Monday, chef Rock Harper joined Roland Martin on “NewsOne Now” to offer up an easy and special Valentine’s Day recipe for spicy chocolate truffles with sea salt.
“Chocolate is considered to be food of the gods,” Harper says. “Chocolate contains chemicals that may have an effect on the brain, including the levels of serotonin, and it also contains theobromine, a substance similar to caffeine and also found in coffee. Chocolate is full of antioxidants. If you really want to unlock the passion, pair chocolate and red wine together and watch the magic happen.”
And you may be wondering why add spice to the truffles.
“Capsaicin is the compound in peppers that produces heat. This heat increases blood flow (everywhere) and makes us blush a tad, even break out into a sweat sometimes,” says Harper. “Just as physical reactions may take place when we’re aroused sexually, spice gives a head start.” Here’s the recipe:
Spicy Chocolate Truffles with Sea Salt
- 8 ounces, weight (up To 9 Oz.) Good Semisweet Chocolate
- 8 ounces, weight (up To 9 Oz.) Good Bittersweet Chocolate
- 1 can (14 Oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 Tablespoon orange peel, grated fine
- 8 ounces, weight Meltable Milk Chocolate
- Sea Salt
- Heat dark chocolates and condensed milk in a double boiler over medium low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir–mixture will have a slight marshmallow texture. Stir in vanilla, cayenne and orange peel.
- Remove from heat, cover and refrigerate for two hours.
- Once chilled, roll in balls, then roll in melted milk chocolate coating. Sprinkle with sea salt or other fine, coarse sprinkles.
And a few Valentine’s Day dinner don’ts from Chef Harper:
Caffeine – Avoid this one in excess. I like to have a cup of coffee with dessert or even a shot of espresso before we head back but that strategy has backfired plenty of times. What’s the American mantra? If one is good, more must be great! Coffee is a stimulant. What goes up; must come down. You get all jacked up energy drinks and you will begin to display “cocaine-ish” behavior. If you’re on a date, erratic behavior can be extremely annoying and you are destined to get a goodbye handshake at the end of dinner if you are annoying. In the bedroom, stay away from heavily caffeinated drinks that contain a bunch of sugar.
Gassy foods – There is no need for explanation here I think. I will add some food for thought. If you scarf you food down like a savage beast, you may be increasing your chances of having gas. The harder your stomach works, the higher chances you may have gas. Slow down, chew your food very well and enjoy your meal.
Turn your phone off! Can you imagine taking a woman out and her 7 best friends along 682 other people from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter sitting at your table? Sounds crazy but that is what it feels like every time you look down at that glowing screen during dinner. It’s attention away from the date. Only pick up calls that are important and apologize.
Finally, alcohol is great if you drink it – just not too much. It lowers inhibitions and allows us to relax. Too much of the juice and it turns to a depressant.
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