Brrrrrrrr, it was nippy in Brooklyn this past weekend. The crisp air and howling winds whispered freezing threats, warning us all to stay in. But that didn’t stop me and my HangWiz friends from participating in my first amorous cooking experience, “Cooking with Love & Chocolate at Café L’Amour”. I woke up early to prepare for the workshop. I had to finish typing up the handouts with the recipes and other fascinating stories about the aphrodisiacal power of chocolate. Then of course everything had to be “mise en place”. It was my vision that everything would flow like a Food Network cooking show. All of the ingredients for the Nipples of Venus bonbons were measured out on a display table with the proper cooking tools. On a separate table, I prepared a Valentine’s Day tablescape of pink and red to demonstrate that cooking with love is more than just cooking. Engaging all of the senses equally is the sensuous activity of this craft. The mood fit the learning occasion as I lit candles from the doorway to the kitchen and played Andre 3000’s “The Love Below” in the background to emphasize that every day truly is the 14th (of February), which is designated as “lover’s day”. To warm up my guests as they arrived, I offered them a hot cacao martini served up with whipped cream and one of my charming butter Kinky Kookies. A class I’ll offer at a later date. The presentation answered the why and how chocolate is an aphrodisiac, which led into the rich history of where the Nipples of Venus bonbons originated. We melted chocolate over simmer water, tempered it until it was perfect for coating our bonbons, played with food coloring to change white chocolate pink and red. We even thought to write sweet nothings for our Valentines to accompany our handmade goodie bags. My guests and I genuinely enjoyed an atmosphere filled with the magic of romance and learned much about the joy of cooking with love. I hope that you will join me in a future session on a mission to nurture lovers in intimate relationships, from the stomach to the heart.