From all time favourites like chocolate dipped strawberries to show stopping treats like cherry infused pavlovas, say I love you this Valentine's Day with a decadent recipe from Lindt
INGREDIENTS 12-14 large, ripe strawberries 300 g Lindt Excellence 70% Dark Chocolate, chopped 50 g Lindt Excellence White Chocolate with a touch of Vanilla, chopped
Wipe the strawberries with a damp cloth and pat dry. Do not wash them. Line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
Pop the chopped Lindt Excellence 70% Dark Chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring until melted. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
Hold the strawberry by its green stem and carefully dip into the melted dark chocolate. Carefully shape off the excess and place onto the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining strawberries.
Place the baking sheet into the fridge for about 5 minutes - or until the chocolate coating has just set.
Meanwhile, melt the chopped Lindt Excellence White Chocolate with a touch of Vanilla, as above and spoon into a piping bag. Snip a very small tip.
Remove the dipped strawberries from the fridge and pipe contrasting chocolate drizzles onto the dark chocolate coating. Return to the baking sheet to set.
Makes around 12 of each flavour
INGREDIENTS For the milk chocolate truffles 150 g Lindt Excellence 55% Cocoa Milk Chocolate, chopped 60 ml double cream 15 g unsalted butter, softened For the dark chocolate truffles 150 g Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate, chopped 60 ml double cream 15 g unsalted butter, softened For the white chocolate truffles 150 g Lindt Excellence White Chocolate with a Touch of Vanilla, chopped 60 ml double cream 15 g unsalted butter To decorate Unsweetened cocoa powder Sesame seeds Desiccated coconut Chopped almonds Freeze dried raspberries
Start with the milk chocolate truffles: put the chopped milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside.
Pour the cream into a small saucepan and add the butter. Heat gently until it just comes to the boil. Remove the heat and pour over the chopped milk chocolate.
Whisk until completely melted and smooth.
Leave to cool completely. Cover with cling film and chill for 2 hours or until the ganache has set.
Repeat with the dark and white chocolate.
To shape the truffles: Line a baking sheet or flat plate with greaseproof paper and set aside.
Using a melon baller, small ice cream scoop or teaspoon, scoop out balls of the ganache. Carefully roll with your hands to make a smooth truffle (you may want to rinse your hands under cold water and dry thoroughly before making these as the high fat content will mean they will melt quickly and must be kept cool).
Place on to the greaseproof paper and repeat with the remaining ganache.
Line separate baking sheets or plates with greaseproof paper and sprinkle with your chosen decorations - our Master Chocolatiers recommend sieving cocoa powder, a scattering of sesame seeds, tropical desiccated coconut, crunchy chopped almonds or fruity freeze dried raspberries.
Roll the truffles in the toppings to completely coat. Pop onto the lined plate and repeat until all the truffles are coated.
Cover and chill for up to 3 days - or until ready to serve.
Enjoy at room temperature with a cup of coffee, as an after dinner treat or for a little moment of indulgence.
INGREDIENTS 6 large egg whites, at room temperature 350 g caster sugar 2 tsp fresh lemon juice 2 tsp cornflour 1 tsp vanilla extract To decorate 175 g Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate, chopped, plus 1 square 350 ml double cream 2 tbsp icing sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 tsp freeze dried raspberries 450 g fresh cherries
Preheat the oven to 130C/110 Fan. Draw a large 20 cm / 8-inch circle on a sheet of greaseproof paper, turn over (so the markings are facing down) and use to line a large baking sheet.
Tip the egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on medium speed until white and stiff (when you turn the bowl upside down, they should hold their shape).
Gradually add the sugar (about a tablespoon at a time), with the whisk still running. Continue whisking until all the sugar has been added and you have a stiff and glossy meringue.
Add the lemon juice, corn flour and vanilla extract. Whisk for 2 minutes to combine.
Using a spatula, scrape onto the prepared baking sheet, piling into the centre of the circle. Carefully spread around the edges to create a large circle, lifting upwards to create a tall, smooth dome shape.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes before reducing the temperature to 90C/70 Fan and cooking for a further 90 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave to cool completely inside for at least 2 hours (the slower it cools, the less likely the risk of cracking).
Once the pavlova has cooled; put the chopped chocolate into a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and pour into a jug.
In a medium bowl, whip the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla extract until you have medium peaks.
Set the cooled pavlova onto a flat plate. Top with the vanilla whipped cream and sprinkle with freeze dried raspberries. Carefully arrange the cherries on top. Drizzle with the melted chocolate and nestle in a square of Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate. Serve straight away with any remaining melted chocolate in the jug on the side.
INGREDIENTS 100 g Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate, chopped 2 medium-sized ripe avocados 175 ml milk, at room temperature 6 small dates or 2 large Medjool dates, destoned 125 g unsweetened apple sauce 2 tsp maple syrup, or to taste To decorate Chopped hazelnuts 4 squares of Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate
Put the chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
Slice open the avocados, remove the stone and scoop out the flesh into a food processor.
Add the milk, dates, apple sauce, maple syrup (to taste) and melted chocolate.
Blend for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is perfectly smooth.
Spoon into 4 medium bowls or glasses. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and top with a square of Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate.