Valentines will melt for food editor Eleanor Maidment’s chocolate recipes, perfect for Valentine’s Day desserts.
Valentine’s Day desserts
Chocolate amaretto mousse
You can happily leave the liqueur out of this recipe for a very classic chocolate mousse. Or swap it for your favourite tipple – Baileys or dark rum would both work well.
Triple chocolate cookies
Made with cocoa powder and a mix of dark, milk and white chocolate, these cookies are a full-blown chocolate hit.
Flourless chocolate pecan cake
Gluten-free and superbly rich, this is a wonderful dessert cake, best served with a cloud of whipped cream. You can swap the pecans for shop-bought ground almonds for an even simpler version.
The ultimate hot chocolate sauce
This effortless sauce and a couple of tubs of vanilla ice cream is all you need to whip up a dessert for eight people in just 5 minutes.
Molten chocolate puddings
The perfect Valentine’s dessert. Placing a Lindt Lindor ball in the middle of the pudding is a clever trick for guaranteeing a molten chocolate centre. Use your favourite variety – salted caramel or hazelnut are great, too.
Soured cream chocolate loaf
An intensely chocolatey loaf cake with a fabulous whip of soured cream frosting on top.
Dark chocolate and sea salt-coated almonds
Use your favourite nuts to make this utterly moreish snack. Brazil nuts are particularly good too.
Valentine’s Day desserts: How to cook with chocolate
The percentage listed on chocolate bars refers to the amount of cocoa solids the chocolate contains. Generally the higher the percentage the more savoury and cocoa-rich it will taste. Lower-percentage dark chocolates tend to have more added sugar and be sweeter. Any percentage can be used in baking and cooking, depending on the richness, sweetness and intensity of flavour you are aiming for.
Always melt chocolate slowly and resist the urge to stir it too much. The most hassle-free method is in a microwave. Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave on low (600W) in 30-second bursts, stirring gently between each, until completely melted. Or use the bain marie method, placing the chocolate in a heatproof bowl that sits over a pan of very gently simmering water (the base of the bowl should not touch the water). This is a good method if you’re melting chocolate and butter at the same time.
Chocolate can be quite temperamental during melting as it is sensitive to heat and other liquids that it comes into contact with (always make sure the bowl you are melting it in is completely dry, as even a splash of water can cause it to seize). If you do end up with a grainy, seized chocolate, try stirring a tablespoon of just-boiled water into it. You will often find this brings it back together.