All Things Chocolate

Valentine’s Day is known as the Day of Love and Friendship in Latin America, so it’s not just a romantic celebration but a friendship celebration as well and a way to show appreciation to loved ones. Chef and cookbook author, Amalia Moreno-Damgaard stopped by to share delicious chocolate recipes perfect for Valentine’s Day.

For more information on Amalia or to buy one of her cookbooks, click here.

Easy Dark Chocolate Fondue & Red Wine
Recipe by Chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard (

2 cups melting chocolate
Fruits (fresh or frozen): strawberries, raspberries, pineapple, bananas, or any other firm fruit
Garnishes: pink sea salt and herbs, dried chile powder, roasted pumpkin seed powder
Medium size skewers
1 glass of Spanish or Argentinean medium-bodied red wine (Rioja, Malbec)

1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
2. Skewer fruit.
3. Dip the fruit and garnish.
4. Pair with a glass of medium-bodied red wine.

Chocolate Martini
Recipe by Chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard (
Serves one

Dark chocolate syrup
Baking cocoa powder without sugar
1 cup milk
1-2 tbsp. agave nectar
1 oz vodka
½ oz Kahlua
½ cup ice

1. Extra cocoa powder to coat the rim of the glass
2. 1 strawberry
3. Coat the rim of the glass with cocoa powder. Use some agave nectar to help the cocoa stick to the glass.
4. Dissolve the cocoa powder in the milk with the agave in a blender. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously to chill. Strain and pour into cocoa powder-decorated martini glasses.
5. Garnish with one strawberry.

Chocolate Quesillo (my rendition to the Venezuelan treat)
Recipe by Chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard (
Serves 4-6

1/3 cup sugar + ¼ cup water
4 large eggs
1 (14 oz.) can condensed milk
12 oz. evaporated milk
8 tbsp. cocoa powder without sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/8 tsp Kosher salt
Garnishes: Cocoa powder, mint, raspberries or pomegranate seeds

1. Make the caramel base: combine the water and sugar in a mold and heat slowly to form a dark brown syrupy caramel, about 5 minutes. Swirl the caramel to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.
2. Combine the eggs, two milks, cocoa powder, extracts, and salt in a blender and blend on lowest setting just to combine ingredients about 2 minutes.
3. Pour mixture in the mold, cover with foil, and bake in a Bain Marie for about 45 minutes at 325°F, or until the mixture is firm. Alternatively, cook on the stove top at low heat for the same amount of time, in a Bain Marie, placing the covered mold inside a much larger pot with the lid on.
4. Allow the quesillo to cool down and invert it on an attractive plate.

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