Although Forrest Gump’s life-is-like-a-box-of-chocolates analogy is sweet, we prefer knowing what we’re going to get. Your lady probably does too. Make her something sweet from scratch and you will have full control over the flavor; make her something molten and you will avoid baking, cooling and decorating. Melted chocolate may bring to mind tiered fountains, but we promise these three recipes are a far cry from that cheesy mess.
In his book Tacos, Alex Stupak calls for pasilla chiles, but the chef at Empellón in New York has blessed our simplified version of his -chocolate taco: Break dark chocolate into rough one-inch pieces. Warm some corn tortillas. Immediately place the chocolate pieces on the -tortillas—the chocolate will melt a little once it hits the heat—and top with a drizzle of olive oil. Season with flaky salt and finish with a sprinkling of cinnamon and chili powder.
This recipe from Brian Mercury, lead pastry chef at Harvest in Cambridge, Massachusetts, takes a little doing but will blow your girl’s mind. Sprinkle two and a half teaspoons powdered gelatin over one third cup heavy cream; let sit. Combine two cups heavy cream, one cup milk, two thirds cup sugar and two pinches salt in a saucepan; bring to a simmer. Add six egg yolks, little by little, to the mixture and cook until thickened. Add gelatin blend and whisk to incorporate. Pour over one pound 70 percent cacao dark chocolate broken into pieces in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Transfer to a small pan; chill to set.
The one hard-to-find but essential item in this recipe from Sarah Hart, owner of Alma Chocolate in Portland, Oregon, is the hazelnut praline paste. Hart likes the stuff from -Valrhona, which you can purchase on Amazon. Now to the recipe: In a double boiler, melt four ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate with one quarter cup cream, four table-spoons hazelnut paste and a shot of bourbon. (Or melt ingredients in a -microwave in 10- to 15-second bursts, stirring in -between.) Whisk until smooth and shiny; serve immediately with torn baguette pieces.