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This is a collection of the basic cake recipes we (with my husband) have developed very the last few years in various occasions and family party. Some are perfect for the non-cook in your relationship to make for your favorite loved one.

Many of these recipes are also filled with what I consider to be the romantic side of chocolate. Many people consider the combination of fruit and chocolate to be seductive, or at the very least sinful making for a perfect occasional treat. As most of these recipes are designed to be made with a partner in the kitchen, it is no surprise that there is a lot of melted chocolate, dipping, and plenty of cooling time before your tasty chocolate cake is ready. –

This cake has an elegant appearance that belies the fact that it is quick and easy to make with a cake mix. The beautiful contrast between the pale orange frosting and deep chocolate cake makes a beautiful cake for any occasion.

The texture of the frosting, both smooth and crunchy also makes an excellent contrast in taste to the rich fuggy cake. I had better results with orange juice concentrate than with freshly squeezed orange juice.

By only adding part of the water to the juice the taste is more intense. For best results use a pulp free juice. This cake is beautiful by itself or when garnished with chocolate covered leaves, pecans, or orange slices. 1 tablespoon orange extract can be substituted for the orange liqueur if desired. –

Cakes :
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Reserve 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate for the frosting. Place the remaining concentrate in a large bowl. Reconstitute the juice using 1/3 cup less water than directed. Mix well and add the eggs. Beat until well mixed. Add the cake mix, butter and liqueur and mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake the cake according to package directions or until a toothpick comes clean and the top springs back when gently pressed. Place the pans on a wire rack until thoroughly cooled. Remove from the pans.
Frosting :
In a small heavy saucepan mix together the evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat. Add the reserved orange juice concentrate, vanilla extract, and orange liqueur and mix well. Fold in the pecans. Cool until ready to frost.
Assembly :
Place one cake on a serving platter and spread a layer of frosting on the cake. Top with the second cake. Frost the top and sides of the cake thoroughly. Garnish as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Cakes:,6 ounces thawed orange juice concentrate,1 package chocolate fudge cake mix,3 eggs,1/2 cup softened butter,2 tablespoons orange liqueur, Frosting:,1 cup evaporated milk,3/4 cup sugar,3 egg yolks,1/4 cup butter,2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract,1 tablespoon orange liqueur,2 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans These are by far my favorite chocolate chip muffins. They are very simple moist muffins that mix up in just a minute or two.

White Chocolate Baked Bananas and Berries

This is the perfect dessert for all of you non-cooks out there. This is a simple, yet elegant dessert that is perfect for the hesitant cook to make for a special occasion like Valentine’s Day! The combination of flavors is heavenly and this dessert is ready in about 15 minutes. You can use your favorite berries, all berries, or all bananas in this recipe if desired. Use high quality white chocolate for this recipe. Use fresh or thawed frozen berries for this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 small bananas peeled and thinly sliced
  • 12 whole raspberries
  • 2 ounces white chocolate – finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease two custard cups or ramekins. Place half of a sliced banana and three raspberries into each ramekin. Sprinkle one ounce of chocolate over each ramekin. Top with the remaining banana slices and raspberries. In a small bowl whisk together the heavy cream and vanilla. Pour the cream mixture evenly into the ramekins. Bake for ten minutes. Serve hot.

Romantic Chocolate Dip

This really isn’t technically a chocolate mousse, but if you are in a hurry for a chocolate fix, it works very well. For those with compromised immunity, children, or who are elderly, this recipe uses raw eggs and should be avoided. Make sure you are using a fresh egg, or my personal preference, a pasteurized egg substitute, which is safe for everyone and does not effect the taste of the mousse. You can use any chocolate with good results in this recipe, depending upon what kind of chocolate you like. Milk, white, dark, semi-sweet, all work well. Substitute your favorite liqueur, flavoring, or liquor for the Grand Marnier if desired.

3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch salt
6 ounces chocolate, finely chopped

Place the milk in a small heavy saucepan or microwave proof dish. Heat until barely boiling. While heating the milk, place the egg, sugar, liqueur, vanilla, and salt into a blender and mix well. Add the chocolate and blend quickly to mix. Pour in a small amount of the boiling milk and blend. Continue to gradually add the milk and blending until all the milk has been added and the mixture is smooth. Pour into serving dishes and chill for at least an hour

Strawberry Milk Chocolate

This simple recipe is a little bit complicated, but as long as you are very careful and do not get distracted, it is a snap. It is very important to keep the heat low and to not overheat the chocolate. This dip is excellent with fresh fruit, cubes of pound cake, cookies, chunks of angel food cake, snack food, nuts, or anything else you want to dip into chocolate.

Ingredients :

1/2 cup heavy cream
6 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

Heat the heavy cream in a small heavy saucepan over low heat until hot. Add the chocolate and corn syrup. Stir continuously until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate has all melted. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the mixture into a serving dish and cool.

Chocolate chocolate kisses

These little pots of strawberries, rich milk chocolate, and light caramel crusts are sure to delight even the most jaded of hearts. Use a very high quality chocolate for this recipe for best results. This recipe is perfect for Valentine’s Day as it can be made well ahead of time, leaving plenty of free time available on the big day!

Ingredients :

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup half and half
2 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons sugar
6 sliced strawberries, plus additional for garnish if desired

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 300°F. Bring the heavy cream and half-and-half to boil in a medium heavy saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Add the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat. Beat the yolks one at a time in a large bowl. Add the 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and beat until thick and lemon colored. Gradually whisk in the chocolate mixture, making sure to add slowly to prevent curdling.

Divide the strawberries among two 3/4-cup custard cups. Scrape the custard into the cups on top of the strawberries. Place the cups in a baking pan large enough so that the cups do not touch each other or the sides of the pan. Add enough hot water to pan to come halfway up the sides of the cups.

Bake until custards are set, about 50 minutes. Remove the custard cups from the pan and let sit at room temperature for two hours. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle each custard with 1 tablespoon sugar. Broil until sugar turns golden, watching closely to avoid burning, about 3 minutes. Refrigerate until custards are set, 1 to 2 hours.

Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

What could be more romantic than ripe, red, juicy strawberries dunked into rich chocolate? This simple yet elegant dessert makes the perfect simple finale for any dinner, and is very easy to make. You can use any fruit that you like in this recipe with excellent results. For small fruit (berries, baby bananas) dip whole, for larger fruit (apples, large bananas, pears) slice and dip.

Cooking time -15 minutes

Total time – 1 hour

Ingredients

12 strawberries
1/2 cup fine quality semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable shortening
powdered sugar, cocoa, granulated sugar, sprinkles, or other garnishes to roll strawberries in

Instructions:

Clean the strawberries, but leave stems on. Drain and dry with paper towels. Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave or double boiler until the mixture is melted and smooth. Place desired garnishes in shallow bowl. Dip fruit into the chocolate and let access dip off. Roll in garnish and place on wax paper. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Sharmin Begum

The author Sharmin Begum

I have loved spicy food, Mexican in particular, since I was a child as my father was from El Paso where I acquired a taste for it on our many visits. I have cooked Tex-Mex all my adult life, but about 7 years ago I began cooking authentic Mexican food using my own ingredients and making my own tortillas, tamales, etc. On one of my visits to NM I attended the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta and took some excellent cooking classes at the Santa Fe Cooking School and the Old Mexico Grill. I love New Mexican food equally as well as Mexican.

I also grow my own chile peppers, tomatillos, and herbs like cilantro and epazote because they are not available locally.

I got into web publishing because I enjoy “meeting” fellow Chile-heads from all over the world and sharing my passion with them.

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