What constitutes a romantic dinner? For some it may be oysters and asparagus, ingredients that we are told have aphrodisiac properties.
For others, it’s about sharing foods and interaction – or, instead, fancy wine and cocktails. For me, the key factor is time. As with any sort of hosting, I want to be as present as possible.
So while I can find pleasure and romance in almost any meal (beans on toast with a glass of rosé, anyone?), the three recipes I’m sharing this week, below, allow for quality time with my other half.
There’s effortless potted crab that is quick to make yet feels incredibly indulgent. A steak for sharing – which in my eyes is quite a treat – with a dressing and side that can be prepped in advance.
And the most sensual baked chocolate mousse, which can be served warm, cool, however you like.
Indulge, and enjoy.
Baked chocolate and amaretti mousse
Prep time:10 Mins, plus cooling time | Cooking time: 25 minutes
two (with plenty of leftovers)
- 75g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the tin
- 150g good-quality dark chocolate
- 50ml amaretto
- a pinch of sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- 100g caster sugar
- 40g amaretti biscuits
- 80g blackberries
- 150ml crème fraîche
- Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas mark 3. Butter a 15cm springform cake tin if you have one, or otherwise a similar-sized ovenproof dish.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a small pan with the butter, amaretto and salt. Melt over a low heat, stirring, then leave to one side to cool a little.
- Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar in a freestanding mixer or with an electric whisk, until doubled in volume and pale – this will take about four minutes.
- Place the biscuits in a bag or tea towel and crush so you have a mixture of textures. Fold the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and crushed amaretti into the whisked eggs with a large metal spoon, as lightly as you can. Spoon this into the prepared tin or dish and place it in the oven.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until there is a crust on top but still a slight wobble on the mousse. Leave it to cool for 20 minutes before serving, if you want to serve it warm. Alternatively, you can make this ahead and serve it cooled.
- Crush the blackberries slightly with a fork and ripple them into the crème fraîche, to serve on the side.