We always have to have love potions.
—Barbara O'Hara, chef
If you love Valentine's Day, Dessert Sinsations Café is the place for you. "Love is everywhere,"
says chef-owner Barbara O'Hara."We're already decked out here for
Valentine's, so it's very valentiney."
Naturally that decorative
touch extends to the baked goods, too. There are heart-shaped cookies,
red cupcakes, even what O'Hara calls "naughty cookies". "They're decorated with phrases
like 'bite me,' 'kiss me,' 'eat me' and 'sassy'," she says. "And they sell."
Dessert Sinsations Café is all decked out for Valentine's Day (Sara Bennet)
Romance comes in liquid form, too, with a selection of "sweetheart
drinks." "We always have to have love potions. It's been such a cold
winter, I think people need to come in and have a sweetheart drink," she
says. Thirsty lovers can choose from a Cherry Vodka Sparkler, a
traditional Kir, a Chocolate Kiss made with their famous hot chocolate
or a Caramel Baileys Latté.
O'Hara says her favourite Valentine's Day ingredient is definitely chocolate. "It's just because it's something people tend to share, for sure, chocolate's it."
But lobster gets equal billing as one of her favourites. Every Valentine's Day the restaurant features a four-course dinner that includes filet mignon and lobster. Dessert is something called 'Goddess of Love,' which contains a dark chocolate, crème de cacao, Callebault chocolate mousse with a layer of chocolate ganache served with a splash of red raspberry and strawberry coulis. "I just swoon over this cake," O'Hara says.
And the romantic spirit definitely rubs off on the customers. "We've had a few people get engaged on Valentine's Day here," she says. "We had one customer who put a ring in our Kahlua cookie torte -- the girl's cake -- when she went to the bathroom. And she almost bit into it when she came back and he had to stop her. She found it and then he got down on his knee in the middle of the restaurant. It was very sweet."
And if all this sweet talk has you craving something sugary and chocolatey yourself, Chef O'Hara has offered SCENE
her recipe for one of her sweetheart drinks:Caramel Baileys Latté
Our delicious homemade caramel*, 1 oz. Baileys Irish Cream, one shot of Black Pearl espresso and steamed milk.
Dessert Sinsations cupcakes (Sara Bennet)
*To make your own easy caramel follow these simple steps:
In a saucepan, combine 1 1/4 cups sugar and 1/4 cup water and cook over moderate heat until the sugar begins to dissolve.
Gently swirl the pan and cook without stirring until it turns a medium-amber colour, about 5 minutes.
Add 1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, a pinch of sea salt and simmer until thickened, 2 minutes; let cool.Dessert Sinsations Café offers a four-course Valentine's Day menu for $58.00 per person.
If you're looking for another aphrodisiac, why not check out Winnipeg's new oyster