It seems we have Richard Cadbury to thank for the linking of chocolate with Valentine’s Day. Until Cadbury started producing chocolate candies in England in the early 1880s, chocolate had been a luxury available only to the aristocracy. Then, in 1861, Cadbury created the first-ever heart-shaped box for Valentine’s Day. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Here on the North Shore, chocolate also appears in delicious desserts at local restaurants.
At Stresa In Manhasset
Giorgio Meriggi, in addition to being an owner and gracious host at Stresa, is the baker. At the restaurant, he makes flourless chocolate cake, ricotta cheese cake, lemon cake, seasonal fruit tart, tiramisu, chestnut cake in season and poached fruit, as well as the biscotti that is served to customers at the end of the meal.
The individual chocolate soufflé, made with Callebaut semi-sweet Belgian chocolate, is very popular. It is brought to the table warm and the waiter pokes a hole in the top and pours in Grand Marnier sauce, and then tops it with fresh whipped cream. More sauce and whipped cream are available upon request.
Chocolate Layer Cake
At The Garden City Hotel
At the Garden City Hotel, pastry chef Sarah Chaminade and her staff worked together to create their seven-layer chocolate layer cake. They came up with a moist devil’s food cake made with Callebaut and a bittersweet mousse made with Valrhona chocolate. The ganache glaze is made of cocoa powder and bitter sweet chocolate. As if that isn’t enough chocolate, it is served with hot fudge sauce, a chocolate “cigarette” and fresh whipped cream.
Mexican Flan Imposible
At Besito In Roslyn
Flan Imposible is a popular Mexican dessert, so named because it seems that it is not possible for a cake and flan to be baked together. This mission impossible is neatly accomplished at Besito where a vanilla bean flan is served atop a chocolate sponge cake. It’s a beautiful dish: the cake sits in a circle of vanilla bean tequila sauce and is topped with Mexican chocolate whipped cream and bunuelos (crisp fried tortillas sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar).