Happy Valentine’s Day – some favorite chocolate-drenched love stories from Lassi with Lavina! Enjoy!
Valentine’s Day Stories – For A Single Girl, A Wedding with a SoulMate
Don’t you just love love stories and happy endings? When I first did the story with chocolatiers on their own sweet romances, it was a popular post. This year I thought I’d go back and see if there were any romantic updates. Yes, there were!
Shefalee Patel, our only chocolatier who was single had found true love and Aarti Mahtani Raman who had just got married now has a baby boy!
So here is a Valentine’s Day Treat – true love stories!
Shefalee Patel’s Labor of Love
Shefalee Patel is the avid chocolatier behind Sweet Silk and creates sweets for every occasion from Diwali to Christmas to Valentine’s Day. “I like to refer to the making of my sweets and truffles as my Labor of Love,” she says. ”All our confections are handmade in small batches to ensure the right flavor, consistency and fresh quality every time. We do everything in-house by hand, from blanching and peeling pistachios to chopping the huge chocolate slabs down to cooking each batch of sweet and rolling each truffle by hand. There is a lot of time, energy and care put into making our confections and it’s all done lovingly. ”
For Valentine’s Day, the truffles which pair beautifully with wine or champagne, come in keepsake boxes. What’s the bonus for her? “The reward is always knowing that people are enjoying or sharing my confections with others. It warms my heart and motivates me to keep pushing the envelope!”
For A Couple – A Bundle of baby Love
It’s hard to believe that once upon a time Aarti Mahtani Raman was part of the 9 to 5 corporate world for nowadays life is all about food and her nascent catering company AMR Catering She works out of a rented kitchen, creating products on order for everything from catered parties to big weddings, and delivers to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
” I love anything decadent – anything that makes me a little ‘giddy’ and wanna do a happy dance – warm doughnuts fresh out of the fryer, a molten chocolate cake, fresh Gulab Jamun!” she says. Her scrumptious desserts and the Indian-fusion aspect comes from her love of Indian spices and growing up with American dessert staples.
“I fuse the two into something unique and unlike anything anyone has tried – Cardamom Cheesecake with a Pistachio-Shortbread crust is a staple!” she says, adding that her other east-west desserts include Chocolate Chai Cupcake with a Toasted Cashew and Brown Butter Icing, Mango Meringue Tartlet and Strawberry-Rosewater Cookies, as well as eggless varieties. Her Indian-fusion desserts use spices such as Cardamom, Ginger, Cinnamon, and Saffron in American style desserts, perfect she says, for Valentine’s Day since these are considered aphrodisiacs.
Aarti met her husband Saurabh, a consultant with Vynamic, a Philadelphia-based company about 10 years ago. “I still can’t believe it’s been that long!” she says. “I was a Sophomore in college and he was a Junior. We were fast friends – he’s hysterically funny – and a few months later, began dating and we’ve been together ever since. ” The first thing she ever made for him was an Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip-Walnut cookie, and he absolutely loved it. So she made them again as a sign of love for their own Mehndi and Sangeet parties – so everyone knew that was what had ‘got’ him!
“Saurabh is the biggest support system and without him, I don’t think I would’ve had the strength to follow my dream – to enroll in Culinary School six years ago, leave my corporate job soon after, and begin working in the food industry,” she says.
She concludes – and all Significant Others should heed her message: “He was with me through all of it, and even now – when I wanted to venture out on my own with AMR Catering, he’s there – from delivering treats to manning the booths at all the bridal shows. My rock. Every year for Valentine’s Day, I don’t opt for the lavish dinner and request bouquets of roses – I, instead, go all out and make a lavish, romantic dinner just for us.”
Update! We love sharing happy news and now Aarti and Saurabh have a little boy!