It’s February 15th. All the pressure of this month is, romantically speaking, over as the day of romance has finally passed us. That being said, I genuinely hope that all of you had a fantastic Valentine’s Day! My boyfriend and I didn’t really celebrate yesterday, considering we both had work and time just wasn’t on our side, but we’ve decided to postpone for a week or so so that we can still say we ‘celebrated’ Valentine’s day together. We may not have gotten to do a fancy, romantic dinner or some cheesy celebration (which I love), but we did get to bake a lot together, and as much as that may not sound like much fun, both of us love cooking, so we still got to have fun together yesterday.
I always love an excuse to put on my metaphoric apron (since I often forget to wear one) and make something delicious and Valentine’s day is the perfect excuse. Plus, I actually get to make some money in the process. I have a small ‘business’ where I bake cakes, cupcakes and other confectionery for people for their desired special occasions. As you can imagine, Valentine’s day creates a few orders for my bank account. So, instead of the traditional celebrations of candlelit dinner’s and intimate activities, my boyfriend and I spent the last two days whipping up a storm of desserts in the kitchen. Hence, my inspiration for today’s post. Valentine’s day, like any holiday, comes with the prerequisite for lots of sugar and given the fact that I’ve spent a lot of time baking, I thought I’d share a list of my favourite Valentine’s day desserts. I hope reading this post makes you as hungry as I’ve felt baking half this stuff – enjoy!
Chocolate seems to be the backbone of almost any holiday. Christmas has chocolate Santa Claus’, Valentine’s day has chocolate hearts (and chocolates in hearts), Easter has chocolate eggs, and Halloween has chocolate in general. What I’m getting at is that no holiday is complete without chocolate in some themed form, so how can I not include a chocolatey dessert? And what says chocolate better than a pot of melted chocolate for you to dip things in? What I love the most about this dessert is it is so easy to make, almost everyone likes chocolate, and you can pick your favourite things to dip, which makes it a highly flexible and customisable dessert. Plus there is just something so fun about dipping fruits, marshmallows etc. in chocolate and making a little mess in the process.
Heart-shaped gingerbread biscuits
There are very few baked goods that I can make regularly and still love so much. Gingerbread happens to be one of them. One of my standard orders is to make shaped gingerbread for different events, and so seeing as this is a romantic weekend, I had to make 100 heart-shaped gingerbread biscuits to brighten up hospital waiting rooms. Gingerbread may tend to match up with Christmas as a holiday, but that spicy sweetness is so irresistible that you can enjoy it all year round. So, if you require cookies on Valentine’s day, why not go with gingerbread? A little sugar and spice may be just what you need.
Simple, delicious, and so good that you can’t help reaching for just one more piece until the whole tray is gone. Coconut ice is essentially a refrigerated mix of desiccated coconut, condensed milk and icing sugar – come on. Doesn’t that sound delectable? This is, in fact, one of the desserts my dad will eat, and he’s not one for sugary items. If you need to make a dessert that isn’t too overpowering yet still sweet and delicious, this is the perfect one! You can layer it white and pink, and even cut it out into heart shapes. It’s the perfect no-bake dessert item that mixes sweet and tropical without being too much. Just maybe avoid eating the whole tray at once.
Chocolate covered strawberries
This is probably my favourite dessert ever, even though it has nothing to do with cooking and takes two ingredients and five minutes to make. In fact, this is my go-to reward after I’ve finished exams or have just been going through a stressful/rough time. My boyfriend has even come over, especially to deliver me a box. I know it’s not really fair to add these, seeing as they are essentially the same as strawberries dipped in chocolate fondue, but I love them too much to not include them. Besides that, they are so simple to make, so refreshing to eat (because the tart berry and the sweet chocolate make such a fantastic flavour combination) and you can make them look quite fancy depending on how you slice the strawberries or drizzle the chocolate. I mean how many grand romantic gestures or intimate scenes in movies involve chocolate-covered strawberries? It’s the simplest elegant dessert you will ever find!
Mocha cupcakes with espresso buttercream and caramel filling
Okay, I know that this may not sound like a romantic dessert or one that has anything to do with Valentine’s day in fact, but hear me out before you judge me. Coffee is actually one of the best pairings to go with chocolate because the two beans are actually related. Besides that, the coffee compliments the chocolate and gives it a richer taste and deeper complexity, and who can resist that added caffeine fix with a sweet treat? My boyfriend and I made these to commemorate the last day of a coffee course we are doing, and they were so delicious I had to add them to the least. What makes them so great is that the coffee tones balance out the sweetness of the caramel and the chocolate, and the one thing that I always appreciate in a dessert is the ability to balance out the sweetness so that it isn’t too overpowering. (P.S. if you want me to do a baking demo and share this recipe, let me know in the comments section!)
Mixed berry scones
I’ve been talking about chocolate non-stop, and I get that it can end up being a little too rich and overpowering. Sometimes the dessert that really hits the spot is one that isn’t too sweet and is, in fact, more on the delicate, tart side of the dessert scale. I’ve made these a few times for family events (like brunches and such). Still, I’ve added them to my Valentine’s list because I associate not only chocolate but also all of those lush red berries with Valentine’s day (hence chocolate-covered strawberries). Mixed berry scones are a great treat because they are a little bit sweet, a little bit savoury and if you eat them for breakfast, it doesn’t quite come with the same guilt as eating gingerbread or things covered in chocolate.
Last but not least, I couldn’t finish this list without adding the king of chocolatey desserts – Chocolate fondants. Aka chocolate lava cakes. You know the ones I am talking about. Those rich, dark chocolate sponge cakes that when you cut into them have melted chocolate ooze out of the middle. Ooh, I can practically feel my teeth aching and diabetes setting in, but it is so worth it to get a bite of these heavenly desserts. Now these are not exactly simple to make, and they take a bit of practice to get right, but they are definitely worth it in the end. Valentine’s day is about treating those we love, so treat and love yourself by spoiling yourself with this delectable chocolate explosion (and maybe some ice cream on the side).
And so there you have it! I always believe that you can’t really get through these holidays without indulging a little and enjoying some of the festive treats that are produced in masses. Well, making and enjoying some of these desserts is the perfect way to make it through this lovey-dovey period. I had so much fun making these desserts, and I hope that I may have made a few of you hungry and now in desperate need of a chocolate fix. Again, I hope you all had a fantastic Valentine’s day no matter how and with who you celebrated with. And that you got to eat lots of sugar. Today and for the next day or two is the perfect time to stock up now that Valentine’s day has officially passed. If any of you end up making some of these desserts, please let me know how they came out. Also, if you have a favourite Valentine’s day dessert or a favourite off this list, or if you want me to do tutorials of these recipes, please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments section. Thank you all so much for reading – please don’t forget to hit that little like button and subscribe, so you don’t miss future posts. And I hope you all have a weekend as sweet as chocolate.
Lots of love
Blondey on a Mission xxx