Valentine’s Day delights: Spoil your loved ones with these chocolate treats

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(PHOTO: MIKKEL VANG/ ARESYNDICATION.COM.AU/MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)
(PHOTO: MIKKEL VANG/ ARESYNDICATION.COM.AU/MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)

Oh, let’s be honest, we don’t need an excuse to work a chocolate treat into our daily lives and quite frankly, we’ll be our own Valentine to get our hands on these.

The great thing is there’s something for everyone – a dive-in cake for days of indulgence or individual delights for one or two days of delight.

CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH FUDGE ICING

If you love chocolate, this cake is for you – rich, dense and fudgy. It’s lovely for morning tea, lightened up with a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraiche and seasonal fruit.

cake
(PHOTO: MIKKEL VANG/ ARESYNDICATION.COM.AU/MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)

TIP The cake can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days.

MILK CHOCOLATE DOUGHNUTS

Fluffy home-made doughnuts are among our favourite things. Here, we’ve added a little cocoa to the dough and doubled up on the chocolate with a glossy chocolate glaze. We’ve decorated it with a mixture of crunchy toppings for extra texture – chocolate malt powder, chocolate shards and chocolate biscuit balls. Customise yours with whatever takes your fancy – don’t be shy.

cake
(PHOTO: MIKKEL VANG/ ARESYNDICATION.COM.AU/MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)

TIP Dip the tops of the doughnuts in the warm chocolate glaze

WARM CHOCOLATE AND PEANUT BUTTER SKILLET BROWNIE

It’s torture waiting for brownies to cool so you can dig into this one. Luckily, this recipe is better served warm. As for the crunchy-versus-smooth peanut butter debate, we’ll leave that up to you (for the record, we’re all about crunchy). Serve this straight from the skillet with scoops of ice cream or clouds of thick cream.

brownie
(PHOTO: MIKKEL VANG/ ARESYNDICATION.COM.AU/MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)

TIP Cool briefly so it's not too hot – for about 5 minutes – and serve warm with ice cream or cream.

CHOCOLATE CRÈMEUX WITH CARAMEL

These thick and luscious custards are simple to make and a lovely way to end a dinner party. Make the chocolate creams a day before and chill them overnight. The caramel, however, is best made on the day. We love the combination of caramel, chocolate and custard, but the custards are also great topped with chopped shop-bought candied nuts or sliced fruit.

brownie
(PHOTO: MIKKEL VANG/ ARESYNDICATION.COM.AU/MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)

TIP Break the caramel into shards and serve on top of the crémeux.

CHOCOLATE LAMINGTON CAKE

This recipe makes a mega-cake, but if you’re feeding fewer people, bake a single cake and split it in half horizontally to fill it.

cake
(PHOTO: MIKKEL VANG/ ARESYNDICATION.COM.AU/MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)

TIP A fixed-base cake tin is preferable as the panna cotta mixture can leak out of a springform tin, or wrap the outside of a springform cake tin in foil.

CHOCOLATE SCROLLS

These scrolls are best eaten warm while the chocolate is still melty. Make them ahead of time and gently reheat in a low oven when ready to serve. Make them as sticky as you like by increasing the quantity of the glaze mixture.

cake
(PHOTO: MIKKEL VANG/ ARESYNDICATION.COM.AU/MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)

TIP Scrolls are best enjoyed on the day they’re made but can be stored in an airtight container for 1-2 days and warmed to serve.

(Recipe and food styling: Emma Knowles and Lisa Featherby)

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