These delicious chocolate sweets are a treat for your palate and your good spirits.
Chocolate is obtained from the tropical tree Theobroma Cacao and contains several substances that are associated with ecstasy and happiness, a similar feeling as when you fall in love. So let’s eat a lot of chocolate !!! This magic ingredient is a good choice to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the festival of love. Valentine’s Day has ancient origins: it dates back to the Roman Lupercalia (13-15 February) rituals dedicated to fertility. Then, in 494 AC Pope Galasio dedicated this day to the saint and martyr Valentine of Terni, who, according to a legend, was beheaded on February 14, 270 AD, for breaking the Roman laws by celebrating “illegal” religious marriages. Today Valentine’s Day is the special time during which lovers exchange red flowers and chocolate treats.
These sweets are easy to prepare and you only need a few basic ingredients: butter, chocolate, eggs, sugar and flour. Chocolate topping enriches the chocolate taste, making these sweets irresistibile; they have only one defect: one leads to another. Happy Valentine’s Day all my beloved readers!
BOCCONCINI AL CIOCCOLATO (CHOCOLATE TREATS)
200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
200 g (7 oz) unsalted butter
190 g (1 scant cup) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100 g (4 oz) toasted hazelnuts
120 g (4.5 oz) pastry flour
150 g (5 oz) dark chocolate
210 g (1 cup) sugar
125 ml (1/2 cup) water
1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350°F). Grease and flour a rectangular pan (23×18 cm, 9X7 inch)
2. Toast the hazelnuts in a non-stick pan on medium-low heat for about 6-7 minutes. Allow to cool
3. In a double boiler melt the butter and chocolate
4. In a large bowl beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract with a whisk
2. Pour the chocolate and butter in the bowl with the egg mixture. Add the hazelnuts and stir well
3. Add the flour and mix well
4. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for ca. 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean and dry
5. Allow to cool on a rack
6. For the topping. In a saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the water for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature
7. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, stirring continuosly. When it is completely melted, slowly add the sugar syrup, stirring constantly. Once you have obtained a homogeneous mixture, turn off the heat and allow to cool.
8. Heat the chocolate again in a double boiler and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy
9. Pour the topping on the chocolate cake, let cool. Cut into squares, rectangles, diamonds (whichever you prefer) and decorate with red sugar balls and chocolate shavings. – Paola