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Chocolate delights for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day provides a mid-winter occasion to make a special dessert just for two. For a real treat this year, try your hand at making chocolate truffles, which taste like a mouthful of bitter, creamy chocolate. They are a wonderful dessert all by themselves, or as an accompaniment to the best vanilla ice cream you can find.

If time is of the essence this year, here is a recipe for a hot fudge sauce that can be made in 30 minutes without much fuss, and is also delicious served with ice cream. Chocolate Truffles 1/4 pound semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces 1 tablespoon water 1 tablespoon superfine sugar 6 tablespoons butter 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten Cocoa powder Melt chocolate in double boiler with water, sugar, and butter. Remove pan from heat. When chocolate has cooled a bit, stir in egg yolk. Pour mixture into small bowl. Let mixture cool in refrigerator until firm, about 1 to 2 hours.

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Using a teaspoon, scoop up spoonfuls of chocolate, and with cocoa-dusted palms roll chocolate into small balls between hands.

Roll balls in cocoa powder. Work quickly and don't worry if truffles are not perfectly round. Store in refrigerator and remove just before serving. Makes about 25 truffles. Hot Fudge Sauce 1/2 pound butter 1 pound confectioners' sugar 1/4 pound semisweet chocolate 1/4 pound bitter chocolate 1 13-ounce can evaporated milk

Melt butter and chocolates together over very low heat. Add sugar, then evaporated milk and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

This sauce keeps well in the refrigerator. Spoon out the amount needed and warm in small saucepan over low heat.

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