Have you ever heard the Valentine’s Day story? It has nothing to do with love as we know it and certainly has nothing to do with roses, candles, boyfriends, girlfriends or red colour. I think we just needed a day to celebrate romance. Honestly, I love the pink-ness of this day. It is perfect for strawberry season, they are everywhere! Then there are big red hearts hanging in shop windows, and heart shaped boxes for little presents, cards and balloons, in fact I would say the celebration attached with Valentine’s Day in India is almost like our Christmas celebration.
For me or any woman it is just another excuse to be pampered by her man. Valentine’s Day is my excuse to put on a red dress and high heels, and be my man’s perfect fantasy. It’s not too hot and it’s not too cold, just perfect for warmth, wine and wooing. On a Friday evening when he gets back from work, just lay out a rug and light some candles (great if you have a chimney! Light that), then take your shoes off and cuddle up before a serving of warm fondue.
Fondue is the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the privacy of your home. While grabbing the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner in your favourite restaurant is a tempting idea, there is nothing like the warmth and comfort of your own home just to cuddle up and eat together. Then there’s the opportunity feed each other those strawberries or tease them with cheese. The gooey, moist and warm bowl of cheese or chocolate is the most romantic food I could think of. It also has the advantage of being surprisingly simple; anyone can make it in a matter of minutes before your partner arrives from work.
My plan was to follow a 3 cheese fondue for dinner with a boozy chocolate fondue with fruits for dessert. The 3 cheese fondue is pure indulgence, and the right way to do it involves grating cheese. Now, I will be honest with you, I didn’t want to put on a lovely dress and then grate cheese. So instead of that, I have decided to put on my red dress and melt chocolate for a warm, boozy chocolate fondue!
For the first half of the evening I decided to let him pamper me and please me with his cooking skills, fingers crossed for that perfect steak meal. In the latter half I would serve chocolate fondue on a rug, light the place up with candles and be the perfect seductress. Haha.. No prize for guessing that he is more likely to take me out for dinner rather than cook it himself after work. Let’s face it men will be men, lazy. If you are a man taking notes though even if you do take her out to dinner, be sure to serve the perfect boozy dessert at home for that cherry on top to a perfect evening.
It is really simple to make this chocolate fondue, I mean when I rehearsed this recipe the chocolate had melted by the time I finished putting my dress and my make up, and then there was very little to do after that. No, you don’t need to rush now & go buy a fondue set, unless you really want to. You can simple have the perfect makeshift arrangement, use a glass bowl holding the fondue over a fitted steel bowl with an inch of hot water (you can replace the water when needed), and use satay sticks in place of fondue forks. Satay sticks are like long toothpicks used to make satays, kebabs and they are easily available. You can use any two spirits in this recipe, in my version I used two great whiskys I had, Macallan and Tallisker. In the recipe I have used cognac and rum with orange for some warmth and depth.
To Make a Warm, Boozy Chocolate Fondue
You Will Need
Dark Cooking Chocolate Slab (I used Morde) 250g (1/2 slab)
Cream (packaged) 100ml (1/2 cup)
Cognac (use brandy if cognac is unavailable) 30ml
Dark Rum 30ml
Orange zest (remove shavings from the peel with a zester) 2 teaspoons
Cinnamon Powder 1 teaspoon
Grapes (I prefer Black grapes) 1 bunch
Marshmellows 1 large packet
Sliced Cake, cut into croutons 1 cake
Heat a steel bowl with water and bring the water to a boil. Break chocolate into pieces and place the chocolate in a glass bowl that fits over the steel bowl with the boiling water. Melt the chocolate in this double boiler.
Add in cream to the chocolate and stir. Let the chocolate be placed over the hot water but turn off the heat.
Now add in the cognac and rum into the melted chocolate and stir.
Add in the orange zest and cinnamon powder. Stir.
Allow it to stand for a 5 to 7 minutes so the flavor is infused in the chocolate (light the candles meanwhile).
Place a fresh bowl full of hot water under the chocolate fondue and serve with strawberry, black grapes, marshmellows and cake croutons if you like.