Sometimes on Valentine’s Day, you’ve just gotta go full-on cheeseball. And no one could possibly judge your heart’s desire (pun intended) when these recipes Chef Meg Hall created *exclusively* for REDBOOK are involved. Yum!
Mexican Chocolate Pudding With Fresh Berries
1. Bring 1.5 cups of the milk, the sugar and cocoa in a saucepan over medium high heat. Remove from the heat.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks and vanilla in a bowl. Slowly whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. Return mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat until pudding comes to a full boil. Continue whisking at a simmer until the pudding is thick.
3. Season the pudding with chipotle powder to desired level of spiciness.
4. Pour pudding into mason jars, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or until set.
5. To serve, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form and dollop on top of puddings. Top with fresh berries and chocolate shavings, if desired.
Yields 6 servings
DIY Chocolate Truffles
Many home cooks are put off by chocolate because of the daunting prospect of tempering chocolate. This truffle recipe side steps that process and gives you a DIY love gift that can’t be beat!
21 oz. high-quality bittersweet chocolate chips
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
1. Ganache: Heat cream in small saucepan until bubbles form around the edge. Remove from the heat and pour over chocolate chips that have been set in a completely dry mixing bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
2. Purée the mixture with an immersion blender or whisk until very smooth. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract until smooth and season with kosher salt to taste.
3. Let the mixture set by cooling down in the fridge. The ganache will be ready once it can retain a truffle shape.
4. Shaping the truffles: Using a small scoop or two spoons, scoop small mounds of the ganache onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Roll the mounds into balls between your palms and place back on the baking sheet to be encrusted.
5. Prepare all your toppings in separate bowls. Roll truffles in your toppings and place back in the fridge to set. Bon appétit!
Sprinkles, toasted coconut, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, toasted cashews, toasted pecans, dried goji berries, powdered sugar, Butterfingers, Reese’s Pieces, espresso powder
Ganache flavoring suggestions: (start with a small amount, then add to taste) Raspberry liqueur, chipotle powder, mint extract, coconut extract, orange liqueur
Heart-Shaped brown-butter Rice Krispie Treats With White Chocolate and Cashews
1. Spray 9” x 13” pan with non-stick spray.
2. In a deep sauce pan, melt the butter and cook until the mixture turns a light golden brown.
3. Add the marshmallows, salt, nutmeg and vanilla. Cook until smooth.
4. Fold in cereal gently until thoroughly combined.
5. Press the cereal mixture into the pan with wet fingertips, trying to keep the top somewhat smooth.
6. Let the mixture cool completely then cut out heart shaped treats with a cookie cutter.
7. Drizzle on the white chocolate and top with the cashew pieces. Set hearts in the fridge until the chocolate is set. Insert the lollipop stick in the bottom of the heart.