Love Bites* for Valentine’s Day
* that’s “bites” in the sense of, “little tidbits that can be eaten in one mouthful,” rather than the sense of, “really sucks” (as in, “reality bites”) or even “little nibbles on the flesh of the one you love” (though, to paraphrase our most famous Prime Minister, DDD has no business in the kitchens of the nation–go ahead and nibble your sweetie, if you so please!).
[Two ACD-friendly confections: chocolate fudge on the left, carob-speckled halvah on the right (halvah recipe adapted from the one in Sweet Freedom)]
Well, it’s almost V-Day again. So, got any plans?
Over here in the DDD household, the HH and I long ago abandoned romance. Or perhaps I should rephrase that: the HH abandoned romance. I, on the other hand (nerd alert! nerd alert!) am the kind of gal who would swim in a river of romance if I could find one. I’d eat a triple-decker Banana Split of romance. I’d paint a billboard of romance. I’d crochet a three-piece suit of romance. I’d sleep on a duvet of romance. (“Mum, we’d sleep on a duvet of romance, too, you know. Except you won’t let us on the furniture.”)
I’d–well, you get the idea. Basically, I’m just a big blob of schmaltz (in the figurative sense, that is. I’m only a half blob of schmaltz in the literal sense, what will all that weight loss and everything).
In our house, my approach to Valentine’s Day goes something like this:
February 17, 2009: start thinking about ideas for next year’s V-Day.
July 12, 2009: while enjoying the outdoor jazz festival at the Beaches, surreptitiously write down all the HH’s favorite musicians so I can buy CDs for Valentine’s Day.
November 4, 2009: Stop at craft store to select yarn to knit a romantic scarf for the HH for V-Day. If I start knitting now, I’ll have it for Feb 14th.
January 15, 2010: So many cards for Valentine’s Day–which should I buy? Can’t decide. Buy two.
January 28, 2010: Browse through a plethora of blogs and magazines to find the perfect, romantic meal to cook up for Valentine’s Day. Consult existing list (alphabetized by course) to see which dishes would work best for the Big Feb One-Four.
February 2, 2010: Forget the groundhog! Must choose the perfect ribbon to wrap the HH’s Valentine’s Day gift!
February 9, 2010: Consider how best to deliver the HH’s gifts for the Day of Hearts–only five days away! Should I wrap each one separately, and hide them throughout the house in a kind of scavenger hunt? Should I put them all in the same box, and wrap it as one gift? Such decisions!
February 11, 2010: Pretend I’m baking for a TV spot when I am really secretly cooking up various kinds of chocolate truffles to include in my gift for the HH.
February 14, 2010: Fill a shoebox with mini teddy bear, hand-knit scarf, bag of cinnamon hearts, boxes of homemade truffles, key chain with “I heart You” on it, Miles Davis CD and Card #1 (the sappy one). Spend a couple of hours painstakingly drawing hearts and flowers plus line drawings of Ricki and the HH, in various shades of pink and red, on the outside of the shoebox, then wrapping with blue satin ribbon; stick Card #2 (the funny one) on the outside of the box. Set table with best linens (well, polyester made to look like linen, anyway), china, wine glasses and candlelight. Play something soft and romantic like Satie’s Petite Overture a Danser, and wait for the romance to unfold.
The HH’s approach? Goes something like this:
February 14, 2010: “So, is today one of those holidays where I have to get you a card or you get mad at me?”
Okay, I exaggerate. He usually asks me that question on February thirteenth.
Well, for anyone with similar romantic aspirations to mine, I present you with little bites of chocolate fudge–ACD friendly. These are an adaptation of the super-successful Fudge Two Ways I made a couple of years ago (and feel free to use that recipe if you can consume other sweeteners). The communion of unsweetened chocolate, yacon syrup and stevia creates an irresistible flavor, a bittersweet blend of cacao underscored with subtle hints of molasses.
Whether or not you’re hoping for romance this V-Day, these little bites will definitely bring some alluring chocolate into your life. In fact, you may just fall in love.
I’ve also submitted this recipe to Ellen’s “I Am Gluten Free” list of treats (both sweet and savory) for Valentine’s Day--hop over to take a look.
Love Bites (ACD-Friendly Chocolate Fudge–suitable for Phase I or II)
[Little white dots of cashew and macadamia nut are visible throughout, a result of my home-ground nut butters; the storebought kind won't have these same speckles.]
3/4 cup (130 g) chopped good-quality unsweetened chocolate (I used Cocoa Camino); or use unsweetened carob chips for ACD Phase I
1 Tbsp (15 ml) coconut oil, preferably organic (USE ONLY with carob option)
1/4 cup (60 ml) natural smooth cashew-macadamia butter (I just mixed together half cashew, half macadamia nut butter); or use all-macadamia for ACD Phase I
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
2 Tbsp (30 ml) yacon syrup, vegetable glycerin, or a combination
10-20 drops plain, vanilla, or chocolate stevia liquid, depending on the brand and your desired sweetness level
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1/4 cup (30 g) coarsely chopped walnuts, if desired
Lightly grease a 6 inch (15 cm) loaf pan, or line with plastic wrap.
In a large glass or metal bowl set over a smaller pot of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water), stir the chocolate (or chips and coconut oil, if using carob chips) until melted and completely smooth. Add the nut butter and salt and stir again until combined. Remove from the heat.
Add the yacon syrup, stevia, vanilla and nuts and stir well. Turn the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Chill until set, about an hour; then cover with more plastic wrap and chill until very firm, 2 hours to overnight. Turn out onto a cutting board, peel away the plastic wrap, and cut into small squares. Makes 12-20 love bites. Will keep, wrapped in the refrigerator, up to 2 weeks. May be frozen.
Last Year at this Time: Featured in Clean Eating!
Two Years Ago: My Mother’s Potato-Corn Chowder
© 2010 Diet, Dessert and Dogs