When it comes to Valentine’s Day desserts, cheese and chocolate are a power couple. Once their culinary powers combine, the flavors are simply irresistible. We have two delectable recipes using chocolate and cheese that could be the way to win your valentine’s heart this year; that is, if you can resist eating them all yourself.
Wisconsin butterkäse cheese is a buttery, creamy variety of cheese, making it a wonderfully versatile ingredient. In fact, butterkäse literally means “butter cheese.” Lauren of Climbing Grier Mountain uses butterkäse as a key ingredient in these heart-shaped Danishes, giving them a smooth, lush flavor. The semi-soft melted cheese encases the raspberries and strawberry slices to fill the flaky pastry. Drizzled with a dark chocolate sauce, this Danish is the sweetest we’ve ever tasted.
By Lauren of Climbing Grier Mountain
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
1 1/2 cups (about 4 ounces) Wisconsin butterkäse cheese, coarsely grated and loosely packed
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup strawberries, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Chocolate syrup for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with Silpat® or parchment paper. Place 1 sheet puff pastry on baking sheet.
In small bowl, combine butterkäse, egg yolk, vanilla extract, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Evenly distribute butterkäse mixture over pastry followed by 1 layer each of raspberries, strawberry slices and chocolate chips. Place remaining puff pastry over and seal edges tightly, with fork. Brush top of pastry with egg wash and cut small holes to allow steam to escape.
Bake 40-45 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Use heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut into Danishes. Serve warm, topped with chocolate syrup, if desired.
* To make egg wash, mix 1 egg and 1 to 2 tablespoons water together. For richer egg wash, substitute milk or cream for water.
Fondue is best known as a savory melted-cheese dish that uses varieties such as Wisconsin Swiss or alpine-style cheeses. But, for a chocolaty dessert version, Wisconsin mascarpone is ideal. Mascarpone is a spreadable, milk-white cheese that blends easily with flavors and adds a velvety texture. California Chef Trey Foshee of George’s at the Cove uses Wisconsin mascarpone, chocolate and a touch of cinnamon to create this rich fondue to top off the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner.
By Chef Trey Foshee
Servings: 6 to 8
1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 pound milk chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups cream
1/3 cup sugar
8 ounces Wisconsin mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup (2 ounces) bourbon, orange liqueur or another favorite liqueur
1 cinnamon stick
Combine all ingredients in medium bowl (or the top of a double boiler). Place over pot of simmering water on stove burner. Do not allow bowl to touch water. Heat until melted, smooth and warm, stirring often. Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon stick.
Pour into fondue or other pot and keep warm. Serve immediately with dipping accompaniments such as pound cake, strawberries, apples, bananas or marshmallows.