Durango chefs come up with dessert ideas for Valentine’s Day

Durangoan DIY recipes will wow that special someone

We all know the expression “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. You could say this is true for all genders, but no one tells you what to expect after the main course is finished. Maybe a decadent dessert is to keep your love simmering long past the kitchen table and in bliss forever.

The association of Valentine’s Day with romantic love, candy, and the exchange of love letters is a feast of legend and myth. Some argue that the tradition extends to the ancient Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia, which ended with male and female couples paired up for the year through a lottery that often ended in marriage.

Valentine’s Day was introduced by Pope Gelasius in the fifth century. An intriguing story claims that Valentine’s Day fell in love with a jailer’s daughter while he was imprisoned and he signed each of his letters with “Your Valentine”.

French and English popular culture of the Middle Ages believed that February 14 was the start of the mating season for sky birds and, of course, the perfect time for humans to follow suit. Chaucer captured this in his poem “Parliament of Fowls”, written in 1382: “For it was on Valentine’s Day, when every bird comes there to choose its mate …”

And finally, we must not forget this perfect pairing: love and chocolate. Richard Cadbury of, you guessed it, the Cadbury Chocolate Company, began wrapping chocolates in heart-shaped boxes in 1861 for the holidays.

With a slight nod to tradition, here are some recipes and food and wine pairings offered by the best culinary minds of Durango for this amateur cook looking to satisfy an empty stomach and any mountain bird looking to lay a nest for. Valentine’s day.

Baked pears with custard or bread puddingRecipe provided by Chef Dennis Morrisroe of Seasons Rotisserie and Grill.“Pears are in season and it’s a simple dish that’s really luxurious,” Morrisroe said. “Let the pears ripen for 3 to 4 days at room temperature until the aroma develops into a floral, sweet, almost fermented scent; it is a pear of the first order. The hardest part of this recipe is the custard. It’s tricky and involves what I call a “falling down the stairs” movement – once you start, you don’t stop until you’re at the bottom.Baked pears:Ingredients:3 to 4 pearsButterVanilla bean paste SugarMethod:Cut the pears in half and remove the seeds.

Coat with melted butter, sugar and vanilla bean paste.

Roast at 275 F for 90 minutes, turning every 20 minutes until pears are tender and tender.

Custard:Ingredients:4 egg yolks½ cup) sugar2 cups whipping cream or whole milkMethod:Mix the egg yolks and the sugar

In a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil and remove from the heat.

Slowly add the heated cream to the egg mixture (Go slow! You don’t want to cook or emulsify the egg) and whisk.

Return the mixture to the pot over low / medium heat and stir continuously until the sauce thickens and coats the back of the spoon. About 10 minutes. Let cool.

Pour over the pears in the oven.

“Custard is a classic technique and becomes the basis of many of our desserts. You can make it simple and pour it over the pears or add a small sponge cake. I also use custard with sourdough bread from Bread Bakery to make a nice bread pudding and that would go well with pears too, ”Morrisroe said.


“Custard is a classic technique and becomes the basis of many of our desserts. You can make it simple and pour it over the pears or add a small sponge cake. I also use custard with sourdough bread from Bread Bakery to make a nice bread pudding and that would go well with pears too, ”Morrisroe said.Chocolate ganache, soaked strawberries and trufflesRecipe provided by Carley Snider, owner and chocolatier at Animas Chocolate Company.“The key to ganache is its versatility; Just remember that chocolate is a messy ingredient. Don’t wait until the last second to try to impress your date with a homemade truffle or ganache. Practice ahead of time, and of course we’re here as a backup or even your reference and you can just say you made the treats yourself, ”Snider said.

Soaked strawberries:Ingredients:Bulk ACC milk or dark chocolateFresh strawberriesMethod:Heat the chocolate in a double boiler to 108 degrees. (This process can also be done in the microwave. Heat the chocolate at 20 second intervals and stir at each interval. Snider cautions that you can easily burn the chocolate this way.)

Remove chocolate from heat and use a dipping fork to evenly coat the strawberries.

Garnish with grated coconut or cocoa beans.

Ganache:Ingredients:Bulk milk or dark chocolate Cream in equal partsMethod:The chocolate should be at room temperature. Heat the cream to a boil and remove from the heat. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate. Patience is essential. Stir slowly, let the mixture emulsify. If you stir too quickly, the fat will separate and you will have to start with a new batch. Once the mixture is silky, add the flavors you want. If you add alcohol, Snider recommends reducing the amount of cream. Use a hand blender for any lumps remaining in the mixture.

Pour over fruits, cakes, ice cream, etc.

Truffles:These are tough and not for the faint of heart, Snider warns.Method:Prepare the ganache and if you are rolling the truffles by hand, reduce the amount of cream.

Temper the milk or dark chocolate to coat the ganache. Heat the chocolate to 108 degrees. Remove from the heat and “seed” the melted chocolate with callets of already tempered chocolate. Stir continuously until the chocolate reaches 88 degrees. Coat the rolled ganache with melted chocolate and garnish with toasted nuts or cocoa powder.


Crêpes Strawberries Chocolate and Ham & GruyèreRecipe provided by Michel Poumay, owner and chef at Michel’s Corner.“Pancakes are a very simple product and I think for a Valentine’s Day dessert strawberries and chocolate would be a good choice. And I think a salted ham and gruyere is a good pancake the next morning after your crazy night, ”said Poumay. “I use all the homemade strawberry jam and chocolate sauce for the dessert crepe and for the savory, I garnish it with fresh basil, olive oil, chilitos or grilled peppers, and I add a touch of fresh vanilla to really bring out the flavor. “Pancake batter:Ingredients:1 cup of white flour½ cup buckwheat flour½ cup whole wheat flour4 eggs2 cups of whole milk(1 teaspoon of vanilla for salted ham and Gruyere)Method:

Whisk together the wet and dry ingredients. Pour the batter thinly onto a hot griddle or in a frying pan. Smooth the dough into a round shape. Cook 3 to 5 minutes per side.

For the gluten-free version of Poumay, he uses a premium GF flour blend and advises that water, instead of milk, makes for a better, more consistent GF pancake.Garnish for desserts:Fresh strawberriesStrawberry jamChocolate sauceRoasted hazelnuts Whip the creamCinnamonSavory garnish:1 eggSliced ​​hamSliced ​​Gruyere cheeseFresh basilicOlive oilGreen onionRoasted red chili / chilitos

Provided by Alan Cuenca, owner of

Put a cork in it

“Sweet prefers sweet,” Cuenca said. “Ironically, a sweet dessert needs a sweet dessert wine; the two cancel each other out on your palette.

“I recommend pairing a Ruby Port with the ganache, and for baked pears, I would make a Tawny Port or a Sauterne, which is arguably the best dessert wine in the world. Sauternes presents notes of peach, apricot, cloves and honey that complement the tangy fruits.

“For the tasty ham and gruyère pancake – sparkling wine. Depending on your budget, you can get good sparkling wine from Italy, Spain, California, and even New Mexico. Personally, I would go big and make a real French champagne. The acids will cut through the rich flavors and liven up your palette.

“Finally, I recommend a sparkling rosé to accompany the strawberries and the chocolate crêpe. A Spanish cava or a crémant d’Alsace with their touch of red fruits go well, and a sparkling rosé in a glass is absolutely magnificent.

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