Saturday, February 8, 2020

A Perfect At-Home Valentine's Day Celebration...Featuring Split Decision Cinnamon-Orange Chocolate Fondue #valentinesfood #athomecelebration #chocolate #fondue #dipit

Valentine's Day is a week away! If you're like me, big crowds and long waits at local restaurants is NOT your idea of romance. I'm sharing a simple recipe for a luscious dessert you can whip up in no time for your sweetheart right at home. Nothing says Valentine’s quite like chocolate…and the ultimate romantic chocolate treat is fondue! Face it...what's not to like about rich, melted chocolate and tasty treats to dip into it? To ensure the best end result, make sure to splurge on the highest quality chocolate and dippers that you can find. From there, have fun…chocolate fondue is infinitely adaptable!! 

My decadent Split Decision Cinnamon-Orange Fondue is sure to make your sweetie smile on Valentine's Day! At my house, Michael is a milk chocolate fan…while I prefer semisweet. My harmonious fondue features both types of chocolate…hence the “split decision” in the title. This shareable fondue is flavored with orange liqueur and orange zest -- along with cinnamon and a dash of vanilla extract. The mixture can be prepped earlier in the day and stored in the fridge…then it’s ready to be warmed up just before serving. Everyone has their favorite dippers…so have fun and make the presentation all your own! I paired our fondue with strawberries, apple slices, cubes of pound cake…and salty ridged potato chips. The potato chips are a bit of a curve ball, but they’re super fun! 

Split Decision Cinnamon-Orange Chocolate Fondue
a Weekend Gourmet Original
Ingredients (makes enough fondue for two):
  • 2 ounces good-quality milk chocolate
  • 2 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier (or other orange liqueur)
  • 2 wide pieces of orange peel -- use a peeler
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Dippers of your choice: strawberries, marshmallows, apple slices, pound cake, angel food cake, pretzels, etc.
Step 1: Add the heavy cream, strips of orange peel, and vanilla extract to a 4-cup measuring cup. Microwave the mixture for 1.5 minutes, until the mixture is hot. Let the warm liquid sit for 2-3 minutes so the orange peel steeps. 
Step 2: Add the two kinds of chocolate and cinnamon to the heated cream mixture. Let the chocolate sit in the cream undisturbed for 2-3 minutes to melt. Then, use a silicone whisk or spatula to completely combine all of the ingredients until a creamy chocolate fondue forms. It will take a minute or so to get the chocolate to completely combine with the cream -- so don't panic!
 Step 3: Taste the fondue and add more Grand Marnier to taste if you like. Carefully pour the fondue into a fondue pot to keep it warm -- the spout on the measuring cup is perfect for doing this without making a mess! Serve the fondue on a platter, paired with your favorite dippers.
It's hard to believe something with just a handful of ingredients can taste so delightfully decadent. The two types of chocolate balance each other perfectly. This fondue makes a perfect at-home Valentine's Day celebration! The chocolate flavor is definitely center stage here, but the hint of orange and cinnamon adds an exotic background flavor. 

If you're looking for a simple-to-use fondue warming set, I love the one pictured here! It's a Fire Water Chocolate Fondue Tower for Two: White Ceramic 3 Ounce Double-Decker Mini Pot Boiler and Candle Holder Melter with 2 Forks by Max Brenner. It's easy to set up and keeps my fondue warm for at least two hours!

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