I’m back! Finally! I’ve missed you guys!
Gran Canaria has been absolutely amazing! The weather was great, the food got better every day, our all-inclusive resort was proudly perched on top of a sunny cliff, every day my mom and I woke up to the sound of waves rolling onto the beach and I got to wear my bikini all day long!
Well, except when we went down to the restaurant for breakfast or dinner. Duh! But when we weren’t taking little trips to the hotel’s restaurant, strolling down the boulevard or riding a bus to a dodgy shopping mall in Playa des Inglés, I could be found on our spacious balcony, sipping chamomile tea (very glamorous… I know), basking in the sun in my pink bikini, reading Jonathan Safran Foer or gossip magazines.
Because yes, I’m that girl!
And proud of it too! You know, I really think vacations shouldn’t be too much about being adventurous. Well, unless being adventurous is the whole point of your trip. Don’t get me wrong: I love an adventurous vacation from time to time – scootering in Vietnam was very adventurous. Sometimes a little too adventurous. I still have a scar to show for it! – but sometimes, especially in winter, I just like to enjoy the sun and be lazy.
Again: I’m that girl…
Too bad I wasn’t able to use the Internet in that so-called all-inclusive resort. I kept being kicked off the server or something! I couldn’t even post about this amazing, absolutely scrumptious, not-to-be-missed-out-on chocolate fondue!
I had meant to post about it last Tuesday, a few days before Valentine’s Day, so that my trusty readers would have time to run out to the store and buy some chocolate, strawberries and cayenne pepper in order to knock the socks off of their valentine’s feet!
That’s an interesting pun, by the way… Is it even a pun?
Anyway, against my better judgment, I went out to buy fresh strawberries in February, because you just can’t have a chocolate fondue without them. Sure, there are marshmallows, cookies, cake cubes, bananas, grapes and what not, but the strawberries just take this fondue to the next level!
Cause hey, strawberries are just glorious bits of summer and whenever I bite into one the taste reminds me of hot days at the beach, family barbecues and the Rocking Rebel making me breakfast in bed!
In other words, they’re perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Another ingredient that makes this chocolate fondue better than other chocolate fondues, is a generous pinch of cayenne pepper. That’s right, the stuff you can also put in curries, chili and pasta sauce.
Trust me, it works. The pepper is subtle, but gives the fondue a spicy aftertaste. Just a little lingering tingle of pepper. Not enough to make you want to run to the fridge to empty a carton of milk, but just enough to give the fondue a little heat.
Which is always welcome on Valentine’s Day, right?
— Why am I suddenly thinking of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker?
What’s also great about this fondue, is that it’s basically foolproof. You just scald a mixture of milk and cream, chop some chocolate, melt everything together, wash some strawberries and you’re done! It’s as easy as that!
And not all Valentine’s Day treats are that easy… When I first started thinking about Valentine’s-Day-appropriate treats, I thought about making red velvet cake truffles, but soon realized that pretty and cutesy just isn’t my thing. I don’t have the patience for it. The Heart Shaped Cherry Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle don’t count; they may be cute, but they’re almost too easy to make and don’t require crumbling cake and rolling it into balls and dipping in chocolate and all that difficult stuff…
I won’t be making those again…
But with the chocolate fondue, there’s really nothing that can go wrong!
Besides, cutesy and pretty is kind of for girls, right? Or for your mother or something… I don’t like serving the Rocking Rebel pretty, cutesy things. Remember how I gave him an axe for Valentine’s Day last year? He likes chopping wood, he drives a 1978 Chevy truck with a cracked leather seat and faded paint and I can’t remember the last time when his hands weren’t smudged with motor oil or soot.
Somehow, serving him chocolate fondue seems more appropriate than presenting him with pretty, little truffles…
So, to wrap it up: this post may be too late for Valentine’s Day, but it’s not only delicious, it’s also delicious, delicious and delicious… And does anyone ever really need an excuse to make chocolate fondue? I don’t think so…
- 90ml (or ⅓ cup) whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons of whole milk
- 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, plus a pinch more to decorate
- 120g (or 4 ounces) dark chocolate
- a handful of fresh strawberries
- a handful of fresh grapes
- 2 cupcakes, cubed
- In a small saucepan, combine the cream, milk, sugar and pepper. Heat over low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, and scald.
- In the meantime, chop the chocolate and add it to a small heatproof bowl.
- Once the cream mixture reaches scalding point, pour it over the chopped chocolate. Leave to sit undisturbed for a minute, then whisk until smooth.
- Pour the chocolate fondue in a pretty serving glass or bowl and sprinkle a pinch of cayenne pepper over the top. Serve immediately with the fresh fruit and cookies!