Sweet and sinful Valentine’s dessert

If there is any other day of the year that fulfils your need for chocolate besides Christmas, it’s Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate is considered an aphrodisiac ingredient used by ancient civilisations, like the Aztecs who used to entitle it “food of the gods”. Although various studies to date haven’t been able to conclude if the amount of stimulant, existent in most chocolate that we use today, is enough to actually produce arousal, it does help the brain release endorphins that are responsible for happy feelings and the sense of wellbeing. Besides, chocolate tastes wondrous and is a romantic gesture to surprise your other half on this special day.

|| Chocolate Fondue
▪ 150 grams dark chocolate (70% cocoa. Dark chocolate that states sugar as the first ingredient on the list isn’t the best choice, quality and healthwise. Try to find chocolate that has sugar as second or further down the ingredients’ list, as the first is always the one present in higher quantity)
▪ 200 millilitres double cream
▪ 10-20 grams ground ginger
▪ 30 grams honey
▪ Pinch of salt
▪ ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
▪ Fruit of your choice (photo: strawberries, blueberries, bananas, pears, persimmons and oranges – the latter go very well and are in season).

Heat the cream with the grated ginger; do not let it boil. Take off the heat and add the chocolate broken up into pieces, plus remaining ingredients; stir gently with a spoon until completely melted. If it doesn’t melt entirely, heat through once again on the stove, on low heat, never forgetting to stir so it doesn’t burn.
Ginger, honey and certain fruits like banana, strawberries and pears are also lovie-dovie potions that make this recipe a match for a romantic evening for two. If you enjoy a spicier kick that ginger itself can’t provide, adding chilli pepper is also a good combination, plus it’s an aphrodisiac!
To serve it, I advise an actual chocolate fondue kit, which is fairly inexpensive and easy to find. This helps keep the fondue warm for longer, but should be stirred ever so often as the candle that heats the receptacle can burn the bottom layer of chocolate sauce.

By Megan Melling
Megan Melling’s journey into the food world started three years ago when she decided to enrol in Cookery and Food Production in Portugal. She was born American, but grew up in the Algarve, so she gets the best of two opposite culinary cultures. She is currently working as a cook in Lisbon and documenting all of her personal recipes on her blog www.melsvittles.wordpress.com