end of the box. Pipe the melted chocolate along two sides of the bars to form the corners and set onto the base, making solid contact with the back. Allow time for each piece to set before moving to the next.
5. Finally, pipe the melted chocolate around the two ends and one long side edge of another whole chocolate bar and set it into place to create the front of the box. Let set. Box can be completed the day before serving.
To Serve: Pipe two spirals of your favorite mousse recipe into the box and gently rest the last chocolate bar on top to form the lid. Garnish with fresh flowers or berries.

Chocolate Balloon Bowls
1. Wash and sterilize a regular balloon. Blow up balloon to double the size of your fist and tie off (note: this picture shows smaller bowls than I recommend).
2. Melt any flavor chocolate and let cool to approximately 88 degrees. **Warning, if the chocolate is too hot the balloon will explode and create a mess*** I recommend melting chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute at 50% power. Always stir after each minute.
3. Hold balloon by the knot and dip halfway in chocolate. Roll balloon so it is coated well
4. Place dipped balloon on a wax paper or parchment paper covered tray and put in the fridge.
5. Once chocolate is hard 5 to 10 minutes, remove from fridge. Pop the balloon, which should peel right from chocolate and you have a beautiful bowl.
These bowls are a easy yet terrific way to wow and amaze your friends! Put a decadent mousse or pudding inside or even some homemade ice cream and it really creates a special treat.

Chocolate Custard Bags
1. Cut the top off of an unused, coated 1-lb coffee bag to a height of 2-3".
2. Melt semisweet chocolate chips in microwave (use my above directions and make sure to continuously stir!)
3. Using a pastry brish, apply several coats of the melted chocolate to the inside of the bag, allowing time to harden between coats. When fully set, peel the bag away from the chocolate.
4. Fill each bag with your favorite mousse or custard and garnish with fresh berries.
Happy Valentines Day!!


Melissa said...

Great ideas - I really like the mousse box! Happy Valentine's to all the Monogram family and preppy puppy!

Erin said...

I'm totally drooling all over my keyboard now, and in need of a serious chocolate fix!

Hope you and all the Monograms have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Libby said...

Oh, yum! You're killing me over here, MM! Happy Valentine's Day!

The Promoted Princess said...

I especially like the chocolate bowls. How cool!

Mrs. P said...

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monogram Momma said...

Happy Valentines Day everyone!

Preppy Mom said...

What great ideas! Too bad I read this at 10:30PM on Valentine's Day, LOL! I'll print these out and save them for next year!

Christy said...

Wow! I think I might could actually do that,especially the balloon one. I have some friends coming over next weekend. Maybe I'll give it a try.