In the MOOD for food

Herbal and culinary aphrodisiacs have been used for centuries in food and beverages and with Valentine’s Day coming up it’s the perfect excuse to have some fun with these and surprise the one you love with a date night at home.

Aphrodisiacs most often have an effect on either the nervous system or circulatory system and help the one who imbibes to relax, slow down and get the blood flowing (you get the picture). At risk of going into too much detail I will list the aphrodisiacs in each meal, then a fun date night activity can be to google them and see where that goes.

Have a happy day of love and may every day be full of it.



Pop these in a jar, tie with some twine and a dried flower and give as a gift.
Pop these in a jar, tie with some twine and a dried flower and give as a gift.

Chilli, pink peppercorn & sea salt after-dinner truffles

Aphrodisiacs: Chilli + pepper + chocolate


1 cup coconut cream

200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

1/2 tsp crushed pink peppercorn

1/4 tsp sea salt



Gently heat coconut cream until just boiling. Take off the heat and add the chocolate, chilli, pepper and salt and stir until the chocolate is melted and silky smooth.

Cool in the fridge until set enough to handle.

Once set roll into 1 tbsp-sized balls then roll in cocoa powder. These can be stored in the fridge for 2 weeks or the freezer for 3 months. Stirred through hot milk makes a great hot chocolate.


Love tonic cocktail

Serves 2

Aphrodisiacs Rose + hibiscus + pomegranate + champagne


1 cup sugar

2 cup pomegranate juice

4 hibiscus tea bags (any fruit tea with hibiscus will do)

3 tbsp rose water

champagne (or lemon-infused soda water for a mocktail)



Mix together sugar and pomegranate juice in a saucepan, bring to the boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Turn off the heat, add tea bags and let infuse until the cordial has cooled down.

Once cooled add rose water, pop in a clean bottle and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. To serve, mix 1 part over ice and top with 4 parts champagne or sparkling wine.


Pink Beet spaghetti with basil pangrattato

Aphrodisiacs beetroot + garlic + basil



2 medium beetroot, washed

½ cup cashew pieces, soaked in boiling water 1 hour

¼ cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp onion powder

handful fresh basil



Preheat oven to 180degC. Halve beetroot, then place cut side down in a small baking dish and cover with foil. Bake 60-90 minutes till tender all the way through and allow to cool. Once cooled peel skin off then place in a blender with the rest of the ingredients blending until completely smooth and emulsified.



2 slices day old bread

3 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, diced

handful fresh basil, torn

zest 1 lemon



In a fry pan on medium heat, add the oil and garlic and fry until just starting to colour. Add the bread and toast in the oil until golden. stir through lemon zest and basil, season with salt and pepper and take off the heat.


To assemble

Cook 200g spaghetti to packet directions, drain, reserving œ cup cooking liquid.

Stir this through the sauce and top with pangrattato.


Blinis with avocado, wasabi and watermelon tuna

Serves 2

Aphrodisiacs avocado + wasabi + watermelon


Watermelon tuna

This is such a fun thing to do with watermelon when it’s in season. When marinated then cooked it has the most amazing texture; very similar to raw tuna.


1/4 small watermelon sliced and rind removed

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp neutral oil

1 sheet nori, torn up



Slice your watermelon into 2cm slices then marinate in the vinegar, soy sauce, oil and nori for 6 hours or overnight in a snap lock bag in the fridge.

Once marinated heat your oven to 200degC and cook in a baking tray uncovered for around 20 minutes or until just blackening on the outside.



1/2 cup plain flour

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

2 tsp baking powder (give the jar a shake first)

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup milk of choice



In a medium bowl mix milk and apple cider vinegar and leave for 10 minutes (don’t worry if it looks curdled).

Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently with a whisk.

Slowly fold wet ingredients into dry, being careful not to over mix.

Let the batter sit for 10 minutes while you clean up, then heat a flat fry pan on medium heat.

Lightly oil pan and pour on small amounts of batter (about 1 tbsp).

When bubbles appear on surface, flip the blini and cook another minute or so until golden underneath.


To assemble

1 large avocado



watermelon tuna


Top blinis with mashed avocado, season with salt and pepper then top with thin slices watermelon arranged in a rose pattern. Dot wasabi around the plate to add to each bite. The more wasabi, the greater the effect!


Peaches & cream layer cake with miso caramel

Serves 8

Aphrodisiacs: Peaches & cream + sugar + miso


Vanilla sponge

1 ¼ cups milk of choice

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

½ cup aquafaba (about 1 tins worth)

100g butter of choice, softened

½ cup neutral oil

1 ½ cups sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

½ teaspoon salt



Preheat oven to 170degC.

In a small bowl make buttermilk by adding milk and cider vinegar and leaving 10 mins to curdle.

Sift flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl cream butter, oil, vanilla, aquafaba and sugar til light and fluffy then fold through buttermilk, and dry ingredients in batches until just combined, being careful not to over mix.

Place batter into three greased and lined 8inch can pans (they will be thin layers) and bake 20-30 minutes til a skewer comes out clean.


Miso caramel

¾ cup white sugar

¼ cup water

½ cup coconut cream at room temp

2 tsp miso paste



In a heavy based saucepan stir sugar and water together then heat on medium without stirring til the caramel turns brown. Take off the heat. Carefully pour in the coconut cream, stirring all the time (it will bubble up be careful!). If parts of the caramel solidify place back on a gentle heat and whisk til liquid again. Whisk in the miso paste.


To serve:

vanilla sponge

miso caramel

2 ripe peaches cut into slices

3 cups coconut (or other) whipping cream, whipped


Layer each cake with whipped cream, caramel and peach slices, leaving the prettiest for the top.

Serve with 2 spoons and each straight from the cake stand.

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