With Valentines Day just a few days away on Friday, I have chocolate on my mind. Most people like chocolate. And then there are some people who love, love, love chocolate. You know who you are. They make hints about chocolates to the ones they love around Valentines Day or any holiday for that matter. They can’t get enough of it. Maybe they prefer rich dark chocolate or perhaps they like milky smooth varieties. Just give them chocolate!
I’m partial to melted chocolate. To me, there is something quite magical about ooey, gooey molten chocolate. The two variations that frequent my mind are chocolate fondue and just-baked chocolate chip cookies. I don’t have chocolate fondue very often but it is a really fun venture. Use a sturdy pot to melt together some good quality chocolate and heavy cream. You can add flavors or liquors if you like though I prefer mine unadulterated. Have chunks of pound cake, pretzels, almond biscotti, strawberries, oranges and maybe best of all, marshmallows ready to dunk into the pool (which reminds me that I love smores as long as the chocolate is next to the warm marshmallows long enough to soften sufficiently). Fondue making and savoring is a perfect activity for Valentines Day whether you are on your own or with another.
As for chocolate chip cookies—well—I could go on and on about them (and I have in an Ode to baking chocolate chip cookies). The moment that you take a warm cookie and break off a piece to discover little soft peaks of liquid chocolate is magical! Happy Valentines Day all week long!
A Poem for Will Baking
By Susan Rich
Each night he stands before
the kitchen island, begins again
from scratch: chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg,
he beats, he folds;
keeps faith in what happens
when you combine known quantities,
bake twelve minutes at a certain heat.
The other rabbis, the scholars,
teenagers idling by the beach,
they receive his offerings,
in the early hours, share his grief.
It’s enough now, they say.
Each day more baked goods to friends,
and friends of friends, even
the neighborhood cops. He can’t stop,
holds on to the rhythmic opening
and closing of the oven,
the timer’s expectant ring.
I was just baking, he says if
someone comes by. Again and again,
evenings winter into spring,
he creates the most fragile
of confections: madelines
and pinwheels, pomegranate crisps
and blue florentines;
each crumb to reincarnate
a woman – a savoring
of what the living once could bring.
What’s your favorite chocolate goody? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!