Did you know that this week, October 10-15 is Chocolate Week in the U.K.?
Throughout the country, chocolate lovers are attending tasting events and celebrating the holiday.
Here in the U.S., we celebrate National chocolate day in March, perhaps to keep the sweetness of Valentine’s Day alive. Since we live in a global society, I’ve decided we should celebrate from afar.
Chocolate, as you may know, has many benefits. It’s an antioxidant and consumed in moderation, can be good for your health.
Chocolate makes an excellent gift for someone you may have a crush on and to bring on a date.
Sharing chocolate can be romantic as you spoon-feed each other some delicious chocolate mouse. Check out some of our chocolate recipes in our Love Potions for some suggestions for the holiday.
Chocolate is passionate. Heart shaped chocolate can be an aphrodisiac, so I suggest you stop by your local chocolatier, guilt-free, and celebrate the holiday.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit her at http://CyberDatingExpert.com and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and on facebook.com/cyberdatingexpert
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show your sweetie how you feel with a decadent dessert. This luscious mud pie is rich, chocolaty, and memorable, yet easy enough for even the most novice cook to make. It’s best made the day before or at least a few hours before you intend to serve it, so that the layers meld and harden.
4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
20 Chocolate sandwich cookies, like Newman’s Own or Trader Joe’s O’s
½ cup Toffee bits (like crushed Heath bar)
6 ounces Caramel sauce
1 pint premium coffee ice cream (like Julie’s Organic)
1 ½ pints vanilla ice cream (like Alden’s Organic vanilla)
1. Preheat oven to 350. Break cookies into large pieces and place in a food processor. Pulse until cookies are in large crumbs, then pour in melted butter and pulse a few more times to combine. Press crumbs into a pie plate to form a crust and bake for 8 minutes. Let cool completely.
2. Heat jar of caramel sauce according to package directions. Pour over crust, then sprinkle with toffee pieces. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes or until caramel is firm.
3. Let coffee ice cream sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Spoon into the pie and spread into an even layer with a spatula or spoon. Return to freezer for 30 minutes or until ice cream is hard.
4. Let vanilla ice cream sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or until soft enough to spread with a spatula. Remove pie from freezer and spread vanilla ice cream over the coffee ice cream with a spoon or spatula until it’s an even layer. Return to freezer. Let freeze for at least an hour before serving. If not eating immediately, cover with plastic wrap.
This Love Potions recipe was contributed by Amelia Winslow of Eating Made Easy.
It’s true. Chocolate is known to be an aphrodisiac. Perhaps that’s why the chocolate recipes are the most popular selections in our Love Potions. According to Diana Phillips of Diana Phillips Artisan Chocolates, aphrodisiac is a word derived from the Greek Goddess of love, Aphrodite. Aphrodisiacs are agents that are said to cause the arousal of sexual desire. They have been around since before recorded history, but the meaning and purpose behind them has not changed. People employ these magical substances reputed for romance in hope of stimulating instant amour and erotic interest.
Diana shared with her her recipe for Chocolate Espresso Pots du Creme, adapted from Gourmet Magazine. They are both sinful and elegant and come complete with an added instruction: Meant for spooning into each other’s mouth. Clothing definitely optional.
CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO POTS DU CREME
You can use ramekins or fancy espresso cups – anything that’s oven safe.
* 6 oz fine-quality 55-64% dark chocolate, finely chopped
* 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
* 2/3 cup whole milk
* 2 teaspoons instant-espresso powder*
* 6 large egg yolks
* 2 tablespoons sugar
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 300°F.
Put chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring cream, milk, espresso powder (to taste), and a pinch of salt just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until espresso powder is dissolved, then pour over chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in another bowl, then add warm chocolate mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a 1-quart glass measure and cool completely, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Line bottom of a baking pan (large enough to hold ramekins) with a folded kitchen towel and arrange ramekins on towel. Poke several holes in a large sheet of foil with a skewer. Divide custard among ramekins, then bake custards in a hot water bath, pan covered tightly with foil, until custards are set around edges but still slightly wobbly in centers, 30 to 35 minutes.
Transfer ramekins to a rack to cool completely, uncovered, about 1 hour. (Custards will set as they cool.) Chill, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours.
Garnish with shipped cream or shave some more of the dark chocolate over the top.
yield: Makes 8 servings
active time: 30 min
total time: 5 1/2 hr (includes chilling)
Visit Diana Phillips Artisan Chocolates for more information on chocolate and recipes.