You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Valentine’s Day’ tag.

Greetings and best wishes to all of those who plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special someone.

There really was a Saint Valentine who inspired this special day of love. Actually, there were three. Read more about about Valentine of Rome, Valentine of Terni and Valentine of Genoa below:

A bit of history about Valentine’s Day

This next post describes how Valentine’s Day evolved through the ages:

More history about Valentine’s Day

I hope that everyone celebrating this day dedicated to love has a wonderful time.

It’s that time of year again, when many of us around the world will be saying to someone special, ‘Be mine!’

Indeed, love makes the world go round.

Valentine’s Day has a fascinating history. Did you know there is more than one St Valentine? Both are connected with love legends. Find out more:

A bit of history about Valentine’s Day

But, wait, there’s even more history, including the reason why we write ‘x’ for a kiss:

More history about Valentine’s Day

For those looking for something sombre, the following explains why love between two people threatens totalitarianism:

Valentine’s Day ‘shameful’ to totalitarians

If you are celebrating Valentine’s Day, I hope you enjoy a romantic celebration à deux!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all the romantics out there! Have a LOVE-ly day! ❤

Lent starts on Valentine’s Day in 2018.

(Graphics credit:

What follows are my past posts about February 14. The first is about the two Saints Valentine and the second discusses the traditions surrounding this day:

A bit of history about Valentine’s Day  (2015)

More history about Valentine’s Day (2016)

The third is about the totalitarian — secular and religious — rejection of love and romance:

Valentine’s Day ‘shameful’ to totalitarians (2017)

As we begin Lent, these past posts of mine explain why traditional Catholics and some Protestants, especially Anglicans and Lutherans, observe this 40-day season:

Ash Wednesday reflections

Lent, denominational differences and freedom in Christ

Ideas for Lent

Lutheran reflections for Lent

It is also worth noting that, centuries ago, Lent started earlier than it does now:

St Athanasius and the Lenten practices of the early Church

Lent in the early Church — not a pagan practice

Shrovetide — a history

The Sundays before Lent — an explanation

May those of us observing this season have a spiritually enriched Lent.

Maybe I can just squeak by with this, as a local eatery near us is advertising Valentine’s Day dinner specials through the weekend.

I saw Jamie Glazov’s Front Page article about Valentine’s Day on February 15: ‘Hating Valentine’s: Why Islamists and the Radical Left loathe the Day of Love’.

Glazov starts by giving a near-comprehensive review of penalties for and protests against celebrating Valentine’s Day in Muslim countries. I’ll let you read that in your own time.

The more puzzling aspect, which he explains nicely, is why the notionally tolerant Left don’t like February 14. Aren’t they the ones in favour of love?

Glazov tells us (emphases mine):

As an individual who spent more than a decade in academia, I was privileged to witness this war against Valentine’s Day up close and personal. Feminist icons like Jane Fonda, meanwhile, help lead the assault on Valentine’s Day in society at large. As David Horowitz has documented, Fonda has led the campaign to transform this special day into “V-Day” (“Violence against Women Day”) — which is, when it all comes down to it, a day of hate, featuring a mass indictment of men.

Why, oh why, oh why?


Islam and the radical Left both revile the notion of private love, a non-tangible and divine entity that draws individuals to each other and, therefore, distracts them from submitting themselves to a secular deity.

Valentine’s Day is a day of two people celebrating their love and devotion to each other — not to a collective or to a government regime. Therefore, opponents want it stopped.

Incidentally, I wrote about the St Valentines various and the traditions behind the day. The following post from 2015 discusses the different St Valentines, all of whom brought two people together in the name of love:

A bit of history about Valentine’s Day

The next post, from 2016, describes ancient traditions surrounding Valentine’s Day and the meaning of ‘x’, symbolic of the cross of St Andrew:

More history about Valentine’s Day

From its post-Lupercalian origin, Valentine’s Day has been about two people and their fidelity to each other.

This brings us neatly back to the present day and the totalitarian resistance — whether religious or socio-political — to the Day of Love.

Glazov explains:

The highest objective of both Islam and the radical Left is clear: to shatter the sacred intimacy that a man and a woman can share with one another, for such a bond is inaccessible to the order. History, therefore, demonstrates how Islam, like Communism, wages a ferocious war on any kind of private and unregulated love. In the case of Islam, the reality is epitomized in its monstrous structures of gender apartheid and the terror that keeps it in place. Indeed, female sexuality and freedom are demonized and, therefore, forced veiling, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, honor killings and other misogynist monstrosities become mandatory parts of the sadistic paradigm.

Totalitarian regimes are similar:

In Stalinist Russia, sexual pleasure was portrayed as unsocialist and counter-revolutionary. More recent Communist societies have also waged war on sexuality — a war that Islam, as we know, wages with similar ferocity. These totalist structures cannot survive in environments filled with self-interested, pleasure-seeking individuals who prioritize devotion to other individual human beings over the collective and the state. Because the leftist believer viscerally hates the notion and reality of personal love and “the couple,” he champions the enforcement of totalitarian puritanism by the despotic regimes he worships.

Some may say that the earliest Communists promoted promiscuity — and abortion. Yes, they did, but note that a) promiscuity violates tender, loving fidelity between two people and b) abortion prevents the fruit of that beautiful union.

Glazov goes on to discuss famous dystopian novels, each of which involves a totalitarian state that forbids love between two adults. HG Wells’s novels described the totalitarian atmosphere. A Russian literary editor and novelist, Yevgeny Zamyatin, who had edited translations of Wells’s works in Russian, was inspired to take the concepts further in his 1924 novel We, which the early Soviet government banned. Zamyatin’s novel describes a couple who experience devotion to each other. Because this is illegal, the protagonist D-503 must undergo the Great Operation, which deadens the parts of the brain dedicated to passion, imagination and, by extension, love. D-503’s lover O-90 gives birth to his child. O-90 cannot bear to give their child up to the state, so D-503 manages to get her and their child smuggled out of the state to safety.

We inspired other dystopian works, the most famous of which are Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s 1984. Those also contain story lines of forbidden love.

Totalitarianism encourages promiscuity, but not faithful love. Religious totalitarianism values sexual segregation, but not mutual devotion:

And that is why love presents such a threat to the totalitarian order: it dares to serve itself. It is a force more powerful than the all-pervading fear that a totalitarian order needs to impose in order to survive. Leftist and Muslim social engineers, therefore, in their twisted and human-hating imaginations, believe that the road toward earthly redemption (under a classless society or Sharia) stands a chance only if private love and affection is purged from the human condition.

However, as we know, that is impossible. We are hard-wired to be like Adam and Eve. God created them so they could be loving, supportive companions who could create a family.

This brings us to the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Those of us who are old enough to remember recall slogans of ‘free love’ and so on. Various sexual positions, some of them non-procreational, were vaunted. If couples weren’t engaging in these, they were not ‘doing it right’. The Joy of Sex was a newlywed’s go-to book in the 1970s. Swingers’ clubs were popular amongst small segments of the middle class.

And, yes, there were swingers living near my home in the 1970s. My parents and I knew two. This middle-aged couple — second marriage for both, grown children — tried to recruit my parents. Mum and Dad were appalled. My mother tried to engage the couple in a philosophical discussion about the nature of love and marriage. Their response was, ‘Who needs it?’ Not surprisingly, they divorced and moved away within the year. If I remember rightly, the woman started cavorting with a fellow swinger and left her husband. He was very angry with her and changed his tune. ‘What happened to her fidelity to me?’ he asked my parents. Lesson learned? For him, yes. For her, it came afterwards when her swinger boyfriend dumped her. That was the last we heard of or about them.

The sexual revolution — still continuing today, with teenagers engaging in oral or copulative sex as if it were nothing — is something sensible people must resist. Sex education in schools is not designed to tell children about the birds and the bees in a biological way. It is intended to subvert the sanctity of married life and bringing children into the world.

During this same era, Bill Ayers — a longtime educator who goes on public speaking tours across America — was a radical who escaped a prison sentence on a technicality. You can read more about him here:

Obama friend Bill Ayers’s magnum opus: Prairie Fire

Obama friend Bill Ayers’s commitment to radicalism … and state education

He was one of the leaders of the Weather Underground, a group of violent radicals. Glazov tells us:

as Peter Collier and David Horowitz demonstrate in Destructive Generation, the Weather Underground not only waged war against American society through violence and mayhem, but also waged war on private love within its own ranks. Bill Ayers, one of the leading terrorists in the group, argued in a speech defending the campaign:

Any notion that people can have responsibility for one person, that they can have that ‘out’ — we have to destroy that notion in order to build a collective; we have to destroy all ‘outs,’ to destroy the notion that people can lean on one person and not be responsible to the entire collective.

That was at the time of the ‘free love’ sexual revolution in the late 1960s.

Similarly, promiscuity was the order of the day in communes, also popular then, whether large or small. Invariably, even though they started out with an egalitarian programme, all of them ended up with an alpha male leader who seduced the women in the group, creating a harem. Other men ended up being marginalised. Couples were fractured. People got hurt emotionally. Some required deep therapy to bring them back to a trusting, loving state of mind.

Although I digress somewhat, these vignettes from half a century ago tell us that we should be wary of deviating from a biblical norm when it comes to love.

Now to the present day. A bewildering series of protests have been taking place over the past few months. The most bemusing involve feminists veiling themselves as if they were Muslim. Why?

Glazov explains that totalitarian regimes rely on clothing that conceals one’s sexuality. Historically:

As sociologist Paul Hollander has documented in his classic Political Pilgrims, fellow travelers were especially enthralled with the desexualized dress that the Maoist regime imposed on its citizens. This at once satisfied the leftist’s desire for enforced sameness and the imperative of erasing attractions between private citizens. As I have demonstrated in United in Hate, the Maoists’ unisex clothing finds its parallel in fundamentalist Islam’s mandate for shapeless coverings to be worn by both males and females. The collective “uniform” symbolizes submission to a higher entity and frustrates individual expression, mutual physical attraction, and private connection and affection. And so, once again, the Western leftist remains not only uncritical, but completely supportive of — and enthralled in — this form of totalitarian puritanism.

With regard to today’s female protesters:

This is precisely why leftist feminists today do not condemn the forced veiling of women in the Islamic world; because they support everything that forced veiling engenders.

As Glazov points out, even European law enforcement officers have been advising women to cover up so they won’t be targets of immigrant Muslim men.

Before I conclude, it is essential at this point to offer documented proof that, 40 years ago, Muslim women — except for those out in the sticks — wore normal Western clothing. I wrote about this in 2015 with loads of links to photographs:

From the modern to the mediaeval in 40 years

Today, I saw two more items relating to Muslim women’s attire during that time. Rare Historical Photos has a good piece, ‘Women protesting forced hijab days after the Iranian Revolution, 1979’. Here’s an unrelated tweet from someone too young, perhaps, to know what I remember from my youth:

Glazov concludes that:

Valentine’s Day is a “shameful day” for the Muslim world and for the radical Left. It is shameful because private love is considered obscene, since it threatens the highest of values: the need for a totalitarian order to attract the complete and undivided attention, allegiance and veneration of every citizen. Love serves as the most lethal threat to the tyrants seeking to build Sharia and a classless utopia on earth, and so these tyrants yearn for the annihilation of every ingredient in man that smacks of anything that it means to be human …

This day reminds us that we have a weapon, the most powerful arsenal on the face of the earth, in front of which despots and terrorists quiver and shake, and sprint from in horror into the shadows of darkness, desperately avoiding its piercing light.

That arsenal is love

Love will prevail.

Long Live Valentine’s Day.

With work schedules and business trips such as they are, some readers might be celebrating a Valentine’s weekend. I wish you a very happy time. May it be love-filled today and always.

Last year I finally got around to writing about the history of Valentine’s Day.

Since then, a bit more information has come in!

Let the story continue …

The French site l’Internaute has quite the summary of everything we always wanted to know about February 14, and is the source for the next few sections below.


In ancient Rome Lupercalia was held every year on February 15. It was a year-end celebration of Faunus Lupercus, the god of fertility, shepherds and their flocks. It was also a rite of purification prior to the New Year, which fell on March 1.

The festival had three ceremonies. The first involved the pagan priests sacrificing a goat in the grotto of Lupercal, the wolf who nourished Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome.

The remains of the goat were then used in the ritual which followed. The priests daubed young members of noble families with the goat’s blood which was a purification rite, representing a symbolic cleansing of the shepherds.

No doubt other animals were sacrificed, because the priests kept the blood and the skins for a race through the streets of Rome. They daubed themselves in blood, as they had done to the young noblemen. The skins served as a covering and switches. The priests and noblemen wore some of the skin and carried switches with which to whip people as they ran down the streets. Women were particularly eager for this, because it was said that a whipping was said to give a happy pregnancy and painless childbirth. (This is not the only pagan tradition in Europe where men used to whip women in late winter or early Spring. Central Europe has Dyngus Day, which takes place on Easter Monday and may extend to Easter Tuesday, when women get their own back on the men. No doubt there were more.)

Lupercalia culminated in a great banquet, where men chose their dining partners. This sometimes led to marriage.

It is also worth remembering that the story of Cupid and Psyche was part of Roman mythology.

Pope Gelasius I

Even once most Romans had converted to Christianity, Lupercalia continued to be celebrated.

In the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I wanted to put a stop to the festivities. He wrote a letter to Senator Andromachus in which he listed his objections to the pagan revelry. Gelasius criticised the immoral behaviour displayed and pointed out that the pagan worship and rituals did nothing against the disease epidemics which plagued the city 20 years before.

However, Andromachus was fond of Lupercalia and refused to forbid the celebrations.

Gelasius had no choice but to urge Christians to turn the day into one of true love. He chose February 14 to commemorate St Valentine as the patron saint of lovers. However, Wikipedia says that Gelasius initiated Candlemas — February 2 — and encouraged devotion to Mary, recalling her purity. Incidentally, February comes from februare, meaning ‘to purify’.

Middle Ages

February 14 was not widely celebrated in Europe until the Middle Ages.

No doubt the notion of chivalry which was popular at that time gave rise to gentleness and honour on the part of men towards women.

Some pagan elements remained, even though the Continent was Christian by this time. A ‘love lottery’ took place in several European countries. Young people drew names of a partner of the opposite sex and wore that person’s name on their sleeves for the following week. On the first Sunday of Lent, the Bonfire Festival took place. A ‘knight’ — a Valentine (see my post for an explanation) — from the February 14 draw was appointed to head the festival. He was accompanied by a young woman. They led a procession around their town or village. The people carried small torches to burn weeds and smoke out garden pests, such as moles, in order to ensure a good crop during the summer months. The festivities concluded with a bonfire.

It was also during this era that young women paid attention to the birds they saw during this time. Some species were said to indicate what sort of men they would marry. A robin indicated a sailor. A sparrow designated a man of modest means who would keep her happy. A goldfinch was said to presage marriage to a wealthy man.

The cross as ‘x’ — and a kiss

The ‘x’ has been used by Christians since the earliest days of the Church.

Initially, an ‘x’ at the bottom of a message indicated a thousand kisses.

The ‘x’ recalled the cross on which St Andrew, the apostle, died. He, like St Peter, did not consider himself worthy to die the same way our Lord did. Also like Peter, Andrew died as a martyr. He had gone to preach in what is now the Balkans and was crucified in Patras in the Peloponnese. During his lifetime, he had travelled all the way to what, today, is Kiev. Therefore, it is not surprising that after his death a great devotion arose to him.

The custom of the illiterate signing their names with an ‘x’ began in the Middle Ages. Those who did so had to then kiss that cross as a sign that they were telling the truth in court or another situation involving the law. Remember, the printing press was still to come, so Bibles were rare.

From this and from the earliest days of the Church, the ‘x’ came to symbolise a kiss.


Last year’s post looked at Valentine’s customs through the Renaissance.

The source for the following material comes from The Telegraph’s 2010 article, ‘History of Valentine’s Day’.

By the early 17th century, February 14 was widely celebrated as a day of love. Shakespeare made a reference to it:

in Ophelia’s lament in Hamlet: “To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day,/All in the morning betime,/And I a maid at your window,/To be your Valentine.”

Mid-18th century

In England, men began writing love notes on St Valentine’s Day. In 1797, a book, The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, appeared. It advised on which phrases, rhymes and words to use in these messages, which were precursors to the Valentine’s Day card.

When sending messages by post became affordable, the possibility of sending Valentines anonymously became standard — and still is today in the UK.

19th century

By the beginning of the 19th century, sending Valentines was so popular that English factories began to mass-produce them.

In the United States, Esther Howland of Worcester, Massachusetts, began making and selling Valentine’s Day cards in 1847. She was able to use a new innovation — paper lace — to adorn her cards.

20th century

Valentine’s Day became commercialised with Hallmark Cards’ Valentines in 1913. February 14 is one of the company’s big card-selling occasions.

Then there was the St Valentine’s Day massacre in 1929.

By the 1980s, a whole industry emerged around Valentine’s Day. What used to be an occasion for a card and flowers or chocolates went upmarket when diamonds were marketed as the most desirable gift a woman could receive on February 14. Jewellery has since remained a popular gift.

21st century

In 2009, American retail figures showed that people spent an estimated $14.7 billion (£9.2 billion) on Valentine’s Day cards and gifts.

In 2010 — nearly a century after Hallmark’s Valentines appeared — 1 billion cards were sent around the world.

Enjoy your Sunday and best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day!

Reading the confusing history of St Valentine’s Day must make people wonder how this could ever have become such an enduring tradition around the world.

It is also one of the few saints’ feast days which secularists commemorate.

Which St Valentine?

First, there has been no consensus since Roman times as to who exactly St Valentine was. There were several saints named Valentine who could have fit the bill. In 1969, the Catholic Church withdrew February 14 as a feast day for this very reason. That said, the Anglican Communion and Lutheran Church have retained it in their respective calendars.

The earliest Sts Valentine were all martyrs from the Roman Empire. Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni (originally Interamna) are both commemorated on February 14. Valentine of Rome, a priest, was martyred in 496 AD. Valentine of Terni was a bishop martyred during the rule of the Emperor Aurelian in 197 AD.

Geoffrey Chaucer added another St Valentine to the mix (see below), Valentine of Genoa, also a bishop. He is thought to have died in 307 AD.

Valentine of Rome

Valentine of Rome appears to be the principal saint of the legend behind February 14. The legends about his life began shortly after his death during the rule of Emperor Claudius II and include the following:

– He came to the attention of Claudius II when he was arrested for being a Christian; the emperor interrogated him personally and was impressed by Valentine’s answers.

– Valentine is said to have converted his jailer Asterius and his whole household — 44 people in all — to Christianity. This occurred after Valentine restored Asterius’s daughter Julia’s eyesight.

– Centuries later, another anecdote was added to this story: the night before Valentine’s execution, he sent a message to Julia and signed it ‘From your Valentine’.

– Another legend purports that Valentine performed clandestine marriages for Claudius II’s soldiers. The emperor supposedly forbade his men from marrying, as this would weaken them in battle. However, it seems as if this is untrue; after the Roman victory over the Goths, Claudius II encouraged the soldiers to take ‘two or three women’ apiece. Perhaps the emperor just changed his mind.

– Valentine was supposed to have given parchment hearts to the Roman soldiers whom he had married. He also gave these to other persecuted Christians, it is said, ‘to remind them of their vows and of God’s love’.

– When Claudius II realised he could not convert Valentine to paganism, he had him executed.

– After Valentine’s burial, Julia supposedly planted an almond tree on his grave. Since then, the almond tree has symbolised enduring love and friendship.

Valentine of Terni

It seems that this Valentine — the bishop — wore an amethyst ring appropriate to his office. Allegedly, it had an image of Cupid engraved on it. It seems unlikely that a Christian bishop would have a pagan deity’s image on his ring. Hmm.

His story and that of the priest Valentine seem to converge on marrying Roman soldiers. According to legend, when interested soldiers saw Valentine of Terni’s ring, they asked if he would marry them and their sweethearts.

Amethyst, therefore, became the birthstone for the month of February as the gem is associated with love.


More confusion reigns over the association of Valentine’s Day with the Roman pagan feast Lupercalia, which took place between February 13 and 15. However, it would seem that what we recognise as Valentine’s Day began centuries later in the Middle Ages. There are various conflicting stories about the specific origin even at that point in history.

English writers and kings

In 1382, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a poem celebrating the first anniversary of the engagement of England’s Richard II to Anne of Bohemia, which included these lines:

For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.

As February is generally too early for birds to mate, it is thought that Chaucer could have been referring to St Valentine of Genoa, whose feast day is May 3.

Across the Channel in France, Charles VI is said to have instituted February 14 as a celebration of love, decreed in 1400 and part of the Charter of the Court of Love. However, historical documentation is non-existent and this alleged feast might not have even taken place.

Not long afterward, following the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, another Charles — the Duke of Orleans — was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Evidence exists supporting the note to his wife in France as being the first ever Valentine. It included these words:

My very sweet [gentle] Valentine.

In 1477, an Englishwoman Margery Brewes compiled a collection of letters to her husband, John Paston. One entry in the Paston Letters has this line:

my right well-beloved Valentine.[50]

Moving on to the next two centuries, Shakespeare wrote the following in Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 5, in 1601:

To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.

John Donne wrote this about the marriage of Elizabeth, James I’s daughter, to Frederick V, Elector Palatine:

Hayle Bishop Valentine whose day this is

All the Ayre is thy Diocese
And all the chirping Queristers
And other birds ar thy parishioners
Thou marryest every yeare …

Roses are red

The famous Valentine words ‘roses are red’ began with Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene from 1590:

She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.[51]

By 1784, this had evolved into a more familiar verse which comes from the book of English nursery rhymes, Gammer Gurton’s Garland:

The rose is red, the violet’s blue,

The honey’s sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,

And Fortune said it shou’d be you.[52][53]

Next year’s entry will look at how Valentine’s Day has grown in popularity since the 19th century.

For now, my best wishes for a happy Valentine’s Day!

Churchmouse Altarmousefinal copyAs Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, here is a quick and elegant dessert to serve your loved one.

It’s a pot au chocolat but with a mocha twist.

(Photo credit: Dr Gregory Jackson of Ichabod)

These pots should chill for three to four hours before serving on the day you make them. On the second day — if there are any leftovers! — bring them to room temperature for 20 – 25 minutes, depending on how warm your kitchen is.

Top with coffee-flavoured café-crème Chantilly (recipe below) for extra indulgence. This is one to remember!

Have a happy — and memorable — Valentine’s Day!

You will need four individual portion sized ramekins (size 00) and, if making the café-crème Chantilly, an electric mixer.

Churchmouse’s Mocha Memory

(prep time: 10 – 15 minutes; chill time: 3 – 4 hours; serves 4)


For the Mocha Memory —

125 ml (4 oz) heavy cream (double cream, for my UK readers)

75 ml (2 1/2 oz) whole milk

2 egg yolks (save the whites in a covered jar and refrigerate for another use)

2 – 3 tbsp caster sugar (granulated will do)

90 g (3 oz) dark chocolate (70% – 82%), roughly broken (dark chocolate chips will do); keep 10g (approx. one square) of this behind to chop more finely and divide amongst the ramekins

50 ml (1 1/2 oz) brandy (not the most expensive but must be drinkable)

1 – 1 1/2 tbsp Camp coffee syrup (or similar)

a tiny pinch of salt

For the café-crème Chantilly —

125 ml (4 oz) heavy or whipping cream (double cream, for my UK readers)

2 level tbsp caster sugar

1 tbsp Camp coffee syrup (or similar)


1/ Measure the milk in a measuring jug. Add the brandy and Camp syrup to it, mixing well.

2/ Pour the milk mixture into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the cream and a tiny pinch of salt (to accentuate the chocolate). Stir well and bring to a near boil over medium heat.

3/ Whilst the milk and cream are heating, take a medium-sized bowl and place the egg yolks and sugar in it. Whisk until just blended. This does not have to be pale and creamy, just combined.

4/ Roughly chop up the reserve square of chocolate and divide the pieces evenly among the ramekins for extra texture and a pleasant surprise. If you are using chocolate chips, three per ramekin will do. You can also use one or two chocolate covered coffee beans per ramekin instead, if you like.

5/ When the milk and cream are just coming to the boil (a skin should be starting to form on top and steam should be rising from the saucepan), slowly pour the liquid onto the egg and sugar mixture, whisking all the time. Constant whisking is necessary so that the egg does not start to cook.

6/ Once the milk and cream are thoroughly mixed into the egg and sugar, pour the mix back into the saucepan to make a simple custard. This will not be a thick custard, by the way.

7/ Return the saucepan to the heat, whisking constantly to keep the egg from cooking. This should take from three to five minutes — ten minutes at most. Test the doneness of the custard by dipping a metal or wooden spoon into it. Then run a clean finger lengthwise along the back of the spoon. If your finger has left a clear line, the custard is ready. Remove it from the heat.

8/ Quickly put the chocolate pieces into the bowl that you used for the egg and sugar and slowly pour the custard over them, stirring constantly. Once they are completely combined, divide the Mocha Memory mix evenly amongst the ramekins containing the chocolate pieces (or chocolate covered coffee beans).

9/ Leave the ramekins to cool between 20 and 30 minutes on a trivet or bread board before putting them in the refrigerator. Allow them to set for three to four hours.

10/ Whilst the ramekins are setting, make the café-crème Chantilly by putting the double (or whipping) cream, sugar and Camp into a bowl. Using an electric mixer, start on a low setting until the ingredients are incorporated. Once they are, switch to a medium-high speed until the cream is nice and thick, just short of whipped butter consistency. The thicker the whipped cream is, the longer it lasts sealed in the refrigerator. The sugar also helps it keep longer.

11/ If the ramekins are very cold later on the day you filled them, take them out for 15 minutes to bring them closer to room temperature in order to accentuate the flavours. Top with the whipped cream and serve.

© Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 2009-2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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