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Valentine's 'Fool for Love' dessert

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

This is no ordinary chocolate mousse. The spiced syrup lifts it from the mundane to the spectacular.

Servings: Two

Ready time: 3 hours, including chilling time

Spiced Syrup

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons honey

1 star anise

1 inch (2.5 cm) piece cinnamon stick

2 cardamom pods, crushed

1 red Thai chili, seeded and chopped (scant ¼ teaspoon)

⅛ teaspoon salt

Mousse

1 cup whipping cream

4 ounces (125 g) dark chocolate

½ cup mascarpone

Method

Combine water, sugar, honey, star anise, cinnamon stick, cardamom, chili and salt in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to boil and boil for 5 minutes or until syrupy. Cool to room temperature and strain out spices.

Bring ½ cup of whipping cream to boil over high heat. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until melted and well combined. Cool to room temperature. Put mascarpone in a mixing bowl and fold the chocolate mixture into the mascarpone. Beat remaining ½ cup of whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold cream into chocolate mascarpone mixture.

Drizzle 1 teaspoon spice syrup in the base of each of two wine glasses. Spoon half of chocolate mixture into glasses, drizzle with another 1 teaspoon spice mixture then add remaining chocolate. Finish with another drizzle of syrup. Chill before serving.

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