Hello friends! It’s that time of year again.Yep, chocolate will be half-price starting tomorrow…Yippee! I hope you’re all enjoying the day & weekend with your loved ones. And eating lots of chocolate, perhaps even a chocolate cream pie? Like this one…
I’ve never been a huge Valentines Day fan, regardless of whether I’ve been single or in a relationship. I always found it overly commercial, but I’ll admit I do like the story/history of St Valentine.
When I used to work in restaurants, I was shocked at how many couples spent their Valentine’s Day dinners fighting or bickering. I’d estimate at least half my tables were having some unpleasant discussions during their meals. My guess is that it was either the pressure of trying to impress the other, or one’s expectations of the day were a little too high or optimistic. Or perhaps they were expecting more of a 4-course extravagant meal? I’ll bet there are many studies done on this.
Cowboy and I don’t really do much for Valentine’s Day as we both don’t really think it’s a big deal. But this was our first Valentines Day ever that we were both off work and so we got to spend the day together.
Yesterday we had the coldest weather we’ve had in 22 years! Yep, on Saturday morning it was actually colder here in Ontario than it was at the North Pole!! I only WISH I were kidding. It was -31 with a windchill of -41 in Ottawa (& Toronto). It was only -30 at the north pole, apparently (with the windchill). Clearly I need to head further north to get warmer weather.
I laughed and almost snorted my coffee up my nose this morning when I read a twitter update from someone in York City freaking out that the windchill was -13! All I could think of is: “I’m heading to New York for some Spring weather!” (ha ha). It’s warmed up a lot since yesterday though, thankfully, and we’ve had an unusually warm winter overall (until yesterday) so I really can’t complain…much.
So with today’s warmer weather, and a rare day off together, Cowboy and I went to see the ice sculptures at Winterlude. We timed it perfectly as the sculptures had been melting like crazy the past few weeks, but they’re back to normal now as they were fixed up a little, and the recent deep freeze helped keep them intact.
They were pretty impressive! This hockey bear is totally Canadian…I love it. (I’ll have to admit, I’m also rather biased when it comes to Bears and hockey hehe).
After walking around for awhile, it was time to warm up a little (it was still -25 with the windchill). So we headed to a nearby chocolate cafe (which had just recently opened) for a hot chocolate and a light lunch since we were getting hungry.
I may have had a bit of chocolate overload at this place (to help cope with the cold weather— um…yeah, that’s it). Is there even such a thing as a chocolate overload? (I wouldn’t know).
This is my new happy place. I’m sure you can see why. It may or may not have something to do with my chocolate addiction.
Later in the evening we went for Pizza and beer (wine for me) at a pub. Yep, only the fanciest Valentine’s Day dinner for us 😀
Big Rig is a fabulous local brewery with some of the best (pub) food in the city. Their pizza is incredible. And Cowboy’s friend works there too, so we had a nice visit with him.
(I think I’ll be eating lots of salad and veggies this coming week to get re-healthified. My current diet is not overly paleo).
To celebrate the festive holiday AND to cope with the cold weather, I thought it’d be a good idea to do some baking (because normally I hate it). So lo and behold, I made Cowboy a chocolate cream pie, with a twist. It’s got cherries on top! (it’s not just an expression)
Say hello to my Black Forest Chocolate Cream Pie. This one’s topped with a fresh (home-made) cherry filling and whipped cream.
I love a homemade, diner-style chocolate cream pie. I generally don’t like mixing chocolate with fruit, but this was a fun change and a very tasty addition (especially if your cherry filling is homemade, as opposed to the nasty can stuff).
If you’re not a cherry fan, just leave it out as it’s just a topping that goes along with the whipped cream.The cherry filling in this recipe is the same one I use to make a fresh cherry pie (just a much smaller amount) and it’s scrumptious–especially with the subtle accents of cinnamon, lemon juice and vanilla thrown in there.
This chocolate cream pie is delicious either way, I hope you’ll like it. If you like Black Forest Cake, I think you’ll enjoy this dessert. Here’s the pie before adding all the stuff one top. You can even just add a strawberry for decoration.
Even my little dog approves. Okay, she didn’t actually try the pie–since dogs can’t have chocolate–but she did an exceptional job guarding it. (much to Cowboy’s chagrin ha ha).
I hope you guys had a great weekend & Valentine’s Day. Don’t forget chocolate is half-price tomorrow! (be there or be square).
Black Forest Chocolate Cream Pie
Inspired & adapted from: Pie on Sunday
Makes one 8″ pie
Chocolate Filling: 2/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch ½ teaspoon salt 4 egg yolks, room temperature 2 ½ cups milk (regular, coconut, cashew, etc– except almond milk which I find too thin). 1/2 cup cream (or coconut cream, or reg milk is fine) 1 cup chopped good quality chocolate preferably (or reg choc chips) ½ teaspoon salt 1 Tablespoon dark cocoa 1 teaspoons espresso powder (optional)
2 Tablespoons butter 2 Tablespoons vanilla bean extract (or reg vanilla extract) Cherry Filling–for the top (optional) 2 cups fresh or frozen cherries 1/3 cup sugar 1 ½ Tablespoons cornstarch 2 teaspoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, but delicious) 2 teaspoons vanilla
Cooked Pie Crust–homemade or store-bought (I prefer a chocolate cookie for this pie & gluten-free) Whipped cream (or coconut whip)
Chocolate Filling: 1. In medium saucepan whisk together sugar, cocoa, espresso powder (optional), egg yolks, and salt. Slowly drizzle in milk (and cream–if using). 2. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, for several minutes until mixture has thickened considerably. 3. Remove from heat and pour into a strainer/colander over a bowl (optional, but makes it smoother). Then immediately whisk in chocolate, butter and vanilla until chocolate is melted and it’s thoroughly mixed. 4. Allow to cool for a few minutes then pour into cooked, cooled pie crust. Refrigerate for several hours (at least 4-6 hours is ideal).
Cherry Filling: (optional) 1. In medium saucepan mix cherries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and lemon juice 2. Cook on medium heat stirring often until mixture starts to thicken and cherries have broken down (approx 5 minutes). 3. Let cool in fridge until pie has set.
When pie filling is ready, spoon cherry mix on top, and garnish with whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings. Enjoy!