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Chocolate Valentines….and the meaning of Love!

by on February 16, 2010
 

Love is patient,
Love is kind.

(I love 1 Corinthians 13.)

red-heart Love is never late
….it is always on time.

Like my chocolate from Kate. Who was so kind as to send a group of bloggers choccies to celebrate ♥.


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Which arrived in the post, and it wasn’t even Valentines day then.

As soon as I opened it up, my eyes lit up in pure joy and excitement.

Bar and bar and bar of chocolate…..tumbled out and made me smile

All together, I had 4 packs:

2 packs of Cote d’Or chocolate (semi-sweet, 56% cocoa)

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And 2 special bars from La Maison Saive…House of….?

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For the first few days, I ate some chocolate, bit by bit….thinking it was safe with me. My kids love white and milk chocolate so….

But then, this weekend past as I made my chocolate oat crunch, the girls wore a hole in the ground, trooping to me back and forth, for piece after piece of chocolate.

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When they were done, they said ‘Mama, we love your friend’.

That made me smile – true chocolate valentines, they are!

And if you’re beginning to wonder if I sat back and ate all the chocolate…with nary a recipe to share, I’ll assure you differently – that’s not the case.

You have 2 recipes to look forward to:

1) Chocolate oat crunch with red hot macarons

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and

2) Chilli Chocolate sorbet, served with salted Dulce de leche chunks

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Chocolate oat crunch with red hot macarons

My chocolate oat crunch recipe was inspired by a new Quaker Cruesli cereal, flavoured with coffee, speculaas (Dutch spiced cookies) and chocolate.

As soon as I saw the box, I bought it. Well that’s not exactly true.

As soon as I saw the box, I thought hard about buying it, but I didn’t.

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I went home, slept on it and then the following weekend went to the shop to get some.

I arrived….searched and couldn’t find it.

At which point, I kicked myself and said….not again.

Eventually, I asked a store assistant and it appeared they’d moved the cereal boxes up to the front.

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Heaving a heavy sigh of relief, I picked up two boxes and went home.

And then, I tasted it……and I fell in ♥…..all over again!

And then, my chocolate arrived and I knew that the path of homemade cereal had to be trodden again…..


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Plus I still had some mini failed macs to use up, in place of the speculaas.

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Chocolate and Macaron Oat crunch

Recipe, from Cuisine.com.au, yields 1½ cups.

Ingredients
1 cup rolled oats
¼ cup oat bran
4 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp cream
2 tbsp vegetable (canola) oil
Chopped chocolate
Macarons/chopped cookies

How to

Preheat oven to 180ºC. In a medium bowl, mix the rolled oats, oat bran and sugar.
Make a well in the centre, pour in cream and oil and combine well.

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{At this stage, I used my hands, scrunching up the cereal  into lumps}

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Transfer to a shallow baking tray and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

When my oat crunch was cool, I added the chopped macs and chocolate. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

To serve, place some oat crunch in a bowl/glass and alternate with vanilla yoghurt.

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My verdict: Fantastic. Delicious. Crunchy. The oat crunch was crisp and crunchy. Next time though, I’ll try the oats with a little less bran and some rice krispies. The semi-sweet chocolate went incredibly well with the cereal – rich, dark and very smooth. Quite remarkable, I think. As for the macs, they provided some nutiness and a flash of colour…..rippling through. This is one for the archives. Take note, please.

IMG_4642Oh…also makes a great breakfast cereal….and use a bowl, will ya?

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Chilli Chocolate Sorbet with Dulce de Leche chunks

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You don’t know this yet but I’ve been on a crazy ice-cream making mission lately. 3 flavours in as many weeks! Already, I’ve used my 2 year old ice cream maker as many times recently as since it first was mine.

Of course, I had all these ideas of the 20,000 things I was going to do with the chocolate but a change of plans (children eating lots of it up :-)) and time, led me to these two.

You will have to forgive me…..because I seem to have lost my recipe card.

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Yep – the one I made. From my chocolate recipe cards by Linda Collister.

Sometimes, I keep things so well, that I forget where, how and why.

Does it ever happen to you?

What I remember though is that I did chop the chocolate finely;

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Then I made a syrup of sugar and water, let that simmer till the sugar was dissolved and then popped in a dried chilli, and left the syrup to infuse for a quarter of an hour. I absolutely love the almost geometric pattern formed by the steam….and looking through the cover of the pan, and catching glimpses of chilli red…..

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Then I heated it up again, and then added the chocolate.

I believe I left this to cool….but my brain can only process so much, between Mezze and going to the Cinema to see the Princess and the Frog (which we didn’t eventually see ’cause it was Feb. 14th and the cinema was packed out)…..

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Forgive me.

Anyhow, I churned the mixture in my ice cream maker for 20 minutes, brought it out and stirred in some ‘frozen dulce de leche chunks, rolled in salt flakes. And then left it to freeze.

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I did attempt to take some cool photos of this sorbet…..but I’m not so gifted….yet!

Anyhow, the taste verdict is not affected at all by this lack of photographic prowess.

I ♥ it!!!!!!!! The chocolate flavour is intense but not at all overpowering and the bit of heat from the chilli is a pleasant tickler for the senses. It is nowhere near as hot as you would expect! It marries very well with the rich cocoa flavours. And the caramel chunks are not at all an overkill, though I wish I could have rolled them into smaller bites!

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I really like the taste and will repeat it again in future.

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Thank you Kate dear for the wonderful chocolates.

Let it be on record that my girls love you…..and no, they are not at all opportunists :-)!

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Wishing you lots and lots of ♥, everyday….and not just when Monsieur Valentine is remembered!

Stay well.

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