Haute n the Kitchen

Entertaining Inspired by my Travels & Traditions

Danger! Watch for falling arrows

My last post was all truth in terms of how I feel about Valentines Day. In case you missed it, the cliff notes are basically that V-Day  was created as a day to honor St. Valentine of Rome who was martyred for his beliefs about love. The Romans decided to honor him with a day devoted to celebrating love. Hundreds of years later we have lost the plot. Commercialism has turned the day into a high pressure, high stakes game of “who loves who more and can prove it with meaningless gifts and expensive dinners”. You don’t have to agree, it’s just my two cents. Expressing love for someone does not need a date on a calendar as a reminder. We should wake every day whispering thanks for those we love and who love us back. So, in truth, what I really am saying is that I am …

A Hopeless Romantic

Don’t we all daydream about receiving flowers from a mystery admirer OR walking into a restaurant to meet our significant other, on a random rainy Tuesday, and there is only one table set in the entire place and HE is occupying one of the chairs? Now that is romance. I got more of those daydreams and I bet you do too.

How about being sent a telegram (yes, paper – not electronic) that says to pack a bag and be at Terminal 1 of local airport by noon? Sometimes I just daydream about how earth tilting it would be to have a secret love note tucked into my suitcase before a trip or a love note already on arrival at my hotel in some far off place. These are things that make me a hopeless romantic. These things may never happen to me, but I  like my daydreams all the same.

There are a lot of hopeless romantic movies too, btw. Sometimes the boy does get the girl and they live happily ever after. Serendipity, Pride & Prejudice, Amelie, August Rush, Sweet Home Alabama, Juno, The Holiday and the Princess Bride all had happy endings which I celebrated with a box full of tissues and a good cleansing cry. Tear of joy of course.

Forrest Gump had a bittersweet happy ending I would say. Jenny died but it leaves us with hope. If life really were like a box of chocolates, I wish mine would all be filled with gooey caramel and finished with course ground sea salt. That is the hopeless romantic – always wishing, always hoping.

Salted Caramels oh my!

Hopeless Romantic Salted Caramel Chocolate Torte

9 inch cake pan               parchment paper

tsp butter

5 tbsp. liquid glucose

4 oz. dark baking chocolate, broken

3 oz. Amaretti cookies, crushed fine

5 tbsps. rum

1 pint heavy cream

5 salted candy caramels

1/2 cup cocoa powder              1/4 cup  course sea salt

fresh blackberries (or your favorite berry)

Line a 9″ cake pan with parchment paper and brush the base and sides with butter. Sprinkle the finely crushed cookies all over the base of the pan, leaving no gaps. I use a rolling-pin to crush them.

Ina saucepan, heat 1 cup water over high heat. Using a double boiler method put the chocolate, glucose, caramels and rum in a bowl ( heat proof) and set over the water as it comes to a boil. Leave it until the mixture has melted. Stir to blend and remove from heat. Allow to cool 5 minutes.

In a separate bowl, beat the cream until it just begins to thicken on the whisk. Fold half the cream into the bowl of chocolate mixture then fold all of chocolate mixture back into the cream bowl. Stir until nicely blended and pour into the cake pan.

Sprinkle the entire top of the Torte with coarse fresh ground sea salt. Cover with cling and chill at least 8 hrs, 12 if possible.

To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan and give it a few gentle shakes to pull away from the edges. Place your cake platter over the top of the cake pan and invert the Torte onto the plate. It’s a little scary, but works. Go with it!

To serve, dust the top of the Torte with a mixture of the cocoa powder and the freshly ground course sea salt.

Garnish with berries and serve with  a very good aged Port.

This little angel, Ava, had so much of this decadent and delicious salty gooey treat that she fell asleep right in front of her plate. I feel sure she was dreaming of Prince Charming.

Chocolate Inspired Dreams


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