It's no secret among my friends, family, and readers of this site that I'm a sucker for chocolate. Picture Eliza Doolittle when she is first coaxed into doing her vocal lessons by Henry Higgins and his chocolate bribes, and you'll have a pretty good idea of how I respond to that temptation. A daily dose of chocolate is required for my overall well-being, and scientists seem to agree that chocolate isn't such a bad thing for us, when consumed in reasonable portions.
Of course, on occasion, can it really hurt to consume unreasonable portions of chocolate when done for a special occasion such as Valentine's Day, a birthday, or reaching the end of the work week? Personally, I don't think so, and I'm going to stand by that belief! With that in mind, I think a special chocolate theme party is the perfect way to indulge in this culinary necessity. And it's something worth sharing with those you love because there are ingredients in chocolate that enhance our loving feelings, contributing to its reputation as an aphrodisiac.
Setting the Stage
Decorate your buffet table with warm brown and cream colored linens, mimicking the color palate of the culinary guest of honor.
Fill tall vases with chocolate kisses as tastier alternatives to a floral centerpiece.
Show "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" either before during or after your chocolate feast to add to the visual indulgences.
Chocolate Party Menu
You probably won't make all of these recipes for your party but, if you do, nobody will complain!
Chocolate Martini - Prepare your guests for the chocolate indulgences waiting to be enjoyed when you greet them at the door with chocolate martinis.
If you'd like to offer an alternative chocolate cocktail that will add a jolt of energy to your party, serve Chocolate Hazelnut Espresso Martinis.
Wine - yes, I said wine. Stacy Slinkard, About.com Guide to Wine, shows how you can pair wine and chocolate together for a delicious match made in heaven.
The "Main Course"
Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball - This chocolate chip cheese ball isn't the traditional cheese ball, it's sweet, not savory. Serve it with graham crackers or ginger snaps as a surprising start to your party.
Chocolate Fondue - If you thought fondue was only for cheese, then you've been missing out. Warm melted chocolate simply begs to be dipped into, especially in the company of other chocolate lovers. Together you can gaze into the luscious pool of chocolate with a complete understanding that it's the best-looking view in the house.
Chocolate Sour Cream Layer Cake - Sometimes nothing else satisfies the chocolate craving but an old-fashioned layer cake. You can make this one two days in advance - but only if you can resist cutting into it before your party!
Gourmet Chocolate Mascarpone Pie - The perfect dessert to round out any feast would be a Chocolate Mascarpone Pie.
It's not too sweet, not too savory, and there's extra nutritional value in the mascarpone cheese! As if anybody cares.
Ricotta Chocolate Cake - If you prefer your cheesecake a little bit denser, and can you believe more rich (!), try this Ricotta Chocolate Cake. As About's Guide to Cheese, Jennifer Meier, says this cake is for die-hard chocolate fans. It appeals especially to those who love bittersweet chocolate, which cuts down on the sweetness of this cake.
Cocoa Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Recipe - With hints of wholesomeness contributed by the oatmeal, your guests can nibble on these cookies as they survey the other chocolate possibilities.
Chocolate Waffles - Chocolate waffles provide the perfect platform for a chocolate ice cream sundae. Or, how about berries and whipped cream with chocolate syrup instead?
Chocolate Covered Pretzels - Chocolate lovers know that the saltiness of the pretzels makes the chocolate taste even better in this snack.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries - This will add to the romance of your party if you offer a platter filled with this decadent way to serve fruit.
Chocolate Raspberry Truffles - Here's another healthful recipe for your menu - after all, with raspberries as one of the main ingredients, you'll be able to check off one of your fruit and veggie servings - score!
Hot Chocolate - Just in case your guests haven't had enough chocolate yet, they can chase it down with a warm cup of hot chocolate.
White Chocolate Coffee - Give your guests a taste of the lighter side of chocolate in this hot chocolate coffee beverage.
Party Favor Ideas
Create Cocoa Butter Massage Bars to send home with guests. As they use it to moisturize their skin, the hints of chocolate scent from the bar will remind them of your wonderful party.