Valentine's Day Recipes

Stacked Chocolate Crepe Cake with Raspberry Jam Stacked Chocolate Crepe Cake with Raspberry Jam

Difficulty: Intermediate | Prep Time: 45 min | Makes: 12

  • ¾ cup cold water
  • ¾ cup cold whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • ½ cup cake flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup melted butter, for coating the pan

  • For Crepe Cake:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 cups raspberry jam (seedless recommended)
  • 1 small container fresh raspberries for decoration

In a blender, combine the water, milk, eggs, 2 tablespoons melted butter, sugar, salt, cake flour and cocoa powder. Blend until smooth. The consistency should be like heavy cream or buttermilk. Add small amounts of additional water to thin as needed. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour, allowing the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.

Heat a 6-inch non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Brush a thin layer of melted butter in the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Use a paper towel to wipe up any excess butter from the pan. Pour 1/8 cup of batter into the text-center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 1 minute and flip. Cook for another minute and remove to a parchment-lined sheet pan. Continue until all batter is gone, laying crepes out flat so they can cool completely without sticking together.

Whip the cream with the powdered sugar until medium peaks form. Place a crepe on a serving plate. Evenly spread with about 3 tablespoons of whipped cream onto crepe. Top with another crepe. Alternate every other layer with a light spreading of raspberry jam without the cream. Continue layering with crepes, using about 12 crepes and ending with a crepe on top. Or, go taller if you like!

Mound remaining whipped cream onto just the top of the stack (you want to still see the layers from the sides). Dot the fresh raspberries onto the whipped cream. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Draeger's Cooking School

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Pan-Seared Scallops with Beurre Blanc Pan-Seared Scallops with Beurre Blanc

Difficulty: Advanced | Prep Time: 60 min | Serves: 6

  • 1 recipe Beurre Blanc (recipe follows)
  • 12 sea scallops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Clarified butter*
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves, chiffonade

  • Beurre Blanc Sauce (makes approximately 2 cups):
  • 4 medium shallots, finely minced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Prepare the beurre blanc according to recipe and set aside. Keep warm.

Pat the scallops dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of clarified butter in a 12-inch stainless steel skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Sear 6 scallops, turning once, until golden brown on each side and just cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes total. Transfer the scallops to a platter as cooked and keep warm, loosely covered with foil. Sear remaining scallops in same manner, wiping out skillet and adding another tablespoon of clarified butter between batches.

To serve, spoon 2 tablespoons of the beurre blanc onto a plate, then top with 2 scallops. Lightly sprinkle the mint chiffonade over the entire plate. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

*To make clarified butter, melt 1 pound of unsalted butter in a medium saucepan. Cook butter over medium-high heat until it foams. Reduce heat to medium and gently simmer. Once the bubbling ceases, carefully pour through a cheesecloth or coffee filter-lined strainer into a heatproof container.

Cool completely, seal well and refrigerate for up to 6 months.

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the shallots, wine and vinegar. Simmer over low heat until the liquid has almost completely evaporated. Add the heavy cream and stir to combine. Lower the heat to medium and quickly whisk the butter until all of the butter has been incorporated.

Taste, and adjust for seasoning. If it tastes flat, add more wine vinegar, a few drops at a time until the flavor brightens. If the sauce is too acidic, whisk in more butter.

* Note: this recipe does not require straining out the shallot before continuing with the cream and the butter. If presentation requires a smooth, velvety sauce, by all means, strain out the shallots.

Recipe by Draeger's Cooking School

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Molten Chocolate Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakes

Difficulty: Beginner | Prep Time: 20 min | Serves: 4

  • 2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter (plus more for greasing ramekins)
  • 5 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • ⅓ cup superfine sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Butter four individual 4- to 5-ounce ramekins and line the bottom with buttered parchment rounds.

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler then let it cool slightly. Cream together the butter and sugar, and gradually beat in the eggs and salt, then the vanilla. Add the flour, and when all is smoothly combined scrape in the cooled chocolate, blending it to a smooth batter.

Divide the batter between the ramekins, arrange on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven.

Cook for 12-15 minutes (add an additional 2 minutes if you have refrigerated the batter first) and as soon as you take them out of the oven, tip each ramekin out onto a small plate. Serve these with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Recipe by Draeger's Cooking School

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caviar smoked salmon Blini with Caviar, Smoked Salmon & Crème Fraiche

Serves 4-6

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup masa harina
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • ¼ cup frozen white corn kernels, defrosted
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, yolk and white separated
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • ¼ cup clarified butter
  • ¼ cup crème fraîche
  • ¼ pound sliced smoked salmon
  • ½ bunch chives, snipped
  • 1 to 2 oz. caviar

Combine flour, masa harina, sugar, baking powder, salt and a pinch of cayenne in a large bowl and set aside.

In a blender, puree the corn, buttermilk, egg yolks, and 1 tablespoon melted butter. Fold puree into the dry ingredients and gently stir to combine.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and a pinch of salt to form stiff peaks. Fold egg whites into the batter and allow batter to rest 15 minutes.

Place a nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle a ½-teaspoon clarified butter into pan. Spoon tablespoons of batter onto the pan to make small pancakes and cook until bubbles start to show through. Flip blini over and cook until golden brown on the other side - approximately 3 minutes. Keep blini warm until ready to serve.

To serve: top each blini with a dab of crème fraîche, a small piece of salmon, caviar and a sprinkling of chives.

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chocolate truffles Hand-rolled Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles

Makes about 35

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¾ pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into small pieces

  • Coatings:
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup shredded coconut, toasted
  • ½ cup chopped nuts

Heat cream and honey in small saucepan over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the burner. Add the chocolate all at one and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir gently with a whisk until the chocolate is just combined with the cream mixture. Stir in the butter, one piece at a time. Do not over mix or it will separate. Pour into a shallow dish and refrigerate until firm, approximately 2 hours.

Using a small scoop (approx. 1 teaspoon size), scoop out chocolate mixture into portions and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using your hands, quickly roll each mound into a smooth ball between your palms and then roll in the desired coating. Serve immediately or refrigerate, well wrapped, for up to 5 days.

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truffled mashed potatoes Truffled Mashed Potatoes

Serves 4

  • 2 pounds large Yukon Gold potatoes
  • ¼ cup Kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons pound unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup crème fraîche
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 white or black truffle
  • Truffle oil (optional)

Peel and slice the potatoes into quarters and place in a large stock pot. Cover the potatoes with at least 2 inches of cold water. Add salt and bring the potatoes to a simmer. Do not bring to a full boil. Simmer the potatoes until fork tender, about 40 minutes.

Strain the potatoes through a colander, reserving ¼ cup of the salted cooking water. Allow the potatoes to cool in the colander for 2 minutes.

Process the potatoes through a food mill directly back into the stock pot. Add the melted butter. Mix in the crème fraîche and sour cream. Add the heavy cream and/or salted water until the potatoes are thick and creamy, but do not over-stir as they will become gluey Adjust seasoning as needed.

Shave truffle over the potatoes and mix in gently. Add truffle oil if desired. Serve immediately.

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