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After a sweet upbringing as the daughter of American fashion icon Ralph Lauren, she's made a name for herself as the queen of the ever-expanding Dylan's Candy Bar empire. Her flagship Manhattan location, opened in 2001, paved the way for equally colorful outposts across the country. Candy-wise, Dylan typically goes for "anything red—red licorice, red gum balls, red Swedish fish." But for Valentine's Day, she loves a rich chocolate fondue as much as the next girl. Her recipe is simply delicious.
Dylan Lauren's Easy Chocolate Fondue
Heat 1 1/4 cups heavy cream in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat until it just barely simmers. Add 16 ounces finely chopped good quality bittersweet chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Pour in 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and whisk until smooth. Serve immediately with pound cake for dipping.
Red Hot - Add 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon chili powder.
Nutty - Stir in a handful of chopped walnuts or 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter.
Charged Up - Pour in 1/2 cup hot brewed coffee or espresso.
Naughty - Mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite liqueur or brandy.
Skinny - Use 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons Splenda, 1/2 cup evaporated skim milk and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
Dylan Lauren's Champagne Truffles
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons Champagne
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, chocolate shavings, or colored sugar for decorating.
1. Combine semisweet chocolate, butter, and cream in a small heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water. (Bowl should be resting over water, not touching it.)
2. Cook mixture, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
3. Remove bowl from pan and stir in Champagne until well combined.
4. Chill about 1 hour, or until mixture is completely cool.
5. Beat cooled mixture with an electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute, or until color lightens and mixture is fluffy. Chill about 30 minutes more or until mixture holds its shape.
6. Using a small ice cream scoop, form the mixture into about 25 (1-inch) balls of chocolate. Place the balls on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.
7. Freeze about 15 minutes or until very firm.
8. Gently roll balls in the cocoa, chocolate shavings, or colored sugar until well coated.
9. Let soften at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Originally published in the February 2013 issue of Family Circle magazine.