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Valentine's Day Bliss: Nutella Chocolate Fondue

nutella fondueValentine’s Day is as chocolate-centric a holiday as any, with chocolate dipped strawberries – really, chocolate dipped anything – at the top of the list of foods that say I love you. Chocolate fondue is an easy Valentine’s Day dessert – perfect for two but also ideal for larger groups – if you’re looking for something special for the family tomorrow night, kids love to gather around the table and dip things into chocolate. If you don’t have a fondue pot and forks, use long bamboo skewers and serve the chocolate in a heavy ceramic or glass bowl (which will keep it warmer longer) – zap it in the microwave if it starts to solidify. Cream will help keep it liquid.

But wait! Here’s an even better idea: Nutella fondue.

The creamy chocolate-hazelnut spread is easy to melt on its own and serve -for one, even- with fresh fruit and other dippable ingredients, but really upgrades a classic chocolate fondue. All you need to do is stir a spoonful or two into whatever chocolate mixture you’re using. Of course this concept is not limited to Valentine’s Day festivities.

As with any chocolate fondue, serve with fresh strawberries, chunks of pineapple, banana, apple, kiwi and orange segments, along with chunks of pound cake or banana bread, small biscotti or other plain cookies and marshmallows for dipping.

Nutella Fondue

1/2 cup cream (half & half, coffee cream or whipping cream)
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup Nutella

In a small-medium saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until steaming but not boiling; remove from heat and add the chocolate and Nutella. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir until smooth. Serve in a small chocolate fondue pot set over a tea light to help keep the mixture melted. Serves 8-12 (depending on appetites).

If you’re not into the Nutella fondue idea, try Sticky Toffee Fondue or this simple chocolate fondue, made with milk, dark or white chocolate – your choice.

Classic Chocolate Fondue

1 cup cream (half & half, coffee cream or whipping cream)
1 tsp. vanilla or mint extract (optional)
8 oz. dark, milk or white chocolate, chopped

In a small-medium saucepan, heat the cream (and extract, if using) over medium heat until steaming but not boiling; remove from heat and add the chocolate. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir until smooth. Serve in a small chocolate fondue pot set over a tea light to help keep the chocolate melted. Serves 8-12.

Photo credit: istockphoto/matka_Wariatka

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