We had a very cold Valentine's Day weekend up here in the Allegheny Mountains. It was the perfect time to stay indoors in front of a warm fire, watch some movies, and consume chocolate. The bags of Dutch Pantry chocolates above were a gift from my boys and husband. These are locally made and are some of the best dark chocolates I've ever had. The hazelnut truffles are one of the recent additions, and the dark chocolate amaretto cordials are my all time favorites. Go to https://dutchpantrygifts.com/ to see the selections and to shop.
The high on Saturday was 12 degrees with a windchill of -7. It got even colder that night with dangerously low windchills. I am so glad that we don't have any goat kids or lambs due right now.
Even our beagle spent the weekend inside with us...after a bath with lavender shampoo, that is.
Saturday afternoon I decided to make the kiddos some Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. Swiss Miss has come out with a dark chocolate variety that we've found to be really good. One of my best friends gave us some homemade salted caramel sauce as a Christmas gift that is fantastic. Along with using it as dip for apple slices, we have also loved it on top of vanilla ice cream. We decided to drizzle it on top of cocoa with whipped cream and see how that tasted.
Oh my gosh, it was delicious! If I can convince my friend to share the recipe, I'll write it in a future blog post. We're brainstorming all kinds of ways to use this caramel sauce. The only problem is that we're getting near the bottom of the jar.
I also pulled out an old recipe for Cocoa Pudding Cake and whipped that up in the afternoon as well. Since it's chocolate, gooey, and warm, it seemed perfect for this cold weekend.
Cocoa Pudding Cake
First, sift together 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Next, add 1/2 cup milk, 2 Tablespoons oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix by hand until smooth.
Pour this batter into an 8 inch square greased cake pan.
Now combine 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and 1 3/4 cup water.
Pour this over the cake batter in the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Warning: it may bubble up in spots and drip into the bottom of your oven. It's a lot like lava cake.
But you'll end up with this. It's like a brownie/chocolate cake with a liquid chocolate inside. This serves 8-9 and is only about 250 calories/slice with 4 grams of fat. So it's really not too bad for you.
It's looking like our President's Day is also going to be cold and quite a bit of snow is likely. I was all ready to start decorating for spring once Valentine's Day was over, especially since Punxutawny Phil did not see his shadow this year. But it looks like our winter isn't over yet and my snowmen decorations will stay out a little bit longer.
Have a great week, Friends!