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Vanilla Cream: An Italian Dessert Recipe

If there is one evening upon which dessert should be served it is Valentine's Day. Nothing says "I love you" to a woman like a rich dessert surrounded by a some fresh berries. Our theme for our Valentine's Day recipes for guys is to show the most thoughtfulness with the least culinary effort or expertise possible. This does not mean that effort will not be required, only that you will be getting the biggest bang for the buck, with relative assurance that the investment in time will be repaid to you in at least a decent meal, and perhaps even in a display of affection. Remember, if things don't work out, you will have a few extra Vanilla Creams squirreled away in fridge and, with a bit of planning, a good old-fashioned action movie in the DVD cabinet. This recipe is for six.

Ingredients:
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 quarter-ounce packet unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups of her favorite fresh berries (strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries)

Directions:
Pour the milk into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and allow it to soften for about two minutes. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, pour whipping cream and sugar. Place on medium-low heat. Be sure to stir this constantly to avoid scalding. When sugar is dissolved (This takes about 5 minutes), remove from heat.

Pour the cream mixture from the saucepan into the mixing bowl with the gelatin. Stir in the vanilla. Pour the cream mixture into 6 separate ramekins or custard cups. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about four hours, or until the vanilla cream is firm. Turn over the ramekins on a small plate and allow the vanilla cream to fall out. If they do not fall out easily, run a knife around the edges. Now place fresh fruit haphazardly around the molded cream. Refrigerate until time to serve.


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