This Valentine's Day, serve up a special treat to the loves in your life with this easy, delicious chocolate and raspberry trifle. If you prefer, you can substitute dark cherries or strawberries.

Making the raspberry coulis is the most difficult part of the whole recipe and can be omitted if you prefer. It does add a little special touch, however. Plus, it's so versatile, you'll be using it on just about everything!

A Little Valentine Trifle

4 servings

 Ingredients

•    2/3 cup heavy whipping cream (May substitute prepared topping such as Cool Whip)

•    1-2 Tablespoons powdered sugar

•    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

•    8 purchased or homemade chocolate brownies, cut or crumbled into small pieces, about 2 cups

•    2 cups fresh raspberries, dark sweet cherries or strawberries

•    1 cup chocolate ice cream topping

Garnishes:

•    Dark unsweetened cocoa, optional

•    Raspberry Coulis, optional

•    Toasted, chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Directions

1.    In a chilled large mixing bowl whip cream with sugar and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed with wire whip until stiff peaks form; set aside in the refrigerator

2.    Divide half of the brownie crumbles among 4 parfait glasses.

3.    Layer raspberries, chocolate topping and whipped cream over brownie crumbles; repeat.

4.    Sprinkle with a sprinkle of dark cocoa powder and drizzle with raspberry coulis. Sprinkle chopped nuts overall, if desired.

5.    Refrigerate up to 4 hours.

Easy Raspberry Coulis

Just a fancy name for a delicious, super versatile raspberry sauce, this Easy Raspberry Coulis pairs fabulously with chocolate, baked brie, angel food cake and even pancakes!

Ingredients

•    1/2 cup sugar

•    3 tablespoons water or orange juice

•    12 ounces frozen raspberries thawed (don't use fresh)

•    1 tablespoon Chambord Framboise or Grand Marnier liqueur, optional (substitute orange juice or water)

Instructions

1.    Combine sugar and water (or orange juice) in a 1 cup (or larger) microwave-safe cup or bowl. Stir to combine. Mixture will be very thick.

2.    Cook in the microwave on high power for two minutes. Stir for 5-10 seconds to ensure that the sugar crystals are dissolved.

3.    Combine frozen raspberries and hot syrup in a blender container. Blend until mixture is smooth and pureed.

4.    Pour puree through a fine mesh strainer set over a medium-size bowl. Stir and push on the solids with the back of a rubber spatula until all of the liquid has been extracted. This will take several minutes as the mixture will be thick.

5.    Discard the seeds. Add the liqueur, if using and stir to combine.

6.    Store in the refrigerator for 5-7 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.