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Dressed-to-Impress Valentine's Day Ideas

Bittersweet Chocolate Tart recipe

Whether you're looking to wow a new flame or show a long-time lover how much he or she means to you, these recipes are guaranteed to impress, with special presentations, luxury ingredients, or dressed-up twists on comforting favorites.


Steak and Peppered Spaetzle with Black Trumpet Mushrooms and Shallot Marmalade

This modern update on homey beef Stroganoff elevates it to a restaurant-worthy steak dinner: grilled flatiron steak on a bed of spaetzle with caramelized shallots and earthy, fragrant black trumpet mushrooms, topped with a drizzle of crème fraiche.

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Chocolate-Cherry Cheesecake Tart

The creamy filling of this black forest-inspired tart is adorned with heart-shaped swirls of cherry jam and cradled in a chocolate-cookie crust.

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Duck Breasts with Saba and Grapes

Plump purple grapes and saba, a syrup made from pressed wine grapes, lend a sweet note to this sauce, which is draped over crisp-skinned seared duck breasts.

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Lobster with Sauternes and Curry

This poached lobster is served in a rich reduction sauce of lobster stock, Cognac and Sauternes, mild curry powder, and cream.

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Chocolate Mousse with Spice-Poached Sour Cherries

This dessert is complex and darkly dramatic, with its black rice (also known as forbidden rice), dark-chocolate mousse, and scarlet sour cherries.

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Beet Wellington with Pinot Noir Sauce

Rich red wine, earthy mushrooms, creamy herb-flecked goat cheese, sweet roasted beets, and flaky buttery crust meld in a harmonious, luxurious whole ideal for a special Valentine’s Day dinner.

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Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Salted Caramelized Pistachios

If love is bittersweet, then this tart is love itself: a crisp shell filled with silky-smooth bittersweet chocolate ganache, topped with a crunchy salty-sweet pistachio brittle.

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French Macarons

Indescribable. Cookie royalty. Unlike American macaroons dense with coconut, pillowy soft, ethereal, ever-so-slightly chewy yet melt-in-your mouth French almond macarons are a coveted Valentine's day gift you can really make yourself.


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Devil's Food Cake Verrine

Get a little bit naughty with this deconstructed take on Devil's Food Cake: dense chocolate cake layered with creamy chocolate mousse and topped with a rich chocolate sauce and crunchy, salty cocoa nib streusel.

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Chicken Pot Pie in a Potato Bowl

In this dressed-up riff on the classic pot pie, a "bowl" of buttery whipped potatoes replaces the traditional pastry crust, while the stew gets sophisticated flavor from fennel and exotic mushrooms.

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Oysters on the Half Shell with Verjus Mignonette

Legendary for their aphrodisiac powers, oysters are the perfect starter for a romantic dinner. Here they're dressed in a simple sauce of cracked peppercorns and shallots in sweet-tart verjus.

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Three-Cheese Soufflé

For a rich main course that won't weigh you down, a savory soufflé is the perfect choice. It's less temperamental than you might think and makes a stunning presentation hot out of the oven.

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Truffled Game Hens with Prosciutto

A whole game hen makes an impressive main course, and this recipe ups the luxe factor with a stuffing of wild mushrooms, truffle oil and prosciutto slipped under the skin before roasting.

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