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Love bites

To celebrate the month of love, we asked some of Chelsea’s favourite restaurants to share their most aphrodisiacal recipes with us.

In truth, the old adage that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach can probably be extended to apply to anyone with an appreciation for good food. Featuring ingredients known for their ability to bring on the romantic feels, including chocolate, pistachios, artichokes and gin (yes, in the right quantities, gin can be a love potion), here are the aphrodisiac recipes from some of the neighbourhood’s top chefs and mixologists…

11 February 2022

The Love Bird cocktail by Sir Frank's Bar, Beaverbrook Town House

Created exclusively in honour of Valentine’s Day (but delightful year-round), The Love Bird is a sweet yet refreshing cocktail made with gin, which is considered to be one of the more aphrodisiacal spirits because of its botanical ingredients.

Ingredients

10ml Italicus bergamot liqueur
20ml St Germain elderflower liqueur
20ml gin
15ml freshly squeezed lemon
10ml of hibiscus syrup
Rosé champagne to top off
Crystallised hibiscus flower to garnish

Method
  1. Blend the Italicus, St Germain and gin in a cocktail shaker.

  2. Add the lemon, hibiscus syrup and ice and combine all the ingredients together with a good shake.

  3. Strain through the cocktail shaker into a tall glass over ice.

  4. Top off with rosé champagne and garnish with a crystallised hibiscus flower.  For the at-home mixologists, opt for a hibiscus flower in syrup.

  5. Serve with a red rose on the side for a romantic evening drink.

The Love Bird cocktail at Sir Frank's Bar

Artichoke Truffle Salad by the LaLee at The Cadogan, A Belmond Hotel

Recreate this exclusive Valentine’s Day starter from The LaLee’s executive chef, Chris Hill. Made with aphrodisiac artichokes and truffles, you’ll love the combination of earthy truffle and bright, zesty flavours.

Serves 2
Baby artichokes ingredients

5 baby artichokes
Ice water
1 lemon, sliced
A few drops of ascorbic acid
150g shallots, sliced
50g minced garlic
300ml olive oil
500ml white wine
250ml white wine vinegar
2L water
10 bay leaves
10g thyme
25g salt
1g pepper

Jerusalem artichoke ingredients

100g peeled Jerusalem artichokes
2g salt

Truffle dressing ingredients

50ml reduced artichoke cooking liquid
25ml truffle oil
1g grated truffle
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Assembly ingredients

2g grated parmesan
Grated truffle
Handful mixed salad leaves (The LaLee uses Cornish leaves)
Truffle dressing

Baby artichokes method
  1. Prepare the baby artichokes by peeling them and removing the hard outer leaves.

  2. Once prepared, place them in ice water with the lemon slices and ascorbic acid.

  3. In a saucepan over low heat, sweat the shallots and garlic in the olive oil, until the shallots are translucent.

  4. Then add the white wine and reduce. Once reduced, add the white wine vinegar, water, thyme and bay leaves.

  5. Season with salt and pepper.

  6. Bring to boil and add the artichokes, then turn down to simmer and cook until tender. Once cooked, remove the artichokes from the water and allow to cool. Set aside 50ml of the cooking water.

Jerusalem artichoke method
  1. Vacpack or place the artichokes in a ziplock bag and steam for 30 mins. Once cooked, chill by dropping the bag into a large bowl of iced water.

Truffle dressing method
  1. In a blender, combine the reduced cooking water retained from cooking the baby artichokes with the truffle oil and grated truffle, adjusting the consistency with water if needed.

  2. Season with lemon, salt and pepper.

Assembly method
  1. Cut all baby artichokes in half.

  2. Slice the cooked Jerusalem artichoke so that you have seven slices per person. Arrange the Jerusalem artichokes on the plates and brush with the truffle dressing, then add five pieces of baby artichoke each.

  3. Microplane over some parmesan.

  4. Dress the mixed leaves with the dressing and place on top.
    Finish with five slices of microplaned truffle.

Artichoke and truffle salad from the LaLee

Chocolate Bombe by The Ivy Chelsea Garden

The Ivy’s Chocolate Bombe is a rich chocolate indulgence that’s perfect for sharing after supper on any occasion.

Serves 2
Components:

Salted caramel sauce
Milk foam
Chocolate mousse
Chocolate dome

Salted caramel ingredients

135g glucose
180g caster sugar
25g water
300g double cream
45g butter
5g table salt

Milk foam ingredients

1 ½ bronze gelatine sheet
280g whole milk
120g double cream
60g caster sugar

Chocolate mousse ingredients

170g chocolate (dark 75%)
7 free-range egg whites
40g caster sugar
3g lemon juice

Chocolate dome ingredients

Balloon/7cm mould
Dark chocolate

Chocolate Bombe finishing ingredients

4g gold spray
2g honeycomb
2g popping candy
70g vanilla ice cream

Salted caramel method
  1. Combine the glucose, caster sugar and water in a saucepan over a low heat. Allow the mixture to melt and bring to the boil. Let it caramelise until it turns to a golden caramel colour.

  2. Stir in the double cream and butter and allow to melt. Allow the mixture to simmer on a medium heat until the caramel sauce coats the back of a spoon.

  3. Add the salt to finish. Chill and refrigerate until use.

Milk foam method
  1. Place the gelatine sheets into cold water to soften, this will take 5 minutes.

  2. Place the whole milk, double cream and sugar into a pan and bring to a simmer.

  3. Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer into a bowl.

  4. Remove the gelatine from the water when soft. Squeeze all the water out of it, add to the mixture and whisk to dissolve.

  5. Let it cool down to below 8C degrees and refrigerate until needed.

  6. Pour into a cream charger gun, which is charged with gas, and refrigerate until needed.

Chocolate mousse method
  1. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water).

  2. Whisk the egg whites and lemon juice in a large bowl until they form soft peaks. Add the sugar and continue to whisk until firm peaks form when the whisk is removed.

  3. When the chocolate has melted, remove the bowl from the heat. Whisk one-third of the egg whites into the hot chocolate quickly and vigorously, until thick and well combined (if you add the egg whites in too slowly, their cold temperature can make the hot chocolate seize, solidify and result in a lumpy mousse).

  4. Using a spatula, fold the remaining egg whites gently into the chocolate mixture, until all the egg white has been completely incorporated into the chocolate. Don’t overmix at this stage as you’ll knock out the air bubbles and the mousse will be dense.

  5. Spoon the mousse mixture into a piping bag and chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

 Chocolate domes method
  1. Blow up a balloon and wrap in cling film or have a 7cm mould.

  2. Break the chocolate into pieces and put in a bowl, stand the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the base doesn’t touch the water.

  3. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir until completely melted.

  4. Dip the blown-up balloon in the melted chocolate or pour into 7cm mould.

  5. Once cooled down, carefully take the chocolate off the balloon, or tap the chocolate out of the mould.

  6. Repeat to make a second dome.

Assembly method:
  1. Spray one of the chocolate domes with gold spray (this will be the presentation dome).

  2. Using the cream charger gun, pipe the milk foam into a bowl. Sit the unsprayed chocolate dome into the milk foam.

  3. Pipe the chocolate mousse into the chocolate dome, sprinkle the honeycomb and popping candy over the chocolate mousse.

  4. Using an ice cream scoop, place a ball of vanilla ice cream into the dome.

  5. Heat the salted caramel sauce in the microwave until bubbling hot.

  6. Cover the chocolate-filled dome with the golden-sprayed one – it will now look like a complete round chocolate ball.

  7. Serve with the hot salted caramel sauce, pouring it over the chocolate bombe when ready to eat.

Chocolate Bombe from The Ivy Chelsea Garden

The Harry's Dolce Vita Toadstool

The classic toadstool dessert contains pistachios and chocolate, both of which have aphrodisiac properties. Plus, your date will be utterly charmed that you’ve gone to the effort to make one of the most adorable puddings we’ve ever seen.

Serves 2
Toadstool ingredients

15g Pistachio crumble
1 Vanilla cream stalk made from vanilla ice cream
Micro baby basil
3 Raspberries
30g Pistachio and white chocolate sauce
1 Chocolate dome (available at larger supermarkets)
Icing sugar to decorate

Pistachio and white chocolate sauce ingredients

100g Double cream
75g White chocolate
25g Pistachio paste

Pistachio crumble ingredients

60g Caster sugar
60g Unsalted butter
60g Plain flour
100g Pistachio nuts

Method for the sauce
  1. In a pan bring the cream to boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and add the chocolate.

  2. It will turn to a yellow, creamy colour and then make sure all the chocolate is melted by mixing it.

  3. Add the pistachio paste, whisk well to combine altogether.

  4. Let it cool and cover.

Method for the pistachio crumble
  1. Blend the sugar, butter and flour together to a crumble texture.

  2. Crush the pistachios.

  3. Combine both and layer on a baking tray.

  4. Bake at 180 degrees for 6-7 minutes.

Method for the toadstool
  1. Gently warm the sauce in a saucepan, don’t allow it to get too hot.

  2. Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream to form the toadstool stalk in the centre and scatter the crumble around.

  3. Dust 3 raspberries with icing sugar on a separate tray.

  4. Place the raspberries and the baby basil on the plate.

  5. Place the prepped dome on top of the ice cream stalk, making sure it is straight.

  6. Serve the pistachio and white chocolate sauce on the side.

Harry's Dolce Vita Toadstool

Recipes from Sloane Street chefs

Experts from the likes of Raw Press, The Fuji Grill and Kahani share recipes for their best dishes