Valentine's Day used to mean long, romantic dinners at nice restaurants with wine, dessert, and flowers. Now, though, at least for those of us with kids, the idea of getting a sitter in the middle of the week just to sit in an overpriced restaurant is absolutely not worth the trouble.
What a lot of us do, then, is the at-home Valentine's dinner. Dim the lights, light some candles, break out the nice china and glassware, and make your favorite dinner -- complete with Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake for dessert. Lo and behold, you've got a very nice Valentine's Day for a lot cheaper than you would if you'd gone out.
Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake (adapted from Cooks.com)
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. For crust: Combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press mixture firmly over bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
3. For truffle mixture, melt chocolate chips in small saucepan over very low heat, stirring until smooth (you can also do this carefully in the microwave). Remove from heat after chocolate melts. Beat one 8 oz. package cream cheese in small bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in raspberry preserves and melted chocolate; set aside.
4. For filling, beat three 8 oz. packages cream cheese in large mixer bowl until fluffy; beat in sour cream and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Pour into prepared pan. Drop truffle mixture by spoonfuls over top of filling, being careful not to swirl mixture. Bake until set, 75 to 90 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.
5. For glaze, melt chocolate chips with cream over very low heat; stir until smooth. Spread over top of cheesecake; let some drizzle over side. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, several hours or overnight.
6. If desired, just before serving, garnish with dollops of whipped cream and fresh raspberries.
Image via tonydolor/Flickr