Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day was great this year because it was full of surprises!  Howie and I tried Chinato, a fantastic East 4th Street restaurant that I hadn't been to before, a new type of wine, French Pinot Noir, which I didn't know existed, a new brand of chocolate from Lilly Handmade Chocolates in Tremont, and a new dessert recipe I invented: Baileys-infused chocolate cake with a chocolate mocha mouse and Heath bar bits.  Any day that involves you and a loved one consuming Italian food, wine, chocolate, and then more chocolate, coffee, and Baileys afterwards is bound to be an excellent day!

Chinato by Zach Bruell was absolutely delicious, and I would definitely recommend it to somebody looking for a unique twist on the Italian classics.  I had a fancy col buco pasta with slow roasted pork shoulder, tomatoes and white wine, and Howie had slow roasted cotechino sausage with peppers.  I can't wait to go back for another special occasion!   After dinner, we were absolutely stuffed, but apparently there is always room for wine and chocolate - lots of chocolate.  I'm not talking just a piece of chocolate, but Malley's Mint Cream Chocolates, which I got for Howie, gourmet Lilly Chocolate truffles, which Howie got for me, and then some of a nutty chocolate bar that was actually paired by Lilly Chocolates with the French Pinot Noir we were drinking.  Food heaven!

Despite our mass consumption of sweets, we still had dessert waiting for us!  I'm naming the dessert "Layers of Love Trifle," because it has all of my favorite food groups rolled into one.  Chocolate.  Coffee.  Baileys.  Mousse.  What more could you really ask for?  And since the Baileys is added after the cake is cooked, you get dessert and an after dinner drink out of the same recipe (aka adults only!).  Since I only needed about 1/8 of the cake for our 2 servings, I made an 8" x 8" version of the trifle for my friends to spread the Valentine's Day love.  Try it!  It's  very simple, very delicious and...mostly very very delicious (did I mention it involves chocolate, coffee, and alcohol?).

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