Unique chocolate recipes to surprise your Valentine

7 Feb 2024

Celebrations Gift Ideas Recipes Valentines

Put your DIY baking skills to the test with a homemade Valentine’s Day selection. Delicious, unique chocolate recipes for you and your partner to enjoy.

If you’re thinking that this year could be the year that you take a DIY approach to Valentine’s Day — we’re right there with you. Nothing shows your loved one just how much you care like handmade, personalised gifts and treats. No matter whether your Valentine is a best friend, family member, or partner. We think that there’s just something indescribably sentimental about food, especially when hand-baked with love.

To give you some inspiration this Valentine’s Day, here are a few unique chocolate recipes that are guaranteed to bring out your creativity in the kitchen. As you’ve probably guessed, we’ll be using our own Hotel Chocolat chocolates in these recipes. So, make sure you stock up on our batons and slabs before you get started with your mise en place!

Ombre pink heart on granite top.

Valentine’s Day chocolate recipes

In our eyes, Valentine’s Day is synonymous with chocolate — so we are rightfully putting it front and centre of our Valentine’s recipes today. From unique chocolate recipes to Valentine’s chocolate cakes and cupcakes, here are a few recipes that might take your fancy.

Whichever you choose for your Valentine’s Day baking session, we’re sure you’ll end up with some heavenly bakes and bites.

  1. Make-your-own chocolate hearts recipe

If you’d like to make your own chocolates for your beau this Valentine’s Day, we have a very quick and easy recipe for you.

While sourcing your own cacao and making your chocolate completely from scratch can be a little time-consuming, we hope that this recipe will be just as satisfying. Trust us, we have created an entire business devoted to the multi-faceted bean-to-bar process.

By melting down our delectable batons and slabs, adding a few of your own ingredients, and moulding the chocolate into Valentine’s Day-themed heart shapes, you’ll still get to produce your very own creations.

The equipment and ingredients

You’ll need some standard kitchen equipment handy, like heat-proof bowls, spoons, and a baking tray. You’ll also need flexible heart-shaped chocolate moulds — or any other shape you’d prefer.

Now it’s time to start your Valentine’s chocolate creation. This could be creamy white, classic milk, or rich dark chocolate — whatever your loved one craves the most. If they like fruity chocolate, you could even go for our Raspberry White Chocolate Batons to give your chocolates an adorable pink hue.

If you’re feeling a little fancy, you can add some extra ingredients to your chocolate hearts like freeze-dried raspberries (perfect if you’re using the raspberry batons) or finely chopped nuts for a moreish bite.

The method

All you need to do is melt your chocolate down into a smooth, silky consistency using the microwave or the hob. Be careful not to burn it, as this could alter the taste of your finished product. Take a look at our article on the best ways to melt chocolate for tips.

Next, fill your heart moulds with your shiny melted chocolate, right up (but not spilling over) the top of each mould. If you’re adding extra ingredients, you can either mix these into your melted chocolate before filling the moulds (giving you an even distribution of your chosen ingredient) or you can choose the next aesthetically pleasing option. Or, why not a bit of both? It’s Valentine’s Day, after all.

To make your hearts look extra pretty, add a sprinkling of nuts, tiny toffee pieces, or any other extras to your heart moulds before you add in the chocolate. This will mean that when you take your finished chocolates out of their moulds, your ingredients will be on the top of your hearts, making an aesthetic decoration.

Whichever option you choose, once you have filled your moulds with chocolate, leave them to set in the fridge for at least six hours. Check they are completely solid before removing them from the moulds and then plate them up to give to your unsuspecting Valentine.

Valentines day chocolate cupcake
  1. Valentine’s cupcake recipe

For those with rich chocolate tastes, you’ll be enamoured by what we have in store for you next. The recipe calls for white chocolate truffles as well as eight white chocolate hearts. Why not opt for our Strawberry Mousse Hearts or Dark Chocolate Cashew Hearts?

Even if baking isn’t your forte, you’ll soon feel like royalty in the kitchen. This cupcake recipe takes just 40 minutes from start to finish.

The ingredients

For the cupcakes:

For the decorations:

The method

Begin by heating your oven to 180c / 160c fan / gas mark 4 and line a muffin tin with eight cupcake cases. Once they’re ready, melt your butter in a small pan and leave to cool for 5 minutes.

Next, tip your sugar, cacao and flour into a food processor and mix. When your ingredients are evenly distributed, tip your melted butter and eggs into the mixer to make a smooth batter.

Now’s the fun part! Lovingly scoop the mixture into each muffin case leaving a bit of a gap at the top — this is where you’ll place a white chocolate truffle into the centre of your mixture. Spoon a little mixture on top after this, ensuring the truffles are cocooned in silky batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes until firm, and then leave to cool (the hardest part!).

For your decoration, tip your butter and sugar into a bowl, add the vanilla, and beat until smooth. Thinly spread just enough of this sweet vanilla mixture to cover the cakes, ensuring that the icing meets the muffin case on each side.

With the remaining icing, beat your cacao powder into it and place it into a piping bag with a nozzle of your choice. Then, you can pipe hearts onto each cupcake! Finally, add a chocolate heart for a final flourish.

  1. Hidden heart cake recipe

This one is perfect for those who are up for a baking challenge. This hidden heart cake recipe puts a dazzling Valentine’s Day spin on the humble classic — loaf cake.

The ingredients

For the hidden heart cake:

  • 2 x 175g softened unsalted butter
  • 2 x 175g golden caster sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 x 140g sifted self-raising flour
  • 2 x ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder from one of our Hot Chocolate Pouches
  • 2 x 85g ground almonds
  • 2 x 100mls milk
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 28ml red food colouring or ½ tsp red food colouring gel

For the icing:

  • 100ml double cream
  • 200g finely chopped dark chocolate (we recommend our 70% Dark Chocolate Slab or Batons)
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • Any decorations you desire!

The method

Your special person won’t know the difference until they cut down the middle to reveal a red heart running through the core. It’s the perfect Valentine’s chocolate cake, if we do say so ourselves.

For the full method, head on over to BBC Good Food’s recipe with your Hotel Chocolat ingredients fired up and ready to go.

Assortment of Valentine's day sweet treats

How to present your homemade chocolate gift

Once you’ve tried your hand at one of our unique chocolate recipes, you might be wondering how to best present them. What will make them look as luxurious as they taste? Well, we have some ideas for you…

Make a homemade chocolate hamper

If you’re also gifting a few other bits and pieces to your loved one, add them to a hamper with your homemade chocolates. We have a range of luxury and budget-friendly chocolate hampers available. This will make your gift look lovingly compiled and all the more extravagant — which is never a bad thing.

Find a wicker basket and neatly arrange your chocolates and goodies inside it. To make sure your homemade chocolates or baked goods are safe, wrap them in parchment (baking paper) and tuck them inside a small gift box. You may even have one of these or a similar box around the house that you can repurpose.

Parchment and twine

Are you going to be gifting your chocolates as they are and in person? Then you could always make things simple and wrap them in brown parchment and twine. This is also a low-waste, environmentally-friendly option, as you won’t be using plastic or buying unnecessary layers of packaging from the shops. What’s more, it gives your gift a unique and rustic look.

At Hotel Chocolat, we’re all about reducing waste to protect the environment. If you’d like to learn more, take a look at our ethics and planet pledge

In the post….

If you’re sending your chocolate treats in the post, you might be concerned about them getting squished. It’s best to err on the side of caution and send them in a well-sealed box. Find one that fits your chocolates or baked goods snug inside, so they won’t roll around and become damaged on their journey to your Valentine.

Make your Valentine’s Day one to remember with Hotel Chocolat

If you don’t have time to make your Valentine a completely made-from-scratch present, you could always compile a homemade hamper of luxurious chocolates. Why not pair our Love Potions with a bottle of our cacao-infused tipple? Or create a bundle of treats with our Just Because Valentine’s Chocolate, our Velvetiser hot chocolate machine, and some of our exquisite hot chocolate flakes.

Browse our entire Valentine’s Day chocolate collection to find plenty of themed goodies that will make their heart sing. From our lovingly curated Made With Love chocolate box to our Dozen Chocolate Little Lovebirds, we have something to make everyone swoon.