Valentine’s Day is quite possibly the most stressful day in hospitality. A restaurant full of tables for two can make for a lot of work, even more so if you are aiming to turn those tables over and make the most of the day.
The key is to work smarter and not harder, and this could mean offering a set menu or creating a few sharing plates. Another way is to take advantage of the many quality pre-made products available and adding your own flair to these.
We’ve used a beautiful chocolate fondant from Emma Jane’s and created three very different desserts as an example. In addition to cutting down your prep time, these desserts mean the junior members of your team can put together dessert. Plus, if the skill shortages continue to
be a problem in your kitchens, this is a great work around.
You could swap this for a brownie, Melba Foods Vegan Mud Cakes, or Florentines Flourless Chocolate Torte and that’s just if you want a chocolate option.
Check out Mybidfood for the full range of pre-made dessert options, from tarts to cheesecakes, all of which you can add your own flourish to.
Death By Chocolate
Pair the decadent chocolate fondant with a scoop of chocolate ice cream or quenelle of chocolate mousse. Sit these on house-made chocolate crumb and add a chocolate macaron (we used one from Good Honest Bakery). Garnish with fresh berries, chocolate shavings, and/or edible flowers.
Caramel and Nut
Place the fondant on a pool of caramel sauce and top with a quenelle of brown sugar caramel cream. Garnish with chopped pistachio praline.
BROWN SUGAR CARAMEL CREAM
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp gelatine powder
Heat the cream and vanilla up until almost boiling, then take oﬀ the heat.
Stir the gelatine into 1 tbsp of water and allow it to bloom.
Place the brown sugar in a small pot over a medium-high heat. Allow it to melt, stirring occasionally. Now be warned that it may smell like it’s burning, but unless you see black, it’s probably not burnt, but keep an eye on it. Once fully melted and caramel-like, pour in the hot cream in a steady stream, whisking constantly. It may splutter and the sugar might seize but that’s okay. Keep whisking until the sugar melts back down and you have a smooth sauce. Whisk in the bloomed gelatine, then pour the cream through a sieve into a bowl. Place a piece of baking paper over top to stop a skin forming, then refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6
The next day, using an electric beater, whisk the set cream for a few minutes until very thick.
Make the most of summer berries by making a fresh compote to serve with the fondant. The sharpness of the berries is the perfect balance for the sweet chocolate. Make this compote a little more fun by adding some unexpected flavours in there, like fresh basil or thyme or maybe a grind of peppercorn.
Accompany the fresh berries with a berry sorbet or ice cream. For some added texture you could make a tuile or brandy snap basket to sit this in. Garnish with whole, sliced, or dehydrated berries.