My Love Story!! / Ore Monogatari!!

Episode: My Chocolate / Ore no Chokorēto
Takeo’s Valentine’s Day Chocolate

Hooray for Valentine’s Day! It’s the season of love and hearts and pink and chocolate! I’ve always loved this holiday. Not for the romance, but for the fact that I can shape all of my food into hearts and no one will look at me funny. Plus giving chocolates to people you love is fun. (Especially if you get some in return!) See, there’s that “L” word again. I’ve used it three times already. Since LOVE is what Valentine’s Day boils down to, what better love story to feature than My Love Story!! (Just look at that title.)

Takeo and Rinko love each other so much, but they’re always on the wrong page. They don’t think they deserve each other, but they don’t want to lose one another either. The series is so sugary sweet it makes my teeth hurt. It’s also so funny that I have trouble breathing. (Literally. I was wheezing after the plastic wrap thing.) The show is after my own heart. And stomach. Every time Rinko turns around, she’s got another mouth-watering dessert for Takeo. Valentine’s Day is no exception. Actually, she outdoes herself by making a monstrous chocolate tower. And that’s after teaching her friends how to make chocolate cookies and having a Valentine’s Day get-together with the boys. How she found the time to pull this off astounds me.

Recipe makes 1 tower of chocolatey goodness

Ingredients

Cake:

2 large eggs, separated

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

½ cup cake flour, sifted

1 ½ tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons milk

2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Mousse:

5 ounces milk or semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or melting wafers

1 tablespoon butter

2 large eggs, separated

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup heavy cream

White Chocolate Mousse

6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped or melting wafers

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup heavy cream

Chocolate Truffles:

5 ounces milk or semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or melting wafers

1 ½ tablespoons butter

¼ cup heavy cream

Chocolate Cigarettes and Other Shapes

½ pound milk or semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or melting wafers

½ pound dark chocolate, coarsely chopped or melting wafers

1 pound white chocolate, coarsely chopped or melting wafers

Pink food coloring

Yellow food coloring

Strawberries for Garnish

 

Directions

Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a deep 6-inch round cake pan

Whip egg whites in a stand mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Add sugar 2 tablespoons at a time while continuing to whip. Once the egg whites are glossy and form stiff peaks, beat in egg yolks until incorporated. Use a spatula to fold in cake flour. Heat butter and milk until the butter melts. Pour this into a small bowl. Add cocoa powder and salt to butter and milk and stir until dissolved. Stir in vanilla extract. Fold this into the batter, a little at a time, until fully incorporated without overmixing. Pour cake batter into prepared pan and gently tap or drop on the counter to remove air pockets. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the cake is tested. Tap the pan on the counter again and cool upside down for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and wrap completely in plastic wrap. This will help keep your cake moist. Cool completely on a baking rack.

Chocolate Mousse:

Slowly melt chocolate in a double boiler or a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir in butter and egg yolks, one at a time, until incorporated. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and allow to cool slightly. Whip the egg whites in a stand mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture. Whip heavy cream in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until combined. Move mousse to the refrigerator and allow it to chill until it is set. If it’s still not solid enough to pipe, whip in a stand mixer until stiff.

White Chocolate Mousse:

Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until on the verge of boiling. Add the white chocolate and whisk until melted and incorporated. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Chill mousse in the refrigerator for at least an hour or until it begins to set. Transfer mousse to a stand mixer and whip until stiff.

Chocolate Truffles:

Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir in the butter until melted and incorporated. Set aside. Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until on the verge of boiling. Remove from heat and add to chocolate. Stir together until combined. Pour chocolate mixture into a small baking dish and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Remove the baking dish and scoop out balls with a spoon or melon baller. Use your hands to form the truffles into an oblong shape. Allow the truffles to set for at least 30 minutes.

Chocolate Cigarettes:

Melt white and dark chocolates in double boilers or bowls over pots of simmering water. Pour white chocolate onto a work surface. You can use the back of a chilled baking sheet or a cool counter. Spread the white chocolate into a long, paper-thin sheet with a palette knife. Allow the white chocolate to harden slightly. It should feel dry when you touch it. Move a combscraper across the sheet towards you to draw lines. Since I didn’t have the proper tools, I drew lines with a butter knife. (That’s why they look a little funny.) Pour dark chocolate over the white chocolate lines and spread over into a thin sheet. Allow the chocolate to harden until it feels dry to the touch. Clean up the edges so they are straight. Push the palette knife up under the chocolate at an angle. Push the knife through the chocolate and back to make the cigarettes. Allow the cigarettes to rest until completely hardened.

Chocolate Disks:

Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Line a baking dish with parchment paper. Place large round cookie cutters on the dish and pour chocolate into cutters until you’ve reached your desired thickness. Tap the dish on the counter to remove any air bubbles. Chill the chocolate until it’s set. Gently tap the dish to remove the chocolate from the cutter. Chill the disks until assembly. You can also pour the chocolate straight into the baking dish, chill, and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter that has been heated.

Stars and Pink Heart:

Melt white chocolate in a double boiler or a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Use the same method as the chocolate disks to achieve the desired shapes. Before making the heart, add a small amount of pink food coloring to some of the white chocolate. Chill shapes until assembly.

Crosshatch Heart

Melt white chocolate in a double boiler or a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Mix in a small amount of yellow food coloring. You can use a spatula or fork to drizzle chocolate on parchment paper in a crosshatch pattern and cut out the heart shape. You can also pipe out thin lines of chocolate into the crosshatch pattern and cut out the heart shape. They are delicate so be careful. (Mine broke so many times I had to settle for drawing the pattern on a solid piece of chocolate.) Chill heart until assembly.

Putting It All Together:

Place your cake on your desired base, cake board, or plate. Pipe chocolate mousse onto the cake. I opted for small blobs that sit close enough to squish together. Place a chocolate disk on top of the mousse. Pipe the white chocolate mousse on top of the disk and cover with the second chocolate disk. Be careful not to sandwich the disks and mousse too much. (That’s why my bottom layer isn’t too happy.) Pipe a small blob of white chocolate mousse in the center of the top chocolate disk. Place strawberries, truffles, and stars in front of the blob. Place the pink heart and the crosshatch heart behind it. Stick the chocolate cigarettes out next to the crosshatch heart. To keep the decorations in place, I glued them down with a little melted chocolate and a bit of leftover mousse.

Variations:

I assumed that the fillings were mousse, but I could be wrong. You can use marshmallow, cheesecake, panna cotta, or anything you want. You can also use other decorations, like regular chocolate pieces in place of the truffles.

my love story chocolate (3)My Love Story

Rinko must REALLY love Takeo because there’s a lot of work involved to make this towering chocolate. At least I got to try some of it. Rinko doesn’t even watch Takeo eat it. She’s feels rewarded just by giving it to him. She even apologizes for making mistakes. And that makes Rinko a much better person than I am. Not to mention that Takeo just wanted any chocolate from Rinko and was already satisfied with the cookies he’d gotten. He was already on his way out to buy her some expensive chocolate in return. Even though he wasn’t expecting anything else from Rinko, he was overjoyed and made sure to savor every bite. They’re just too cute! The couple is perfectly imperfect and show that love is difficult, but it’s the silliness and over-the-topness of it that makes it worthwhile.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

 

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