Mary Anne here. This confection is dedicated to one of my true loves. Valentine’s Day is upon us – as is Feast on the Cheap’s second birthday – and so I’ve spent a lot of time this week thinking about both occasions. In my musings, I realized that while February 14th is usually equated with romance, it is – at least for me – also about all of the people in my life who have taught me the joy of limitless love.
At the risk of sounding sentimental, I’m using V-day and Feast’s birthday as a platform to shout out how incredibly proud I am of the woman my little tow-headed, squeaky-voiced, sometimes bossy Mariel has grown into. And how endlessly grateful I am to share our beloved blog, especially since it gives me plenty of quality time with my favorite girl!
While our readers know us as a mom-daughter duo, you might not know a few things about Mariel that make her so special to those whose lives she touches. While Mariel conducts herself with grace and dignity, she also has a ridiculously wicked sense of humor – her wit cracks like the riding crop often found in her hand! She is passionately loyal to her friends and family, and fiercely protective of animals, especially her two adorable pups – not to mention any of the horses she’s currently riding, training, or grooming. I know she’s going to come right behind me and edit the heck out of this piece, so I’d better wrap it up. This Valentine’s Day post and Feast’s birthday is dedicated to my partner in crime…um…cooking. Oh – one more thing about Mariel – I chose to create this confection because she LOVES ice cream almost as ardently as she dotes on her husband and their dogs.
The following dessert is ridiculously simple and the trimmings and toppings are limited only by your imagination. I didn’t have any fudge sauce in my pantry, but I did have cocoa powder so I mixed 2 parts cocoa to 1 part sugar, several drips of water ’til it reached the consistency of syrup, et voila: instant semi-sweet chocolate topping!
Valentine’s Day Chocolate Ice Cream Cups
Makes 12 Cups
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate – $2.29
2 pints ice cream – $6.00
½ cup unsweetened coconut, lightly toasted (optional)
chopped nuts (optional)
Grand Total Assuming Well-Stocked Pantry: $8.29
Total Per Cup: $0.70
1. Line a muffin tin with 12 (cupcake) paper-baking cups.
2. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Don’t allow the water to touch the bottom of the chocolate pan. When the chocolate is just about melted, remove from the heat and stir until completely melted.
3. Using a regular teaspoon, swirl and paint the insides of the paper baking cups with the chocolate, covering the entire inner surface.
4. Set aside the remaining chocolate. Refrigerate the cups in the tin for about 30 minutes until set.
5. Using the remaining chocolate, reinforce the sides of the inner cups with another painting of the remaining chocolate. (I used a pastry brush for this part.) Refrigerate again until set.
6. Meanwhile, if using coconut, toast lightly in a dry skillet, stirring constantly. When the coconut just begins to show some golden color, remove from the heat and continue stirring until evenly golden. This happens very quickly and I’ve been known to toss a few cups of burnt coconut in the trash, so pay attention. It literally turns in a flash!
7. When the chocolate is hard, peel off the paper and fill with ice cream, custard or mousse. If using ice cream or custard, top with coconut, caramel or chocolate syrup, and walnuts if desired.