Photo by Joseph De Leo; styled by Micah Morton
February is a time to simplify. Many of us are still in resolution mode from the beginning of the year, and the winter slush and freezing temperatures outside demand a streamlining of sorts (trudging home with two grocery bags instead of six has it's allure). And while Valentine's day is just inches away, and the home cook's thoughts are wont to wander toward lavish homemade feasts and elaborate desserts meant to indulge and impress, there are ways to woo with fewer bells and whistles.
Based on the simple method for making chocolate ganache, and with only two ingredients, this decadent sauce is the answer to your (and your sweetheart's) prayers. This sneakily vegan version can be subbed in for the traditional cream-based stuff in literally any usage imaginable, and no omnivore would be the wiser. The deceptively spartan ingredient list belies the deep, rich flavor this recipe yields. Chocolate and coconut make a harmonious pairing, and this sauce proves that such match-ups truly are greater than the sum of their parts.
An equal chocolate-to-coconut milk ratio yields a more liquid consistency, which works well for glazes or sauce applications. Drizzle this thinner version onto coconut macaroons or soft scoops of ice cream, or spoon a pool of the sauce onto a serving plate to make a decadent bed for a slice of cake. It would also make a sublime chocolate fondue. Chop up some cubes of fresh pineapple, bananas, or brownies, dip them into a warmed bowl of this sauce, and you’ll find yourself deep in party territory.
If you’d like the sauce to be thicker and easier to harden, for use in truffles, frostings, and chocolate-dipped treats, ratchet up the chocolate in the recipe, to about a 2:1 chocolate-to-milk ratio. Much like classic chocolate ganache, this coconutty version can be spread onto a pie crust to form a luscious base for airy toppings, and it would also mean serious business as a rich cupcake frosting.
For an easy chocolate-dipped treat, line a baking sheet that will fit in your freezer with parchment paper. Dip pretzels, confections, or fresh fruit into the warmed sauce, and place on the parchment. Slide the sheet into the freezer and chill until the sauce has hardened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the freezer and enjoy some bite-sized treats with a rich chocolate shell and a whisper of smooth coconut flavor. Feed to yourself and your sweetheart. Repeat as desired.
Dark Chocolate and Coconut Dessert Sauce
Makes about 1 cup
8 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup coconut milk
See the full recipe at Whole Foods Market.
How will you incorporate something easy and decadent into your Valentine's Day menu? Share your comments below!
Like this post? See the Easy Everyday topic from last week: Wilted Escarole with Feta, Walnuts and Honey.