It’s almost Valentine’s Day and if you’re planning on impressing your date with a home-cooked meal, then a chocolate-based dessert should be on the menu!
Chocolate is a well-known aphrodisiac, so incorporating it in your meal will help to create the right atmosphere. Dark chocolate is the type most associated with love-stimulating chemicals, but obviously, go with your date's preference if you're trying to really impress.
Either way, we've got some inspiration for you below, from a light and fluffy vegan chocolate sponge to moreish doughnut holes (with chocolate dipping sauce) and a rich chocolate and orange cheesecake.
These beautiful chocolate brownies from Edward Hayden are a little bit special. They’re made with rose water and pistachios and are wonderfully soft and fragrant.
This light and fluffy chocolate fudge cake from The Happy Pear is vegan-friendly and looks pretty spectacular. There'll be plenty left over too.
These doughnut holes are small but sweet enough to ensure that you're satisfied after all the savoury fare. They’re also perfect to eat with your hands, meaning that you can easily share this decadent dessert.
Is there anything more impressive than a baked cheesecake? This recipe from Camerino Bakery is foolproof and big enough to ensure that you have enough leftovers for your second date. You can decorate the cheesecake however you like, but we think the addition of rose petals and chopped pistachios evokes a really romantic vibe.
Citrus fruit is another aphrodisiac, so the zesty flavour in this dessert will certainly help to get you and your date into a romantic mood. We love the idea of pouring warm marmalade over the top of the cheesecake to give a professional finish that’s really easy to achieve.
If you need a gluten-free option, then this delicious, rich cake will definitely fit the bill. The chocolate topping is a must-do for Valentine’s Day as it will show that you’re pulling out all the stops for your date.
Another great recipe for people looking for something 'alternative' and even better, completely vegan. These slices are bursting with chocolatey goodness; the recipe, from Holly White, is pretty simple to make and can be frozen, so any pieces that you don’t use can be saved for the future (or future dates?).
These elegant little tarts are a perfect dessert. The citrussy orange balances out the sweetness of the white chocolate. You can buy ready-made sweet shortcrust pastry to save time.
This article first appeared on our sister site foodandwine.ie
Main pic: Sara Cervera on Unsplash
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