When I was growing up, my mom always did something special for Valentine's Day, for we kids and for our dad. Be it a special meal, dessert, homemade valentine's cards, the day never passed unrecognized. She spoiled us, and taught me the great value of homemade displays of love.
Probably because of this, I cannot let the day pass unrecognized for my little family. I am not good at buying gifts for my sweeties, that expertise lies with Zao's Daddy. He bought me all my favorite flowers. simper! gush!
He knows just how to get me, too. He brought them home the evening before Valentine's Day, "just-because-it's-Wednesday-flowers" he called them. Simper and gush, all over again! :-)
I upgraded our planned pot roast dinner a level or two. Pot roast and oven-roasted broccoli as planned, with grain-free, coconut flour biscuits a la Red Lobster's cheddar wheat bombs, finished off with chocolate mousse. I feel as though I never make dessert anymore, so this was indeed a treat. Zao's Daddy added the flair of orange-flavored effervescent mineral water in champagne flutes. We are high-rollers.
Zao's Mom's Simple Chocolate Mousse
4 ounces dark chocolate (I used Lindt 85% dark, as it is soy free, and yummy.)
1 tablespoon sugar, or 2 tablespoons honey (optional: add if you desire a sweeter end product.)
3 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1/4 cup chopped roasted salted pecans
zest of 1 orange, minced
1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and add the sugar or honey, if using.
2. Stir well, and add yolks one at a time, mixing after each addition.
3. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold in the whites to the chocolate-egg yolk emulsion.
4. Fold in any add-ins, such as chopped nuts, dried fruit, orange zest, cayenne pepper, or cinnamon.
5. Pour into ramekins, bowls, or demitasse cups. Chill at least 4 hours, garnish with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream, nuts, chocolate shavings, whatever strikes your fancy, and serve.