Food For Lovers

Tuesday is Valentine’s Day, which means we’ve been swimming in a sea of pink and red and hearts and roses for far too long now. Is it just me, or is the bombardment of Valentine’s-themed junk reaching an all-time high this year? Every day I keep seeing more nonsense for sale online and in the shops, mostly made out of chocolate or flowers.

This year, to celebrate all things romance, why not make something good to eat? I’ve got two recipes here that are completely non-conventional and yet totally sexy. After reading up on aphrodisiac foods, and after taking stock of the ingredients we had at home, the following soup and dessert were created on a whim and completely on the fly. I’m getting much more comfortable cooking without first consulting a recipe to adapt. The dessert in particular is a romantic one because it was a collaboration between my husband and I; he made up the cookies, I whipped up the cream, and a beautiful love cookie sandwich was born.

Forget the oysters and champagne. This year it’s all about truffle oil and cacao.

Truffles are a luxury and a joy. While I can’t say I’ve ever prepared a meal at home with fresh truffles, I certainly love to drizzle black truffle oil on special meals to finish them off. If you’re planning on cooking this Valentine’s Day, consider picking up a bottle of truffle oil to add another dimension to your meal. Apparently, they’re the most potent aphrodisiac for women because their musky scent mimics that of male pheromones. And your sexy truffle-scented food will be super impressive considering the fact that the most expensive truffle in history was sold for over $160,000! Of course, a small bottle of truffle-infused olive oil will cost quite a lot less, but just make sure you pick up the real thing (containing real truffles rather than just the scent). I used a black truffle oil to drizzle on this creamy carrot soup.

Cacao, of course, is the reason chocolate is always given as a romantic gift. The science behind the aphrodisiac properties lies in the raw cacao bean. It contains theobromine, which stimulates our pleasure-seeking neurotransmitters, much like caffeine. It also contains magnesium, a calming mineral and a hormone balancer. Sorry, but you’re not going to find this good stuff in a bag of M&Ms. Go for at least 70% cacao dark chocolate, or better yet, pick up some raw chocolate. Even better than that, make it yourself (3 ingredients: raw cacao butter, raw cacao powder, raw honey)!

 

Creamy Carrot & Thyme Soup

by The Particular Kitchen

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled or washed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 quart vegetable stock, boiling
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 tsp truffle oil

Instructions

In a large saucepan or pot, heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add the onions and leeks. Add a pinch of sea salt, and cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring and allowing the veggies to sweat and soften without burning. Add the garlic and carrots, and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.

Stir in the dried herbs and about 3/4 of the thyme (reserve the rest for garnish). Pour over the stock, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid and leave to cook for at least 15 minutes, or until the carrots have softened.

Add the cashews and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and blend until smooth and creamy.

Serve with a drizzle of truffle oil and a sprinkle of thyme leaves.

Freezes well!

Chocolate Orange Sandwich Cookies

by The Particular Kitchen

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Ingredients (8 cookies)

    For the Cookies

    • 1 1/4 cups oats (gluten-free optional)
    • 1/2 cup softened butter (goat’s optional)
    • 1/3 cup raw coconut sugar
    • Zest of 1 orange
    • Juice of 1/2 orange

    For the Chocolate Cream

    • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour
    • 1/2 cup macadamias, soaked for at least 1 hour
    • 1 tbsp raw honey
    • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
    • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder

    Instructions

    For the Cookies

    Preheat the oven to 350F

    Blitz the oats in a food processor until it looks like flour. Add the butter and blitz to crumbs. It will then start to come together. At this point, add the sugar and orange zest and blitz again. Add juice as necessary to keep the mixture moist but stuck together. It gives a wetter mixture than usual, but that’s fine.

    Roll out with more oats, or flour if necessary and cut into cookies. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. They should only be slightly brown when you take them out or they’ll be too hard.

    Leave to cool completely before assembling.

    For the Chocolate Cream

    Drain and rinse the soaked cashews and macadamias.

    Place all ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the jug a couple of times in the process.

    Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before assembling the cookies.

    Note: this recipe will make far more cream than you need just for the cookies, so you’ll have lots left over for treats! Keep in an airtight container in the fridge up to a week.

    To Assemble

    Place a spoonful of cream on the back of the one of the cookies. Use another cookie to press the cream down into a sandwich. Devour!

    Read more like this:

    End of Summer Muffins
    How to Balance Your Dinner Plate
    Anti Black Friday: 7 Homemade Holiday Gifts


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