Happy Valentine's Day - FamilyEducation

Happy Valentine's Day

February 14,2011
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

I love hearts.  I heart love and I love Valentine’s Day.  Ever since first grade, when I became smitten with the idea of sharing Valentine’s with friends and classmates, I have loved today’s holiday.   Even in college when I lived with three girlfriends, all of whom had serious boyfriends and I was single, I have always loved celebrating Valentine’s Day.

Today SPH and I will share some special Valentine’s treats with R and G.  After dinner, I have a special treat for the boys, layered Pomegranate and Chocolate Hearts.

This special dessert was inspired by my Aunt D’s perennial holiday dessert, layered Jell-O.  Aunt D does it up right, patiently layering color after color between cream layers, to create a visual rainbow, much like this picture:

I decided to give this dessert a try and fit it into our family’s food philosophy of eating all-natural foods.  So instead of using boxed gelatin, I used plain gelatin colored and sweetened with pomegranate juice and honey instead of food dyes and artificial sweeteners.  In between the red pomegranate layers I used light sour cream and cocoa to give the dessert a dramatic chocolate layer.

I’m pretty pleased with how these turned out, and I am certain that just about anyone with a heart shaped mould can pull it off too.  No mould?  Use a 9x9 dish to pour your layers, and then cut out the dessert in heart shapes with a cookie cutter.

Pomegranate and Chocolate Hearts

1 cup Pomegranate juice
1 cup 100% natural red juice blend (such as cranberry, berry, cherry)
2 packets gelatin
1/2 cup ice
¼  cup honey, divided use
1/2 cup light sour cream
2  tablespoons cocoa powder

In a microwave safe pyrex dish or glass bowl, combine the juices and heat until simmering.  Add the gelatin and 2 tablespoons honey and stir until fully incorporated. 

Add ice and set aside.

Using either a heart shaped muffin tin or mould or a 9x9 glass dish, pour in 1/2 the gelatin mixture.  If using heart shaped moulds, be sure to distribute the “1/2” between all the moulds.  It does not have to be perfect, but just do your best.

Place the muffin tin, mould or glass dish in the freezer to set.

Mix the remaining honey, sour cream and cocoa powder. 

Check the dish in the freezer.  If the gelatin has set, pour the chocolate mixture on top of the gelatin, again, distributing it between the moulds or dish.

Place the dish in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Repeat with a layer of gelatin, then place the dish in the refrigerator to set for 4-6 hours.

Carefully remove the hearts from the mould or cut the 9x9 dish into heart shapes or whatever shape you wish!

Serves 8.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

SPC

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