By Jan Norris
Who knows when chocolate began to be associated with Saint Valentine’s Day? The history of that marriage is vague. Suffice it to say that today it’s the chocolatiers’ biggest day of the year, and heart-shaped boxes and fancy red-beribboned packages of the dark sweet stuff will fly off the shelves.
Chefs and others are getting creative with chocolate for Feb. 14 — it’s not just the candy makers. Check out these ideas for chocolate treats for your valentine.
At the Four Seasons Palm Beach, pastry chef Jason Morale is making a chocolate torta with a sabayon mousse. Everyone dining leaves with a special Valentine’s treat from the chef.
Also at the Four Seasons, they are offering a child’s dine-in special on Saturdays — and during special events — in which the kids will be fed and entertained while the parents dine (until 9 p.m.) Cost per child is $10 and available for kids ages 3-12.
A unique Chocolate and Red Wine Bar at the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach Feb. 12-14 will present an ultimate decision conundrum for chocolate lovers. Which to choose? Chef Ryan Artim says to sample each: the raspberry white and dark chocolate fondue with dipping sticks of other treats such as tropical fruits, madeleines, marshmallows and meringues; fudgey cheesecake bites or cappuccino whoopie pies; chocolate pot de crème, chocolate raspberry tart, lollipops.
Now, what drink to pair with them? A sweet, fruit-forward Banyuls or Ruby Port, Syrah, Shiraz, Cabernet, Malbec, Grenache, Merlot — or spicy hot chocolate? Champagne? Ladies will leave with a special chocolate valentine.
At 32 East, Pastry Chef Ana Pheterson has concocted a fudgy rich Devil’s Food Cake. It’s layers of dark chocolate devil’s food cake with a cocoa reduction and hazelnut croquaunt and served with berries and micro greens.
Pick up warm, buttery chocolate croissants for a valentine’s morning, or petits fours, or a rich Opera Cake from Tom Tchernia at the French bakery, Le Petit Pain, in Lantana. (Order these in advance for pickup on Valentine’s Day.)
You could order a special one-of-a-kind chocolate cake (white or dark chocolate, with a number of flavored fillings) or special cupcakes of your own design, from Maria Palavecino at Couture Cakes in Delray Beach. Once you win over your sweetheart, she’ll bake your wedding cake, too.
At the hip Cupcake Couture Sweet Boutique in Delray Beach, Pam Joyner and her staff will bake up fancy cupcakes decorated for Valentine’s Day. Also here are dark chocolate whoopie pies — with decorator colored centers — pick a hot pink for your valentine.
If it’s real chocolates you want, Kilwin’s Chocolates in Delray Beach will offer cases, boxes and bags full of candies. To further tempt, they’ll decorate chocolate-dipped Oreos, chocolate-dipped pretzels and chocolate-covered Rice Krispie Treats with hearts and valentine motifs. For the kids, there are chocolate lollipops and their best-seller — chocolate fudge.
Chocolate ‘Smores Cake from the Boca Raton Resort & Club offers a decadent way to show someone you care. Photo by Tim Stepien
At the restaurant 501 East in the private Boca Raton Resort and Club (members and hotel guests only), the pastry chefs have taken campfire favorites and combined them into a Chocolate S’mores Cake: two layers of chocolate fudge sandwiched between layers of chocolate cake, with a graham cracker crust — all topped with a thick layer of toasted marshmallow and sitting in a pool of chocolate sauce.
The bartenders at Zed451 in Boca Raton will be pouring the Chocolate Kiss — a drink worthy of any chocoholic. A mix of Godiva Chocolate vodka, Godiva Chocolate liqueur, Bailey’s Irish Cream and a scoop of Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream, this is the ultimate fix for a chocolate craving in liquid form.
At the Top of the Bridge at the Bridge Hotel in Boca Raton, chef Dudley Rich is making a beautiful Bavarian Chocolate Torte: a creamy mousse of chocolate, set on a dark chocolate layer, surrounded by a pool of raspberry coulis and fresh berries. (Hint, hint, guys: It’s a perfect dessert to have the chef bury a ring in.)
At any of the shops, get in early or you may be disappointed in selections.
For cakes and specialty baked goods, order by Feb. 7 to be sure of getting it by
The Chocolate Connection
The Four Seasons Palm Beach
2800 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach.
Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach
100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan
32 E. Atlantic Ave.,
Le Petit Pain French Bakery
123 S. Third St., Lantana
142 SE Sixth Ave., Delray Beach
Cupcake Couture Sweet Boutique
328 E. Atlantic Ave.,
501 East Restaurant at the Boca Raton Resort and Club
501 E. Camino Real,
201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton
Top of the Bridge
at the Bridge Hotel
999 E. Camino Real,
402 E. Atlantic Ave.,