I must admit I’m undecided about Valentine’s Day. I assure you I have nothing against celebrating love; it’s just a holiday fraught with pressure, a test to prove how in love you are, or how romantic you can be, not to mention the aspect of forced sentimentality on one arbitrary day of the year.
Now, on the other hand, the idea of honoring and being grateful for the love in our lives appeals to me very much, I’m just not into all the hoopla. For me a quiet dinner is just fine, or better yet, a cozy evening at home with my favorite way to celebrate – chocolate.
Clearly I’m either a closet romantic, or I just can’t pass up an opportunity to eat chocolate. I suspect it’s the latter, although I contend that chocolate is assuredly romantic as there’s always copious amounts of it to look forward to on Valentine’s Day. Frankly, I’ll take any excuse I can get.
I know you have most likely already picked out your Valentine’s Day dessert days ago, but if you’re still wondering what to whip up that would be quick, luscious and involves chocolate, I have a dessert for you.
A Valentine’s Day dessert should definitely not be a lot of work, since slaving away for hours in the kitchen is most certainly not romance inducing, so here’s what I propose to you: a Chocolate Blackberry Mille-Feuille, dark, silky, rich and deceptively easy to make.
Traditionally, a mille-feuille is made up of three layers of puff pastry, alternating with two layers of pastry cream, but I’ve taken some liberties and traded in the puff pastry for thin disks of chocolate and the pastry cream for a creamy blackberry ganache.
This all-chocolate mille-feuille blends the velvety softness of the center of a chocolate truffle with the intensity of dark chocolate, both melting and melding beautifully in the mouth.
The slightly bitter edge of the dark chocolate is tamed by the sweetness and tang of blackberries in three different forms: liqueur, jam and fresh. Please be sure to choose a chocolate whose flavor you love, because it’s the star here. Enjoy on Valentine’s Day with the one you love or any day of the year you’re feeling romantic.
This all-chocolate mille-feuille blends the velvety softness of the center of a chocolate truffle with the intensity of dark chocolate and tart blackberries.
45 minPrep Time
2 hrTotal Time
- 200g/ about 7oz good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped (divided)
- 100g/ 7 Tablespoons coconut milk
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of blackberry liqueur
- 1 Tablespoon of seedless blackberry jam, naturally sweetened
- 2 oz fresh blackberries
- Cocoa power to finish
- Gently melt half of the chopped chocolate over a bain-marie or in the microwave at half-power.
- Place the rest of chopped chocolate in a small bowl and set aside for now.
- Stir until smooth and pour out evenly onto parchment paper. Smooth into a thin even layer with the aid of an off-set spatula. Place in refrigerator to firm for at least an hour. Meanwhile make the ganache.
- To make the ganache: Heat the coconut milk and salt until just simmering, and pour over the reserved chocolate. Let rest for 2 minutes to melt, and then stir gently until smooth. Add the blackberry liqueur and seedless blackberry jam and stir again until well incorporated. Place in the refrigerator to firm for at least an hour.
- Just before assembly, take out the parchment paper with the now firmed chocolate and cut out 6 circles with a round biscuit cutter.
- Remove the firmed blackberry ganache from the refrigerator and whip briefly with a small spatula to aerate.
- Fill a small piping or plastic bag with the ganache and snip the tip to create a piping bag.
- Pipe ganache onto two chocolate circles and top with fresh blackberries. Repeat with the next two circles and stack on top.
- Top the mille-feuilles with the last piece of chocolate and dust gently with cocoa powder to finish.
- Serve immediately or reserve in refrigerator.
To make your own naturally sweetened seedless blackberry jam use the blackberry sauce from this recipe (http://gourmandeinthekitchen.com/2011/blackberry-honey-butter-recipe) and strain to remove seeds.