I need to be upfront about this right away by saying I've always been a bit of a Valentine's Day scrooge. It's not I'm against expressions of love in general, just being told when and how to do so. Very much a "Hallmark Holiday," I once had the same level of disdain for Feb. 14 as I still do for bathing suit shopping- too much pressure, high expectations, dashed hopes, and the likelihood that it will end in tears. Kinda like the Bachelor. Not that I watch that show. No way.
Maybe I was just emotional scarring left over from high school- more specifically from any from any event that predicated roses being handed out in class.
Pity parties aside, I adore showing my loved ones I care on any ordinary day, especially when they are not expecting it, and my favorite way to do this is with food.
On Saturday I cooked up a romantic pre-Valentine's Day dinner of flat iron steak with port mushroom sauce, garlic mashed, and haricot vert with White Chocolate Strawberry Napoleons for dessert. Nothing says I love you like meat, potatoes, and chocolate.
In my maturity, I have given up the V-day bah humbug and embraced it's pink and red in-your-faceness. Hopefully people will have so much fun showing there love to one another, they'll keep it up all year round.
White Chocolate Strawberry Napoleons
adapted from Food Network
1 packaged frozen puff pastry
7 oz white chocolate, chopped
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 cup heavy cream, divided
1 pint sliced strawberries
powdered sugar for dusting
Thaw 2 sheets of puff pastry. Cut in thirds, then cut each third in half. Bake on parchment lined sheet pans at 400 for 10 minutes until puffed and lightly golden. Set aside
Place chopped chocolate into a heat resistant bowl. Whisk yolks and sugar in a small bowl until pale. In a saucepan, bring 1/4 cup of cream to a boil then pour slowly over egg mixture to temper. Pour back into the saucepan, cooking over low heat until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. Push warm mixture through a sieve over the bowl of chocolate and stir gently until melted and smooth.
In a separate bowl, whip the remaining cup of cream until almost still peaks. Fold half of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten, then gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until fully incorporated. Let set in the refrigerator for an hour.
To assemble, pipe or spread the mousse onto one square of puff pastry. Lay sliced strawberries over the cream and top with another square of puff pastry. Dust with powdered sugar prior to serving.