Every February 14th love-struck men and women spend more than 1 billion dollars on chocolate products. Our infatuation with chocolate first began 2,000 years ago when it was discovered in Latin America. The Maya and Aztec elites infused cocoa beans with water to form frothy chocolate drinks for special occasions and as sacrifices to the gods. The Aztec ruler Montezuma believed that chocolate was an aphrodisiac and routinely drank it before entering his harem, thus increasing chocolate’s popularity and its association with love and romance. Modern-day scientists have linked the chemical phenylethylamine in chocolate to feelings of excitement, attraction and even pleasure.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, indulging in chocolate and including it in a special dessert is sure to make you a hero with your guests.

Easy-to-make Chocolate Fondue requires that you purchase great chocolate. With so few ingredients, the chocolate really is center stage. Purchase high cocoa mass or cocoa liquor chocolates. In other words, chocolate or cocoa/cacao should be the first ingredient listed. This will ensure a rich dessert with deep, dark chocolate flavor. Even if the object of your desire doesn’t like dark chocolate, you can temper the chocolate with extra cream, but you will at least have started with a good base.

Chocolate Fondue

8 ounces best quality dark chocolate

1 cup whipping cream

¼ cup rum or other liquor

Items to dip: pound cake, fruit, pretzels, potato chips; use your imagination!

  1. Gently melt the chocolate in the cream and rum over medium heat.
  2. Warm the fondue pot by pouring hot water into it. Be sure to dry the pot completely before adding the chocolate to it.
  3. Transfer the chocolate to the pot and keep warm over low heat.
Laura Frankel is an Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering and author of numerous kosher cookbooks including Jewish Cooking for All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes. To purchase her books, click here.
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