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Valentine Desserts

Feb. 10, 2011

By Ginger Isham

Since this is chocolate lovers month, desserts seem appropriate. One uses a mix for those pressed for time and the other one is made with red wine.

Brownie Cheesecake

1 package of brownie mix (fits a 13-by-9-inch pan)

4 packages of cream cheese (store brand is cheapest)

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup sour cream (use light)

3 eggs

2 squares semi-sweet chocolate

Line a pan with foil so ends extend over sides of pan, spray with cooking spray. Prepare brownie mix according to directions. Pour batter into pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes (until top is shiny and looks almost set in middle).

Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add sour cream and mix in. Beat eggs on low 1 at a time just until blended. Pour this over the brownie mix. Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Run a knife around the rim of pan to loosen cake and cool. Put in refrigerator overnight or for at least 4 hours, take out and set until it reaches room temperature, and lift out of pan with foil handles. Drizzle chocolate over top, cut and serve.

French Chocolate Cake

6 ounces of walnuts

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup red wine

1 tablespoon dry breadcrumbs

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate

6 eggs

3/4 cup seedless red or black raspberry jam

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

1 cup whipping cream

In a food processor, grind walnuts with 1 tablespoon sugar until fine. Place in saucepan. Add remaining sugar, breadcrumbs, wine and chocolate and stir. Cook over medium heat until chocolate melts and mix becomes thick like pudding. Cool. Separate eggs and beat yolks for 5 to 7 minutes. Add cooled pudding and mix gently. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold gently into pudding mix. Pour this into 2, 9-inch cake pans that are greased, floured, lined with wax paper circles and sprayed with cooking oil. Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Turn out onto cooling rack. Heat jam in small pan or in microwave and whisk until smooth. Spread thin layer of jam on top of first layer (put on a plate) and top with second layer. With small strainer sprinkle top with confectioners’ sugar. Cut and serve with sweetened whipped cream. Add a candy chocolate kiss on the side.

My Valentine Greetings: roses are red, violets are blue, there isn’t a nicer friend than you; roses are red, grass is green, my face is funny but yours is a scream; roses are red, clouds are white, and someone is missing you tonight. Have your family make up their own rhymes.

Ginger Isham lives with her husband on a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Rd.