Warning: Following the Instagram feed of a celebrity chef may make you extremely hungry.
And that’s never truer than on Valentine’s Day, when those who cook for a living unleash some of their showiest desserts of the year.
We couldn’t wait, so we asked some of our fave celebrity chefs — including Rocco DiSpirito, François Payard and Wolfgang Puck — to give us a peek at the Valentine’s Day desserts they’ll be making and sharing on Facebook and Instagram today.
Surprisingly, more than half don’t contain a smidge of chocolate. Maybe that’s because no one loves the element of surprise more than a chef?
Restauranteur Michael Psilakis‘ dessert is a refreshing counterpoint to the typically excessive sweets served on February 14. In his words: “To me, simple is best on special occasions. Greek yogurt and mango fruit tea is my kind of perfect ending to Valentine’s Day.” Also, we bet that the Greek chef has access to some pretty incredible Greek yogurt.
At Michael Lomonaco’s Porter House New York, the coconut cake recipe was adapted from the version served at the Peninsula Grill in Charleston, South Carolina and has become one of the restaurant’s most talked-about desserts. From Lomonaco: “Most people think strawberry shortcake or chocolates are the way to go, but I am crazy about my Charleston coconut cake for Valentine’s Day.”
Wolfgang Puck plans to Instagram these playful red velvet push-up pops that epitomize Cupid’s holiday. The caption: “Happy Valentine’s Day! What desserts are you making for someone special? Red velvet push-up pops from #WPCatering.”
We like how François Payard rolls: He might have his own pastry empire, but with this Instagram shot, he suggests skipping the fussy sweets and making a simple pudding cake to impress your sweetie: “This is my favorite dessert to make on Valentine’s Day because it’s rich, indulgent and sexy but so easy to make. The last thing you want to do is spend the whole day in the kitchen so this is the perfect dessert. You can also bake it in a heart mold to make it look extra special.”
Don’t you wish you could jump into this Instagram shot and take a bite out of that strawberry? With her choice, Healthy Eating host Ellie Krieger proves that she’s a classic romantic. “I always love a traditional Valentines day treat and hand dipped strawberries are one of my favorites. They are not only decadent and romantic, but healthy too! Wishing everyone a sweet and juicy Valentine’s Day!”
Chef David Myers of Hinoki & the Bird in Los Angeles will also be forsaking the chocolate path for this dramatic, sweet-meets-spicy mochi. His Instagram caption: “Chocolate is expected on Valentine’s Day. I think breaking the mold is much better. @hinokibird’s miso mochi is perfect — rich, caramel-y, and with just a bit of heat.”
Pound a Day Diet author Rocco DiSpirito was so excited about this healthy chocolate mousse recipe he’s showing off on Instagram that he gave us the recipe. “Nothing says Valentine’s like a little chocolate mousse. My recipe is only 145 calories!”
Real Chocolate Mousse
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup sliced fresh strawberries
½ tsp. powdered gelatin
⅓ cup egg substitute
1½ oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped finely
1 tbsp. light agave nectar
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp. instant espresso powder
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
¼ cup granulated zero-calorie sweetener (such as Splenda)
2 tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup fresh raspberries
1. In a medium bowl, combine vanilla and 1 tsp. water. Sprinkle gelatin on top and set aside for 3-5 minutes to allow gelatin to bloom.
2. Bring a medium pot of water to a simmer. Meanwhile, in a metal bowl, whisk together the egg substitute, unsweetened chocolate, agave nectar, salt and espresso powder. Place the bowl over the simmering water and whisk until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is hot and thickened. Do not allow the egg substitute to fully cook. (You can also do this in a double boiler.)
3. Whisk the hot chocolate mixture into the bloomed gelatin until the gelatin is melted and fully incorporated. Allow the chocolate mixture to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. This will take only a few minutes.
4. When the chocolate mixture has cooled, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the cream of tartar. When very soft peaks begin to form, gradually add the zero-calorie sweetener. Whip the whites until they form medium peaks. They should look somewhat creamy and should not be stiff or dry.
4. Fold ⅓ of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then, in two increments, fold the chocolate mixture into the whites until it is just incorporated. Spoon the mousse into 4 dessert dishes, and refrigerate for 1-5 hours.
5. Sprinkle chocolate chips, raspberries and sliced strawberries on top of each dish. Serve.