Want to make someone melt as easily as a well-tempered bar of fine chocolate this Valentine’s Day? Whether they’re already your amour or you just really want them to be, these treats will let ’em know you lurrrrve them.
BUY: Crossdown X Pump Street Single-Origin Series Doughnut
Pump up the
jam chocolate with Crosstown’s super-decadent new doughnut. Created in collaboration with award-winning bean-to-barists Pump Street Bakery, the limited-edition chocolate sourdough number uses the Suffolk company’s Ecuador Hacienda Limon 75% dark chocolate – think a rich mix of honey, caramel and coffee notes. The result is triple-threat treat – the chosen choc appears in its custard filling, its ganache topping, and the lavish shower of shavings which adorn it.
- £3.80 apiece or £30 for 12, available instore until early March from Crosstown Doughnuts‘ Soho store and London market outlets (delivery available to selected London postcodes)
DRINK: Till Death Do Us Part at TwoRuba
Being downright drunk might stop your chances of scoring, but being slightly squiffy’s sexy – and so is a tipple for two. TwoRuba’s ‘Till Death Do Us Part’ fits the bill brilliantly, with a name that makes your intention perfectly clear and a flavour that’ll sweeten the occasion and spice things up nicely. Blending passion fruit, lime, sugar and black pepper, the liquor fix comes courtesy of a good dose of Absolut vodka; the cocoa content via a chocolate’n’green chilli garnish.
- The ‘Till Death Do Us Part’ cocktail for two costs £29 from TwoRuba, 5 More London Place, Tooley Street, London SE1 2BY
EXPERIENCE: Rococo’s Valentine’s Aphrodisiac Pairing
Build up brownie points by taking your beloved (or your current object of lust) to Sam Smallman’s sexy seminar, during which happy couples can get to grips with pairings perfect for putting them in the mood. Ingredients like chillies and oysters might be known aphrodisiacs, but did you know that they can be combined with chocolate to make your Valentine’s Day (and night) go with even more of a bang?
- The Valentine’s Aphrodisiac Pairing workshop costs £25 per person and takes place on 12 February from 7-9pm at Rococo’s Chocolate School, 5 Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8JU
DINE: The Temptation Wheel at The Savoy
Take a gamble on what to indulge in next, not your choice of venue. The Savoy is a safe bet for any occasion, and never more so when romance is a requisite. The Art Deco-style Temptation Wheel features an array of chocolates and desserts by executive pastry chef Ludwig Hely and cocktails by The Beaufort Bar’s Chris Moore, all grouped according to theme. With treats ranging across the spectrum from ‘light and fresh’ through to ‘rich and indulgent’, it’s sure to set the mood for a playful, eye-opening evening of experimentation.
- The Temptation Wheel is available from 7.30pm in The Savoy’s Thames Foyer, Strand, London WC2R 0EU. Prices average at £6 for chocolate and £16 for a cocktail or dessert.
MAKE: Gleneagles Hotel’s Smoked Chocolate Mousse
- 200g good-quality 70% dark chocolate, chopped
- 3 egg yolks
- 140g Italian meringue (for Serious Eats’ recipe, click here)
- smoked olive oil (optional), to taste
- Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of barely-simmering water. Stir occasionally, until fully melted and smooth.
- Allow the chocolate to cool slightly, then add the the egg yolks and mix well until emulsified.
- Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the Italian meringue until incorporated. If using, add the smoked oil to taste. Divide between serving glasses and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Serve with garnishes of your choice – try grated chocolate, salted nuts, crushed meringues, crumbled cookies, salted caramel, whipped cream, fresh berries, fruit compote…. or all of the above!
- Recipe courtesy of Neil Mugg, Head Pastry Chef at Gleneagles Hotel.
- To read about the best chocolate to buy for Valentine’s Day, click here
- For Will Torrent’s recipe for Mississippi banoffee mud pies, click here
- For a chocolate cheesecake recipe to spice up Valentine’s Day, click here
Image credits: Crosstown Doughnuts by Maz McEwan