Let's go back in time to two weeks ago...
It's been a Valentine's tradition for the past few years that I make a special dinner AND dessert. Yes, making two recipes in one night is an accomplishment for me and I can't help but pat myself on the back every time I do that. Since Tomas' favorite meals are hearty ones, I always try to find something along those lines (even though it is sumer here and maybe hearty dishes aren't the most seasonally appropriate, but it's what he likes!)
For this Valentine's Day, I decided that I wanted to make Baked Ziti, but with a little extra "something" to it. So, I did what I always do...I hopped on the world wide web and started looking for recipes. I found THE recipe with that extra something, and that extra something would be sausage and pancetta. While I try to steer clear of red meat, I cannot turn down pork...so, Baked Ziti with Sausage & Pancetta it was! And boy was it good. My only frustration was that it did not photograph well at all. Why is it that some of the most delicious dishes look the worst in photos? I apologize that it's not the prettiest, but we shouldn't be judging food just by its appearance now, should we? In this case, we should not. ;-)
Baked Ziti with Sausage & Pancetta
Now, for dessert....
Earlier in the week, I was watching Ingrid Nilsen on YouTube and she had teamed up with Claire from the Kitchy Kitchen to showcase three special dessert recipes for Valentine's Day, and I chose to make the recipe for Chocolate Molten Cake (see the video here and click ahead to 7:40 minutes for the recipe). I'd never attempted to make a molten cake before, because honestly I thought it was something that was out of my skill league. But, as it turns out, it's not hard at all, and takes no time!
The only thing I did differently was substitute the salted caramel for dulce de leche (then I added a little bit of coarse sea salt to create my own salted dulce de leche).
In the future, I plan to make the following adjustments to this recipe:
1.) I will not fill the cakes with SO much dulce de leche. I think I overdid it.
2.) I will use less sugar...I say this only because I think the chocolate that we have here is sweeter than the chocolate in the US. For example, in the US there are various types of chocolate to choose from and here it's not like that so I just bought a regular chocolate bar, which I think was sweet enough without adding additional sugar.
3.) I will cook my molten cakes for 1-2 minutes more because when I went to remove the cakes from their ramekins, they broke and I think if I cooked them just a tad more they would have held their form.
Broken, but oh so delicious!
What is your favorite meal to make for a special occasion?