Aphrodisiacs are loosely defined as any food or drink that stimulates romantic desire. Lucky for us, aphrodisiacs also happen to be some of the tastiest food and drinks around. Chocolate, chili peppers, watermelon, and pomegranate all make the cut. It’s almost as if aphrodisiacs are tailor-made for desserts.
To help us come up with some of the best dessert ideas that make ample use of aphrodisiac ingredients, we spoke with professional pastry chef and bonafide dessert expert Camilla Tinoco. Tinoco has worked with DB Bistro Moderne in Manhattan and contributed recipes to multiple books on how to make delicious pastry. She was excited to share her favorite desserts to make or order for your significant other to win some serious relationship points.
- 1. Dark chocolate Chili Truffles
- 2. Pain d’épice
- 3. Vanilla Crème Brûlée
- 4. Red Wine Poached Pear with Whipped Mascarpone
- 5. Banana and Dark Chocolate Soufflé
- 6. Watermelon and Sweet Basil Panna Cotta
- 7. Pomegranate and Pistachio Mille Feuille
- 8. Coffee and Pumpkin Seed Eclair
- 9. Fig and Cardamom Pavlova with Whipped Cream
- 10. Dark Chocolate, Ginger and Walnuts Mendiant
- Questions About Our Favorite Course
These tasty truffles are made of creamy dark chocolate ganache mixed together with chili powder and coated with cocoa powder. They’re a wonderful combination of hot and sweet.
This is a traditional French cake made with spices such as cinnamon, ginger, aniseed, and honey. It’s hearty, easy to make, and good to the last slice.
This is a rich custard-based dessert traditionally flavored with vanilla and burned sugar on top to create a brown crust. It’s delicate, savory, and beautiful to behold, just like love itself.
This dessert pear is poached in a syrup prepared with red wine and spices (cinnamon, ginger, peppercorn, cardamom, and cloves) and is served with whipped mascarpone. Just be sure to indulge responsibly.
This dessert is a baked egg-based dish, and it can be served as a savory main course or sweetened to be a dessert. As a chocolate banana dessert, it is made from a chocolate base and fresh banana pieces are mixed in before baking.
This is a traditional Italian dessert of sweetened cream thickened with gelatin. The cream can be infused with fruits, spices, tea, and nuts to create a particular flavor. For this dessert, the cream is infused with watermelon and the finished dessert has a basil jelly on top.
This is two layers of puff pastry filled with pomegranate and pistachio pastry cream and topped with pomegranate seeds. When done right, it’s light, fluffy, and rich.
This special dessert is eclair-filled with coffee pastry cream and crushed pumpkin seeds, as well as a chocolate coffee glaze. It’s great for Autumn or any time of year you want to feel cozy and warm.
This one is a meringue dessert with a crisp crust and a soft, light inside, and topped with roasted fig with cardamom seed. And don’t forget the whipped cream.
This is a French confection made of a dark cacao chocolate disk, topped with nuts and dried fruits. It looks great and tastes even better.
Questions About Our Favorite Course
We also made a point to ask Tinoco to answer a few of our burning questions about how to make delicious desserts.
Can you ever have too much chocolate in a dessert?
Tinoco: As a chocolate lover, it is hard to say if there can ever be too much chocolate in a dessert. Regardless of the fact that some people actively dislike chocolate, when I develop a dessert, with or without it, the main point is to create a balance among all of the flavors. For instance, if I add too much chocolate to a dessert that has coconut, the former flavor will overpower the latter, and the delicate coconut won’t play any role. As a result, I conclude that one can indeed have an excess of chocolate, but it would take a lot!
Can you eat store-bought desserts anymore or do you prefer to always make your own?
Tinoco: In general, I prefer to make my own desserts. But it doesn’t mean I would never buy a chocolate bar in a grocery store. In addition to that, I also enjoy trying desserts created by other pastry chefs. It’s a fun habit and you can discover new flavors and combinations. Tasting is a fundamental part of the development of skills in the culinary arts, and this ultimately improves one’s proficiency in the kitchen.
How do you decide which flavors will go well together?
Tinoco: Matching flavors can be a hard task, but it is all about one’s life experience of eating and cooking. It’s common sense that some flavor combinations will match with others, so I normally start on the safe side and then I try to introduce different combinations to check what other flavors will match with my starting point.
Sometimes things work out in the way and sometimes they don’t. As they often say, practice makes perfect!