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
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins