This Jan. 5, 2015 photo shows a fondue duo of chocolate mango and five spice caramel sauces in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

This Jan. 5, 2015 photo shows a fondue duo of chocolate mango and five spice caramel sauces in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Want Valentine’s Day ease that still impresses?

  • By ALISON LADMAN
  • Tuesday, January 20, 2015 4:18pm
  • LifeFood

Worried your kitchen skills may not be up to pulling together something impressively decadent for Valentine’s Day? Fear not. A pricy restaurant meal isn’t your only option.

We created this delicious, yet simple pair of fondue sauces to be easy for even the most clueless cook. But we didn’t sacrifice the wow-factor in the process. Warm chocolate-mango and five-spice caramel sauces are anything but ordinary. For ease, we pair them with purchased items for dipping — biscotti, pound cake, fresh berries, whatever inspires you.

And while fondue pots are nice, they aren’t essential. You also can offer these sauces in small serving dishes. If they get too cool, just pop them in the microwave for a few seconds.

The only slightly unusual ingredient on this menu is the mango puree. It’s usually sold in the grocer’s freezer section alongside the Hispanic ingredients. If you can’t find it, it’s easy to make your own. Add about 1 cup of fresh or frozen (thawed) mango chunks to the blender and puree. Strain the puree, then proceed with the recipe.

Fondue duo of chocolate-mango and five-spice caramel sauces

Start to finish: 40 minutes

Servings: 4

For the chocolate fondue:

1/2 cup mango puree

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

3 tablespoons honey

For the caramel fondue:

1/2 cup half-and-half

5 ounces caramels (about 17 to 18 pieces)

1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder

For dunking:

Wafer cookies

Fresh berries

Biscotti

Marshmallows

Pound cake, cut into cubes or sticks

Angel food cake, cut into cubes or sticks

In a small saucepan over medium, heat the mango puree and butter until simmering and the butter has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate and honey. Allow to sit for 2 minutes, then stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Set aside, but keep warm.

In another small saucepan over medium, heat the half-and-half until it simmers. Add the caramels and five-spice powder, then cook, stirring constantly, until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth.

Transfer the two mixtures to 2 small serving bowls. Set on a platter surrounded by the various items for dunking. Alternatively, set up 2 heated fondue pots according to product directions and pour the dipping sauces into those.

Serve immediately.

More in Life

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Spring Fever

“OK, Boomer” is supposed to be the current put down by the “woke generation”

A headstone for J.E. Hill is photographhed in Anchorage, Alaska. (Findagrave.com)
Night falls on the Daylight Kid — Part 2

“Bob,” he said, “that crazy fool is shooting at us.”

File
Minister’s Message: Has spring sprung in your life?

Christ also offers us an eternal springtime of love, hope and life

Eggs Benedict are served with hollandaise on a bed of arugula and prosciutto. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Honoring motherhood, in joy and in sorrow

Many who have suffered this loss believe they must bear it in silence for the sake of propriety

Page from Seward daily gateway. (Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum, Juneau, A.K.)
Night falls on the Daylight Kid — Part 1

Night Falls on the Daylight Kid—Part One By Clark Fair

Meredith Harber (courtesy)
Minister’s Message: Spread love in these challenging times

I don’t know about you all, but the world feels pretty rough these days

Photos by Sean McDermott 
Artist Amber Webb starts works on a new drawing at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Her work will be on display at the gallery through the month of May.
Where the waters mixed

Artist uses art to explore the blurred boundaries between sorrow and celebration, hardship and healing

A copy of “Firefighting: the Financial Crisis and Its Lessons” rests against a typewriter on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: An economy on fire

“Firefighting: The Financial Crisis and Its Lessons” gives a retrospective on the 2008 financial crisis

Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion
Prints are featured in the “Open Watercolor” show at the Kenai Art Center on Wednesday.
Playing with paint

Art center’s new exhibit displays the versatility of watercolors

Kalbi ribs can be served with an assortment of side dishes, including white rice, kimchi, roasted garlic cloves, broccoli salad, dumplings and soup. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Marking 1 year with a festive feast

Kalbi marinade makes ribs that taste like a party

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Moving on

I suggested to my wife that we could replace the old kids’ car with something “fun”

On Oct. 3, 1945, the Spokane Chronicle published this A.P. photo of Miriam Mathers and her goats as she prepared to board a Seattle steamship bound for Seward.
Tragedy and triumph of the Goat Woman — Part 4

Mathers had only three cents in her purse when she arrived in Kenai