Passion for your Palate: Chef recipes for date night

February 9, 2022  |   Found in News

In honour of Sex Week 2022, we asked Executive Chef Hussein Haji from the Den to show us how to put together some really special date night desserts and a mock-tail.

Chocolate Mousse


8 oz bittersweet baking chocolate
1/2 cup of water split in two
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream


First, make whipped cream and set it in the fridge until ready to use: Using a cold whisk attachment, beat cold heavy cream in the cold bowl of an electric mixer, until soft peaks appear.

Preheat water in the double boiler over medium heat. Add chocolate, 1/4 cup of water, butter and vanilla extract. Let it start melting and then stir with a silicone covered whisk until all melted and smooth. Take off heat and set aside.

In a small, heavy sauce pot, over medium-low (to low) heat, whisk egg yolks, 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of sugar together. Cook stirring slowly but constantly, until the mixture reaches 160° (F). This could take up to 10 minutes but don’t walk away or you will cook your eggs. Take off heat.

Stir egg mixture into chocolate mixture until all combined and smooth.

Place some ice into a large mixing bowl. Set the sauce pot in the ice bath. Let chocolate cool, while slowly stirring, for 5-7 minutes.

Fold whipped cream into cooled chocolate mixture until all smooth. Take you time folding with a spatula, you don’t want to whip or it will flatten.

At this time, you can divide chocolate mousse among dessert cups and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Chocolate torte


9 ounces good-quality dark chocolate 65% or higher, finely chopped
9 ounces unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
7 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
If you are feeling dangerous: a few tablespoons rum bourbon, or whiskey (Kenzie puts in “a splash”)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and line a try pan with parchment paper. Grease again.

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler or in a microwave-safe bowl, until the chocolate is almost completely melted. Remove from heat and stir until smooth and totally melted. Stir in the sugar, then let cool for a few minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, fully combining between each addition. After all the eggs are added, continue to stir until the batter becomes thick, glossy, and utterly gorgeous. Stir in the vanilla extract, almond extract, and any optional boozy addition you desire.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes, until the torte jiggles slightly in the middle but is not completely set. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then unmold.


A refreshing twist on lemonade!


1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice, from about 9 lemons
1 3/4 cups sugar
8 cups coconut water
4 cups water
1/2 recipe Lavender Simple Syrup:
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
3 tbsp dried lavender
A few drops of violet food coloring (optional)


Lavender Simple Syrup: Combine the sugar, water and lavender in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan.

Bring to a boil on high heat, and boil for 1 minute.

Remove from the heat, cover, and let the lavender steep in the syrup for 20 minutes.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the lavender, add the food coloring (used to give the lemonade a purple color).

Set syrup aside to cool.

Once cooled, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week.

Coconut Lavender Lemonade: Place lemon juice, sugar, coconut water, and water into a pitcher and shake or stir vigorously until all the sugar is dissolved. Shaking is preferred is possible as it aerates the lemonade.

Pour 1/2 of the lavender syrup into the pitcher and stir. You can add more or less lavender syrup to your personal taste.