It was the Aztecs who first drew a link between the cocoa bean and sexual pleasure. Their emperor, Montezuma, was said to have consumed copious amounts of the stuff in an effort to fuel his infamous romantic trysts.
Today, chocolate is a well-known aphrodisiac that has a particular effect on women. There are two chemical compounds — one a building block of serotonin, a brain chemical involved in sexual arousal and the other a stimulant that is released in the brain when people fall in love — present in chocolate that promote feelings of pleasure.
But while science shows the existence of these compounds, most researchers believe that the levels of these substances in chocolate are too low to have any measurable effect on desire. Maybe you just need to eat more of the stuff to get any measurable effect.
Whatever the science is behind chocolate’s feel-good properties, there’s no denying chocolate is a mainstay of any Valentine’s Day celebration so with that in mind here are three totally indulgent chocolate recipes that are sure to get you feeling sexy in no time.
Chocolate strawberry fondue
It may be a cliché but nothing says romance more than chocolate and strawberries. Packed full of vitamin C, potassium and zinc, eating a ripe strawberry or, better yet, a chocolate-covered strawberry, is a sure way to stimulate your senses and your libido. This recipe for chocolate strawberry fondue will not only get you in the mood but with the added benefit of a side serving of fruit it’s pretty much a health food.
- 1 punnet of strawberries
- 300 grams of dark chocolate, chopped
- 200 millilitres of thickened cream
- 100 grams of chopped hazlenuts (optional)
- 100 grams of desiccated coconut (optional)
- 100 grams of Tim Tam soil (optional)
- In a small saucepan or a fondue pot, melt the cream and the chocolate, stirring until well combined.
- Wash, dry and hull the strawberries and toss into a serving bowl. Place chopped nuts, coconut or soil into small saucers if desired.
- Using fondue sticks or small dessert forks, spear a strawberry, dip it into the fondue, then roll it in the topping of your choice before devouring greedily.
Hot chocolate with heart marshmallows
There’s something a little comforting about a mug of hot chocolate and the thought of cosying up under a blanket with a mug of steaming, chocolatey goodness and your loved one. This recipe not only comes with a healthy dose of chocolate but a good pinch of cinnamon too — sure to get you and your lover's blood pumping.
Makes two cups
- 2 cups of milk
- 110 grams of bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 60 grams of milk chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1 packet of large pink marshmallows
- Small heart cookie cutter
- Warm half of the milk with the chopped chocolates, cinnamon and salt in a medium saucepan over a low heat. Stir continuously with a whisk until the chocolate has melted.
- Whisk in the remining milk and heat until the mixture is warmed through. Remove from the heat.
- Cut heart shapes out of the marshmallows using a small heart cookie cutter.
- Pour the hot chocolate into two mugs and top with heart marshmallows. Serve immediately.
Chocolate pots with Tim Tam soil
What’s better than a pot of silky, chocolate custard? A pot of silky, chocolate custard topped with a Tim Tam, of course. Decadent, yes, but Valentine’s Day is a day for indulging so get on board with these uniquely Australian chocolate treats.
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Chocolate Pot recipe
- 2/3 cup of milk
- 50 grams of bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract or paste
- 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 2 Tim Tams, blended to a fine crumb
- Preheat your oven to 150 degrees C.
- Bring the milk to simmer in a small saucepan then remove it from the heat. Add the chocolate and sugar and stir until the chocolate has melted.
- In a medium-sized bowl stir together the egg yolks, vanilla, cocoa and salt. Slowly whisk in the chocolate mixture and continue to whisk until any lumps that may have formed have dissolved.
- Pour the mixture into two small ramekins and place into a shallow baking dish. Pour boiling water into the dish until it reaches halfway up the side of the ramekins.
- Bake the custards for about 25 minutes or until they feel almost firm in the centre. Let them cool slightly before covering them with cling wrap and refrigerating. Serve with a crumbled Tim Tam on top of each one and some raspberries on the side, if desired.
More sweet treats
Date night dessert ideas
Chocolate recipes to die for
Hot chocolate makeovers