Looking for last-minute ideas for Valentine's Day? Let's start with dessert. Each of these treats comes together using only a handful of ingredients and no special equipment. I will warn you, two of them take a little time to set up: the lemon posset -- a pudding-like dessert -- needs chilling time, and the other, a frozen chocolate zabaglione, freezes like a creamy gelato.
Frozen chocolate zabaglione: This rich and creamy dessert delivers plenty of rich chocolate flavor accented with a hint of port.
You can find the recipes below.
HAZELNUT SHERRY ZABAGLIONE
Total time: About 15 minutes
4 egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar, more or less as desired
1/4 cup dry sherry, preferably oloroso
1/4 cup hazelnut liqueur
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until combined and frothy. Whisk in the sherry and the hazelnut liqueur.
2. Set the bowl over a large pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Continue to whisk until the mixture increases in volume and thickens to a thick, foamy cream, easily coating the back of a spoon. The final consistency should be similar to that of a very thick hollandaise.
3. Remove from heat and serve immediately. This makes a generous cup of zabaglione.
Each serving: 374 calories; 5 grams protein; 52 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 9 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 420 mg. cholesterol; 49 grams sugar; 21 mg. sodium.
MEYER LEMON POSSET
Total time: 25 minutes, plus at least 4 hours chilling time
Servings: 2 ( 1/2 -cup) portions
Note: It's nothing less than a Meyer lemon miracle -- just three ingredients that set up like a mousse, but with more lively flavor and a lovelier consistency. This recipe is from Regina Schrambling's Feb. 14 story on dinner for two.
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup superfine sugar
Juice of 1 Meyer lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1. Combine the cream and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring just to a simmer over medium-low heat and remove from the heat. Let stand until just cool, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
2. Stir in the lemon juice. Blend well. Divide between 2 goblets or small serving dishes and chill until firm, at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. Garnish with a sprig of mint, if desired, before serving.
Each serving: 546 calories; 3 grams protein; 39 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 44 grams fat; 27 grams saturated fat; 163 mg. cholesterol; 45 mg. sodium.
FROZEN CHOCOLATE ZABAGLIONE
About 25 minutes, plus freezing time
1 pint heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Port
1. In a medium saucepan,
heat the cream over medium heat just until it begins to bubble around the edges, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in the chocolate, and continue whisking until the chocolate is melted and incorporated with the cream to form a ganache (gently heat the cream a little more, if necessary, until the chocolate melts and mixes completely).
2. Remove the ganache
to a large bowl set over a bowl of ice and continue to whisk until the ganache chills and begins to thicken. Keep whisking until the ganache has a light, whipped cream-like consistency. Remove the bowl from the ice bath and set aside.
3. In a large bowl,
whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until combined and frothy. Whisk in the Port.
4. Set the bowl
over a large pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Continue to whisk until the mixture increases in volume and thickens to a thick, foamy cream, easily coating the back of a spoon. The consistency should be similar to a very thick hollandaise.
5. Remove from heat
and gently fold the zabaglione into the whipped ganache. Place the mixture in a baking dish or bowl and cover the surface with a sheet of plastic wrap. Freeze until firm, about 1½ to 2 hours. This makes a generous quart of frozen zabaglione.
479 calories; 5 grams protein; 33 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 36 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 240 mg. cholesterol; 25 grams sugar; 30 mg. sodium.