My husband, Lee's biggest complaint regarding my cooking is that I "never repeat", meaning I never make the same thing twice. Which isn't true of course, but I know what he means. I'm always looking to improve upon recipes and try something new. So for Valentine's Day I let him choose the menu, something new or a repeat of an old favorite.
For celebratory meals it seems eating in is at least as romantic as eating out, maybe more. And with a few possible exceptions, no matter what ingredients you buy, you'll be hard pressed to spend more than you would dining out. One year I even made platters of seafood -- oysters on the half shell, poached shrimp, mussels, smoked salmon, etc. But the biggest hit was the time I made cheese fondue followed by chocolate fondue. So after deciding we'd rather do Valentine's Day dinner at home this year, Lee expressed his desire for "Fondue x 2", which is our menu du jour.
While making cheese fondue can be tricky, making chocolate fondue is practically foolproof and can be whipped up at a moment's notice. Even if you do end up going out for dinner tonight, I highly recommend coming home for this dessert. It's tres romantique. It would also be a lot of fun for kids. There are lots of recipes around for chocolate fondue, but this one is the easiest. I found a version of it in Michael Bauer's The Secret of Success Cookbook, which is a terrific book, by the way. Whatever way you celebrate, have a wonderful Valentine's Day!
1/2 cup of heavy cream
8 ounces of the best quality dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
A couple tablespoons of liquor, optional
Heat the cream gently, take it off the heat when it gets hot, then add the chocolate and leave it alone for a couple of minutes to let the chocolate melt. Then whisk in the liquor and voila! chocolate fondue. The choice of liquor is up to you -- Grand Marnier, Kirsch, Kahlua, whatever you like.
As far as equipment goes, you will need a fondue pot or a butter warmer to keep the chocolate the perfect consistency for dipping. What you use to dip is up to you but I like cookies or pound cake, banana chunks and raspberries.
- By Amy Sherman