With Valentines Day right around the corner, here are some easy recipes using your favorite flavors, sure to get the sparks flying....
Dark Chocolate Fondue with Blood Orange Olive Oil & Aged Balsamic
• 1 pound dark chocolate chips or whole bars chopped coarsely
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 cup milk
• 2 Tbs. Blood Orange Olive Oil
• 1 Tbs. Fresh Orange Zest
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Pinch kosher salt
• 2 tablespoons any Dark Balsamic (we love Traditional, Vanilla, Black Cherry!)
• Cookies, Fruit, marshmallows or pound cake, for serving
*Special equipment: 6-quart slow cooker
Heat a 6-quart slow cooker with insert on high until hot. Combine the chocolate, cream, milk, vanilla and salt and olive oil in the hot insert. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes, then whisk the ingredients together and set on low. Whisk in the balsamic just before serving.
Serve with cookies, cut up fruit, marshmallows or pound cake.
Balsamic Ganache Truffles
1/2 Cup Steaming hot heavy cream
1 pinch of sea salt
8 ounces best quality dark chocolate in chip form, or chopped
3 tablespoons dark or white balsamic - (my favorites are Coconut, Cara Cara Orange-Vanilla, Apricot, Blueberry, Maple, and Espresso)
1/2 cup cocoa powder for rolling the truffles or use 6 oz. tempered (melted chocolate) for coating the truffles.
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium size heat proof bowl.
Heat the cream and salt in a heavy bottom sauce pan over low heat until it just begins to steam. Do not allow it to simmer or boil.
Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes without stirring. Stir the mixture gently until all the chocolate is melted. Add the balsamic and stir to combine well. Cool to room temperature and then place the bowl in the refrigerator, covered until the ganache has become cold and can be scooped and formed into balls.
Have a baking with a sheet of parchment ready that will fit into your fridge or freezer.
Take 1 teaspoon of cold balsamic ganache and quickly roll between your hands to form a ball (If you spend too much time trying to get the shape just right, you'll begin to melt the ganache and it will be a mess.)
Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet and then place the sheet in the fridge or freezer to firm up the truffles when you're done rolling all of them.
Now you can roll into cocoa powder or in tempered (melted) chocolate. However, these are best stored in single layers, separated by parchment or wax paper in a sealed container in the refrigerator. They can be taken out and served at room temperature.
Makes approximately 30-40 truffles
Chocolate-Cherry Balsamic Glazed Olive Oil Bundt Cake
for the cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour +1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup UP Certified Extra Virgin Olive Oil +1 tablespoon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
for the glaze:
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chopped or in chip form
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons Black Cherry Balsamic
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Generously grease the inside of a 10-inch bundt pan with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add a tablespoon of granulated sugar. Tilt and rotate the pan to evenly distribute the sugar in the bottom and sides of the greased pan. Tap out any excess sugar.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sift.
With an electric mixer beat the eggs until they are pale and light; slowly pour in the sugar while beating. Next whisk together the sour cream, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, vanilla and mix until incorporated.
Add the flour to the wet ingredients beating after each addition, scraping down the bowl a couple times in the process.
Bake in the center of the oven for 45-50 minutes until a cake tester or wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then carefully invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
In a microwave proof bowl, heat the cream on high for 1 minute.
Add the chocolate to the bowl and allow to sit for 2 minutes without stirring. Whisk well until all the chocolate has melted and there are no lumps. Add the balsamic and whisk well.
Pour the still warm liquid glaze over your cooled cake. Allow the glaze to set up on the cake at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Picual-Chocolate Pot de Creme with Blood Orange Whipped Cream
for the Pot de Creme:
12 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped)
3 cups Half & Half
6 large egg yolks
8 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup "Oro Bailen" Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
for the Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Blood Orange Olive Oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Place the chocolate and olive oil in a blender. Whisk the Half & Half egg yolks, granulated sugar and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium heat. Sir the mixture constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom and edge of the pot with a heatproof spoon or spatula so that the mixture does not burn. Continue to stir until the the custard coats the spoon and almost begins to simmer, about 5 minutes.
Immediately pour the custard over the olive oil and chocolate in the blender. Cover and hold the lid with a thick kitchen towel; blend until combined and smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Divide the chocolate mixture among 6 ramekins or cups and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Whip the cream and blood orange olive oil with the confectioners' sugar with a mixer or in the blender until soft peaks form. Top the chilled pots de creme with whipped cream before serving.
Makes 6 servings