When planning a romantic menu for Valentine’s Day, consider quantities. Bodies will use up energy digesting food. Treating dinner as an all you can eat buffet or eating foods that induce the need for a nap are not the best plan. Keeping portions appropriate allows for nibblies and treats during the course of the evening as a part of a fuller sensual experience.
Use the good stuff, whatever that means for you. The spoon for the Strawberry Rose Parfait below feels very different in your hand than the one from the kitchen drawer. The crystal candle holder, the stemmed dessert glass, the higher quality chocolate. All these differences are subtle and evoke the idea of an extraordinary evening being created. I am not suggesting spending a fortune, just doing the best with what is available.
I put the jam through a sieve. I wanted to make sure all the rose petals were in very small pieces. Great for jam but not so great for sauce.
Heat the jam, which will soften it and add a couple teaspoons of honey which will thin it even more.
Scoop 5 or 6 small balls of vanilla ice cream into a parfait glass. By small I mean just the size to easily fit on a spoon, making it easier to eat without having to dig into a larger solid “slab”. Place the dessert bowls in the freezer until ready to serve.
I added one sliced strawberry, left over from a chocolate class yesterday.
Sliced and tossed with a little sugar to get the juices running.
The temperature differences will stimulate the senses.
I know dipped strawberries are a favourite for Valentine’s Day but please wait until your local strawberries are ripe and create another romantic evening at that time.
Local fresh strawberries will always taste better than ones that are picked green and travel thousands of miles/kilometers.
Plump and juicy trumps chewy and flavourless in sensually every time. If there just doesn’t seem to be anything appealing, try poaching some figs.
If you are moving desert away from the dinner table, smaller is better. Smaller strawberries are less messy, ( think grapes and Rome ). They can be enjoyed without dropping bits of cracked chocolate everywhere.
Yes I know, kissing the crumbs away has an added bonus, all possible with chocolate body paint.
A very easy way to create a body paint for the bedroom is to melt 1/4 cup good quality chocolate and add 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter. The extra fat softens the chocolate. (Adding whipping cream or liquor will make the chocolate seize and it will go thicker not thinner.) Stir well and pour into a small dish. Prepare in advance and set aside with a paint brush ( or not ). It will thicken over time but 10 seconds in the microwave will soften everything up again.
If you received chocolates for Valentine’s, take them along down the hallway, always good to have something to share available.
Making a plan, setting a stage, showing someone you care enough about them to make the extra efforts, all fades into the background at some point.
Being in the moment, being willing to play and being open to the adventure of your mind, body and the spirits will make for a stimulating Valentine’s Day.
Desserts and… from My Kitchen Wand