Chocolate and Valentine's Day are the perfect partners. Chocolate is a natural aphrodisiac possessing a lustful, seductive quality that marries well with a day dedicated to expressions of love. It's adored and craved by many but especially by women.
In the 1980s, Dr Michael Liebowitz introduced his “chocolate theory of love” that attributed chocolate’s aphrodisiac effects to phenethylamine. Phenethylamine is found in chocolate and it’s believed by some to raise the dopamine levels in the brain. High dopamine levels drive our intense cravings and in this case the attraction of passionate love. Hence, chocolate is a perfect intoxicating love drug to give your loved one.
Valentine's Day is the number one holiday for chocolate sales. Over one billion dollars worth of chocolate is purchased during the time leading up to Valentine's Day and men make 75% of those purchases. More heart-shaped red velvet chocolate boxes are sold at this time than at any other time of the year.
But you don’t need to buy your way to love. You can show your heartfelt love by making your gift. From creating chocolate-covered strawberries to preparing homemade truffles to baking chocolate desserts, there are thousands of recipes online that won’t break the bank.
You can also find a multitude of books on cooking and baking with chocolate. The photographs in some of these chocolate dessert books are visually stunning and you’ll find your mouth watering just looking at them. Thank goodness they don’t have a scratch and sniff feature. Two books highly recommended are Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate by Steinberg and Scharffenberger and Chocolate Epiphany: Exceptional Cookies, Cakes, and Confections for Everyone by Payard and McBride.
To make your chocolate baking extra special, there are heart-shaped cookie cutters and heart-shaped soufflé dishes. Why not use these all year round and not just on February 14th?
Whatever you do on Valentine's Day, you can’t go wrong with the gift of chocolate. Luscious, smooth, decadent chocolate will sweeten up any love that’s in the air.