We asked Shelley Torgove, a clinical herbalist and the owner of Artemisia & Rue on Broadway, to provide some enticing (ahem) treats for Valentine’s Day. The following recipe for Hottie Chocolate combines kitchen alchemy and herbs traditionally used to promote passion. (For more inventive and enticing ideas, check out Botanica Erotica by Diana De Luca.)

Hottie Chocolate

(2 cups)

2 1/2 cups milk of choice

1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

1 cinnamon stick (about 3-4 inches long)

1 small red chile pepper, seeds removed (chili powder can be substituted)

1 1/2 ounces excellent-quality chocolate (such as Askinosie Chocolate or Ritual Chocolate), grated

1 pinch of cayenne

whipped cream

Simmer milk in a saucepan with vanilla bean, cinnamon, and chile. Heat thoroughly for about one minute. Whisk in grated Askinosie or Ritual Chocolate and continue to simmer until melted. Remove from heat. Add pinch of cayenne. Strain, pour, top with whipped cream. Enjoy.

—Photo via Shutterstock

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.