Eileen gave me a chocolate Reece's Peanut Butter Heart for Valentine's Day.
And a card.
I immediately put the heart in the freezer.
You see, I do like chocolate. I'm not over-the-top crazy about it, but I do enjoy the taste.
But for me, it's enhanced when cold. Especially anything from Reece's, where the cocoa and peanut butter marry into something truly decadent when they're brittle-hard.
My family teases me about this. A lot. They wonder if this is a holdover from my childhood; that perhaps I got in trouble at some point for making some kind of chocolatey mess with a dessert. Messy Marvin-style.
I'm not sure... I don't remember any trauma resulting from punishment for a face smeared with the remnants of a Three Musketeers.
But I suppose it is possible.
I do remember being dragged to my older brother's football games and, in an effort to placate my whining, being given a Styrofoam cup of cocoa. But I don't think I knew it was cocoa; I think I thought it was merely chocolate milk.
And I can still recall the bitter feel of a burnt tongue, which was not at all mitigated by the sweet contents of the hot chocolate.
I do, therefore, have an iffy relationship with melty, gooey chocolate.
Two years running, I tried to make Eileen a lava cake for her birthday. She's a dyed-in-the-cocoa-bean chocoholic who I knew would appreciate a serving of soft, fudgy cake, centered with a gush of warm, molten chocolate in the center.
Trouble is, I am 0 for 2 in trying to pull this off. Mine was edible, but more like a hockey puck filled with a soft Hershey kiss.
Maybe it's a general feeling of meh when it comes to chocolate things in general. I'm not a big brownie guy, even though my family will dicker over a pan of uncut brownies, choosing either a "middle" or a "corner" as the best cut. And hot fudge leaves me kind of cold. As far as candy goes, I like other flavors mixed in with my chocolate, rather than just chocolate alone. So Reece's is a favorite. As are Peppermint Patties. And chocolate-covered strawberries.
But all in all, I'd rather have a good slice of cheesecake, thank you.
Still, when it comes to desserts, there is one thing that I enjoy being soft and mushy.