The Sweetest Day

The Sweetest Day to a lot of people is Valentine’s Day and to others, the “sweetest day” has other personal meanings. There is a lot of history about Valentine’s Day – when, where and why it originated.  There are many different ways of celebrating this day in other countries.

St. Valentine’s Day began as a celebration of one or more early Christian Saints named Valentinus. A popular account of Saint Valentine of Rome, states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians who were persecuted under the Roman Empire.

The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished in the 18th century England. It evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, chocolates and sending greeting cards known as valentines. Remember the cute valentines that your kids used to make in school and proudly presented to you, the romantic valentine from your spouse, along with the flowers and chocolates, maybe a nice piece of jewelry or a lovely dinner out. Maybe you didn’t get all of that but an “I love you” will always win!

If going out for dinner is not your thing to celebrate Valentine’s Day, you can prepare a wonderful dinner at home. Prepare your favorite meal, whatever that may be, and add a spectacular dessert. Sweets for the sweet!

One of my daughters used to be a sous chef at an Italian restaurant in Evanston, Illinois. This place had a spectacular dessert. It was a chocolate Budino. Bodino in Italian means pudding or custard. The word originally referred to a medieval sausage similar to English pudding. Now I’m not suggesting you serve sausage as the ending to a romantic meal, but the Bodino would make an excellent ending! When you see it and eat it you will immediately think of the currently popular dessert on restaurant menus and in cookbooks, called “molten lave cakes”, or something similar. It is the warm chocolate cake that oozes warm chocolate filling when you cut into it. Oh my gosh,  I am serving that with hot fudge sauce, sweet whipped cream or a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Take my word for it you will win anyone’s heart with this dessert. Here’s the recipe for a Budino:

12 ¾ oz bittersweet chocolate

1 ¾ cup butter

1 ¾ sup all purpose flour

3 ½ cup powdered sugar

8 egg yolks

8 whole eggs

Melt chocolate and butter together. Whisk in yolks and whole eggs. Whisk in all dry ingredients until lumps are all gone. Line disposable aluminum baking cups (cupcake size) with plastic wrap (yes it will work in the oven). Scoop batter into cups – 8 oz scoop – cover and refrigerate. Bake at 500 degrees for 2 minutes. Invert cups on serving plates and carefully remove plastic wrap

Trying not to break surface of cake. Garnish as desired. This dessert will make a big hit with your valentine!

Well Stay safe and keep warm and pray for an early spring!

Janet

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