8 sweets for your sweetheart

Dessert can be the way to that special someone’s heart this Valentine’s Day. Valley News/Courtesy photo

TEMECULA – Few things can elicit “oohs and aahs” on Valentine’s Day as much as decadent desserts. Sweets and romance seem tailor-made for each other. That’s why heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and other sweets are snatched up in droves and handed out like, well, candies, come Feb. 14.

According to Nielsen Product Insider, Valentine’s Day chocolate sales reached nearly $11 billion in 2018, and candy generated $695 billion in sales. In terms of baked goods, the top-selling items sold during Valentine’s Day included dipped/covered treats, message cookies, iced cookies, cupcakes and two- to five-count doughnuts. Wine, chocolate and strawberries also are very popular Valentine’s treats.

Those pondering giving something sweet this year can consider the following desserts.

Bananas Foster is made from bananas and vanilla ice cream. A sauce made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum and banana liqueur is placed over the cooked bananas and ignited like a flambé to create a caramelized dessert.

Black Forest cake marries layers of chocolate spongecake with a rich cherry filling. It is based on the German dessert, schwarzwälder kirschtorte. Whipped cream often tops off this rich cake.

Cannoli are an Italian pastry originating on the island of Sicily. They consist of tube-shaped fried pastry dough filled with a ricotta cheese-based cream.

Cheesecake is made with a crust of crushed cookies, graham crackers or spongecake. A thick layer of batter made from sour cream, cream cheese, eggs, and sugar is cooked into a semi-soft consistency. Some cheesecakes are light and fluffy, while others are dense and decadent.

Chocolate truffles are not to be mistaken for their fungi cousins. Chocolate truffles are made by forming balls out of chocolate ganache (made from heavy cream and melted chocolate), and rolling them in cocoa powder.

Cream puffs are made from a French choux pastry dough filled with a moist filling of sweet cream or custard.

Napoleon is a layered French dessert, and it comes by way of mille feuille, also known as a Napoleon pastry. Puff pastry dough sandwiches vanilla custard or cream in various layers.

Tiramisu means “pick me up.” Tiramisu is the Italian take on a layered dessert made from ladyfingers cookies dipped in coffee and a whipped mixture of mascarpone cheese and cream, topped with cocoa.

Dessert and other sweets are often a part of Valentine’s Day celebrations.