3 quick and easy chocolate desserts for Valentine’s Day
Some people celebrate Valentine’s day with roses, some people celebrate with racy nickers, and foodies celebrate with… well food.
Here are 3 very simple and quick chocolate-laden desserts to make for your special someone!
What could be more romantic than a chocolate fondue?
250g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
15ml liqueur or brandy – optional (Kirsch, brandy, Kahlua, crème de menthe, Frangelico etc)
Dippers (Strawberries, pineapple slices, naartjie segments, raspberries, sliced banana, apple slices, dried apricots, marshmallows, biscotti, pretzels, Oreos, cubes of Madiera cake etc)
Sprinkles (chopped nuts, chocolate chips, crumbled fudge, chocolate vermicelli, heart-shaped sprinkles, hundreds and thousands etc)
Place the cream in a large pot and bring it to the boil slowly. Once it has boiled remove it from the heat and add in all the chocolate. Stir well until all the chocolate has melted, then add the liqueur. Pour into a warm bowl or fondue set to keep it melted. Serve on a platter with the dippers and small bowls of sprinkles. For the more adventurous, serve as a body paint with a pair of pastry brushes.
Chocolate mug cake:
Mug cakes are all the rage at the moment!
125 ml cake flour
2.5ml baking powder
Pinch of salt
60ml Nutella (optional)
To serve: whipped cream or crème fraiche
Select two large mugs. Your mug should be able to hold about 500ml of liquid (if filled to the top). If you don’t have a large mug, use a microwavable bowl. If your mug is too small, you will end up with overflow while they are cooking, so always place a piece of kitchen paper under the mug or bowl in case of mess.
In a mixing bowl, place all the dry ingredients and give them a mix. Make a well in the center and add in the milk and oil, whisking them into the dry ingredients. Divide the batter evenly between your two mugs, and spoon in half of the Nutella into each mug. This will create a soft centre.
Microwave your mugs on at a time for 70 seconds on full power (for a 950W microwave). Please note that all microwaves vary, so be careful not to overcook it. If in doubt start with 40 seconds, have a look and if it isn’t cooked return it to the micro for a further 10 seconds at a time, checking each time.
Leave it too cool a bit before you eat it as it is very hot when it comes out of the micro. Serve with whipped cream or crème fraiche.
Nutty chocolate and phyllo pastry cigars:
Look wildly professional, and are super easy to make.
10 sheets of phyllo pastry, thawed
50g butter, melted
50g chopped nuts (hazelnuts, pecans or macadamias)
200g Nutella or chocolate ganache (see the fondue recipe for how to make chocolate ganache)
Work with one layer of phyllo pastry at a time, keeping the remaining pastry covered with a damp tea towel to prevent them from drying out. Brush the pastry with melted butter and fold it in half, and brush it again with butter. Sprinkle on a light sprinkling of chopped nuts. Place your Nutella or chocolate ganache in a piping bag or large Ziploc bag, and cut a hole in one corner about the size of a 10c piece. Pipe out a strip of filling down the middle of your pastry. Leave a 2cm border at the top and bottom of the strip. Fold over the pastry of the border at the top and the bottom to create a flap that will prevent the filling from oozing out of the cigar. Then roll it up from left to right. Repeat until you have used all your filling. Place each cigar on a buttered cookie sheet, and bake for 10 – 15 minutes at 180°C until golden brown.