February. The first daffodils, Valentine's Day, usually Shrove Tuesday aka Pancake Day over here, and this year Chinese New Year - the year of the Tiger - as well.
Well, we actually saw the first daffodils on the 30th of January when we were out for a walk, but they don't really count because they were in containers. The daffodils in the ground are way behind this year compared to recent years, and they aren't anywhere near flowering yet.
Valentine's Day is usually associated with flowers and chocolate, so today I am giving you a link to a recipe for a very yummy but easy to make rich chocolate desert, called Truffle Torte.
The recipe is here, at Delia Online. The recipe is also in two of Delia's books - Delia Smith's Christmas and The Delia Collection, Chocolate.
I made this for Valentine's Day last year, using a 200g block of Valrhona's Manjari couverture chocolate that I had bought in John Lewis, so I scaled the quantities of the other ingredients accordingly.
As the recipe says, the torte was well behaved and remained in one piece when I turned it out of the tin onto a plate. I dusted the surface of the torte with Green and Black's cocoa powder.
We served the torte as suggested, with some single cream poured over it, but we didn't add any flavoring or liqueur to the single cream.
I apologise for the photos - the torte does look rather just like a chocolate blob, and when we poured the cream over the slices of torte, the cream and cocoa powder didn't mix, so the cream just sort of slid off the top of the slice and formed a pool around it. But the taste didn't disappoint, and there is a much nicer picture of the torte in Delia Smith's Christmas.