Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching! Whether you plan to have a romantic evening or spend the night with a few friends, you will definitely need some delicious treats to make your holiday complete. And while some of us are likely staying in this Valentine’s Day instead of going out, there are still plenty of ways to have a memorable evening at home.
First things first: Why are sweets associated with Valentine’s Day?
For decades, we’ve come to associate chocolate and other sweets with the romantic holiday, but you may wonder – why chocolate? While it’s a sign of affection and appreciation to gift food and treats to one another, the traditional “box of chocolates” originated with Richard Cadbury, who developed a heart-shaped box covered in flowers and drawings of Cupid. After the chocolates were enjoyed, these boxes could then store love letters and other tokens of affection.
And now, enjoy our five favorite dessert recipes, perfect for this special holiday.
1. Chocolate Fondue
With this delicious and customizable idea, you’ll enjoy a festive treat tailored to your taste buds. Complete with fruits and snacks for dipping (and, of course, the chocolate of your choice), this simple recipe is an ideal way to replicate a restaurant-quality experience in the comfort of your own home. If you’re looking for inspiration for you dipping choices, we recommend strawberries, raspberries, apples, vanilla pound cake, shortbread cookies, marshmallows, graham crackers, and more.
To get started, combine 12 ounces of chocolate, 1/3 cup of milk, and 1/3 cup of cream to a pan on low heat. Add a splash of vanilla extract once your mixture is melted. Once mixed, remove from heat and keep warm while you prepare your snacks for dipping.
And for the perfect wine pairing, your drink will depend on your choice of chocolate. If you chose dark or milk chocolate for your dessert, consider a fruity red wine. And for white chocolate, we recommend a sweet white wine or rosé.
2. Red Velvet Cheesecake Truffles
You can never go wrong with red velvet! Not only does this recipe bring a unique twist on traditional cheesecake, but the vibrant red color makes for the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert. With a creamy interior coated in delectable red velvet crumbs, we promise that you’ll want to add this treat to your recipe book.
To begin, start with your favorite boxed red velvet cake mix, add your mixture into cupcake liners, and bake according to the instructions on the box. Once cooled, crumble 4-6 of your cupcakes. Save your leftover cupcakes for another recipe – stay tuned for our favorite cake pops!
Mix together 2 blocks of cream cheese and add ½ cup of powdered sugar to the bowl. Add a splash of heavy cream and a splash on vanilla extract (you can add more vanilla for a sweeter taste). Form the truffle mixture into balls on a baking sheet and chill in the fridge – we suggest a lined baking sheet. Gather your red velvet crumbs and coat your truffles.
And for an excellent wine pairing, we recommend a Pinot Noir to bring out the rich flavors in the cake.
3. Red Velvet Cake Pops
Using your leftovers from the cheesecake truffle recipe (or a box of your favorite red velvet cake), crumble your cake into a bowl, once cooled. Add 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla frosting (or cream cheese frosting), depending on how much cake you crumbled– we suggest 2 tablespoons for a full boxed cake mix, and 1 if you’re using your leftover cake from another recipe. Mold your mixture into balls and set aside. Melt around ¼ cup of candy melts in the color of your choice. Dip each cake pop stick into the melted candy and insert halfway into your cake balls. Let harden in the fridge or freezer for ten minutes.
Melt the remaining candy melts, and slowly dip each cake pop into the candy until fully coated. Place each finished cake pop in a Styrofoam block to dry. For an extra touch, melt another candy melt color and drizzle on top of each cake pop, or add some festive sprinkles.
And once again, red velvet is excellent when paired with a Pinot Noir!
4. Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies
If you’re a brownie fan, this idea is an adorable way to an adorable touch to an already delicious treat. Starting with your favorite brownie recipe, either boxed or homemade, make sure your brownies are completely cooled. Top your brownies with sliced strawberries. Heat 1 cup of cream in a pan on medium heat and pour over 2 cups of chocolate chips in a heat-resistant bowl. Pour ganache over brownies and let cool in the fridge.
And as with any chocolate treat, we suggest a fruity red wine to complement the rich and sweet flavors in your dessert.
And for the perfect wine to pair with this treat, we recommend a chardonnay of your choice.
5. Pink Champagne Truffles
Looking for a booze-inspired dessert for Valentine’s Day? These pink champagne truffles are the ideal accessory to a glass of champagne or a fruity cocktail. Complete with champagne frosting, you’ll want to enjoy these truffles all year long. Take a look at the recipe here.
Now that we’ve provided some inspiration for your holiday desserts, here’s some advice on how to spice up your dining area with a festive tablescape. For an enticing dessert spread, we have a few tips and tricks for creating a romantic dining atmosphere.
In order to replicate a restaurant experience in the comfort of your own home, we recommend investing in a petite floral centerpiece, or creating one yourself. Whether you choose natural or artificial flowers, you’ll love enjoying this piece after the holiday is over.
Feel free to make this centerpiece as formal or as casual as you’d like. For a more traditional piece, we suggest red or pink roses or peonies. And for something on the contemporary side, consider gerbera daisies with bright filler.
If you plan to have dinner with some friends or a significant other, consider coordinating your tablecloth, napkins, and place settings for a restaurant-quality experience. And if you’re looking to spice up a girls’ night in, consider adding handmade place cards at each place setting for a memorable touch to your evening.
Creating an Ambience
Once you’ve completed your tablescape, you’ll want to create a romantic and festive ambience for the night. Although a simple addition, candles are an excellent way to create a charming atmosphere. Whether you prefer a statement candle centerpiece or smaller tealight candles, you’ll adore the romance of dinner by candlelight.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our dessert recipes and tips on creating a memorable holiday. Although it’s likely that many of us are staying in again this year, there are certainly a variety of ways to have a special Valentine’s Day.