A Romantic Valentine’s cooking class with Godiva Spirits

By Nicci Jordan Hubert

Table is all set for our Godiva V-day dinner!

To commemorate the newest induction into the Godiva Spirits hall of fame: Godiva Vodka (yes, you read that right). Godiva Spirits hosted a gorgeous dinner and cooking class at the beautiful International Culinary Center on Crosby street. Led by chefs Brooke Parkhurst and James Briscione (of Chopped fame—he won twice) and mixologist Beate Kiser (a star barkeep, previously at Beauty & Essex), guests were treated first to a cocktail hour, featuring Godiva Vodka, and then a cooking class, with each course featuring the vodka as well.

The chefs: James and Brooke

James and Brooke featured a Valentines-day themed menu of a luscious crab salad, a filet mignon which was crusted with espresso and soaked in a chocolate vodka sauce, and a layered bavarian sponge cake with chocolate vodka in every layer. One of the best parts of the event, along with the ever-flowing amounts of chocolate vodka, was the dinner that came after the cooking class, at which we ate what we had just learned to cook. Needless to say, everything was delicious. If you put liquor that tastes like chocolate in just about anything, it’s going to elevate the flavors, as they say. But the very best part of the party was that since it was a Valentines-day themed event, I got to bring my hubby Chad along. We both enjoyed the food. And the vodka. A lot.

Chad's double fisting the Sweet Cinnamon

Godiva really pulled out the stops for this particular liquor. They distill the vodka five times, and then add true chocolate essence to the spirit. I learned that many chocolate liquors use fake chocolate flavoring, but Godiva goes for the real deal. It matters. Any chocolate lover (ladies!) can spot that “fake chocolate” flavor from a mile away, and Godiva Vodka doesn’t have it. There’s a pureness to the drink that makes it perfect over ice.

Chefs at work

The cooking class; Chad was a straight-A butter-pourer!

Godiva and the chefs have graciously provided us with their Valentines Day menu. You know I’m making this entire menu, including each cocktail, on V-Day.

Bavarian Cream Cake

Here are the food recipes:

Godiva Chocolate Vodka “Stir Up Some Sweetness” Valentine’s Day Menu

Created by Chefs Brooke Parkhurst and James Briscione

Mango & Fennel Crab salad

Mango & Fennel Crab Salad

Roasted Filet of Beef with Coffee, Red Wine & Chocolate Vodka Sauce
*Served with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Almonds & Sherry Vinegar; Creamy Potato Puree*
Godiva Chocolate & Raspberry Bavarian Cake paired with Godiva Chocolate Raspberry Vodka Marinated Fresh Berries
Mango and Fennel Crab Salad
Serves 2
Lemon Mayonnaise
Zest of 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Crab Salad

6 to 8 ounces lump or jumbo lump crabmeat
1/4 cup mango, cut into small dice, slices reserved for garnish
1/4 cup fennel, minced
1 tablespoon chives, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Cherry tomatoes, cut in half, for garnish
Small greens or picked herbs for garnish (such as arugula, frisee, parsley or chervil
Extra virgin olive, for garnish


1. In a small bowl combine the lemon zest, juice, sugar, salt and cayenne. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. 2. Add the mayo and whisk until smooth.
3. Pick through the crabmeat to insure there are no shell pieces or cartilage in the meat. In a separate bowl combine the crab, mango, fennel, chives and salt. Mix to combine and add the prepared mayonnaise to taste- using anywhere from half to all of it- depending on your preference.
4. To plate, pack half the crab salad into a ring mold in the center of each plate. Arrange the mango slices on top of the crab salad. Scatter the herbs and cherry tomatoes around the plate and drizzle with olive oil.

Roasted Filet of Beef with Coffee. How AMAZING does it look? It tasted better.

Roasted Filet of Beef with Coffee, Red Wine & Chocolate Vodka Sauce

Serves 2
1 lb center-cut beef tenderloin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground coffee
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup Godiva Chocolate-Infused Vodka
1/2 cup red wine, such as pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon
24 oz beef stock or broth
1 tablespoon butter


1. Sprinkle the teaspoon of salt evenly over the beef, then coat the meat with the coffee grounds. Wrap the meat in butcher’s or wax paper and store in the refrigerator overnight. One hour before cooking the meat, remove it from the refrigerator and rinse of the coffee grounds with cool water. Pat the meat dry and set aside until ready to cook.
2. Preheat oven to 400˚
3. To cook the meat, heat the vegetable oil in medium sauté pan over high heat. Season the meat again lightly with salt and pepper. Place the meat in the pan and brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Turn the heat down only when the pan begins to smoke. Transfer the meat to a baking pan (save the pan the meat was cooked in) and place in the oven to cook 5 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the center of the meat registers 135˚ F. Remove the cooked to a rack to cool while you prepare the sauce.
4. For the sauce, discard the cooking fat from the pan, add the shallots and return the pan to medium heat. When the shallots begin to sizzle and smell sweet, about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat, add the vodka and return to the heat and simmer to reduce until nearly dry. Add the red wine and reduce again until nearly dry. Add the stock and simmer until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Swirl in the butter and remove the pan from heat.
5. Cut the steak into 2 equal pieces, and place each half on a plate with the potato puree and roasted brussels sprouts. Divide the finished equally between the two plates

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Sherry Vinegar

Serves 2
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, cut in half
1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
4 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, cut in half
3 branches fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted


1. Preheat oven to 375˚
2. Combine the brussels sprouts and onions in large bowl.
3. Place the butter, garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes in a small sauce pot and place over medium heat. Bring the butter to a boil and continue cooking until the garlic begins to brown. Pour the butter and herbs over the brussels sprouts, add the salt and toss well.
4. Spread the vegetables into a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until tender and remove from the oven and browned on the edges, 15-20 minutes. Remove the cooked brussels sprouts from the oven, transfer to a bowl and toss with the vinegar and toasted almonds.

Creamy Potato Puree

Serves 2
2 potatoes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 oz butter
8 oz milk


1. Peel the potatoes and cut into equal sized chunks. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepot and cover with water by 2 inches. Add the salt and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the potatoes at a simmer until they are completely tender. (Check tender pressing the potatoes against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon; when the potatoes are easily crushed they are ready.)
2. Pour the cooked potatoes into a colander set in the sink and leave 3-5 minutes to drain. Pour the milk and butter into the pot the potatoes were cooked in, return to the heat and bring to a boil.
3. Combine the cooked potatoes and milk-butter mixture in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixture until completely smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt if necessary.

Godiva Chocolate Raspberry Marinated Fresh Fruit

1 pint mixed fresh berries (raspberry, strawberry, blueberry or blackberry)
1/2 cup Godiva Chocolate Raspberry Vodka
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

Combine the berries, confectioner’s sugar and Godiva Chocolate Vodka in a bowl and toss together. Once berries are fully coated chill in the refrigerator. Spoon in a martini glass or bowl and top with whipped cream.

Godiva Chocolate Vodka Valentine’s Day Cocktail Recipes
Created by New York City Mixologist, Beate Kiser

Sweet Cinnamon

Welcome Cocktail
1 1/2 ounces Godiva Chocolate Vodka
3 ounces Homemade Cinnamon Horchata*
Cinnamon Stick for Garnish


1. Combine Godiva Chocolate Vodka and Cinnamon Horchata mixture (recipe below) into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well.
2. Strain into a rocks glass over ice.
3. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Ideal Serving Glass:
Rocks glass
1 Drink

*Homemade Cinnamon Horchata Recipe (can be made one day in advance):

1 cup long grain rice, rinsed
2 quarts water
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1/2 cup white sugar


1. In a large saucepan, combine rice, water and cinnamon stick. Set aside for 3 hours.
2. After 3 hours, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
3. Puree rice mixture in a blender until smooth. Strain through cheesecloth or a fine sieve. Flavor with vanilla and sugar to taste. Chill, and serve over ice.

Beate, pouring the My Valentine

My Valentine

Paired with first course: Mango & Fennel Crab Salad
1 1/2 ounces Godiva Chocolate Infused Vodka
1/4 ounce Ginger Liqueur
1/4 ounce Fresh Orange Juice
Topped with Sparkling Wine
2 Fresh Mint Sprigs


1. Combine Godiva Chocolate Infused Vodka, ginger liqueur and a sprig of fresh mint to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
2. Shake well and strain over ice into a champagne flute.
3. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
Ideal Serving Glass:
Champagne Flute
1 drink
The Ultimate Chocolate Manhattan

Ultimate Chocolate Manhattan

Paired with second course: Roasted Filet of Beef with Coffee, Red Wine & Chocolate Vodka Sauce, Served with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Almonds & Sherry Vinegar; Creamy Potato Puree
3/4 ounce Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
3/4 ounce Bulleit Bourbon
1/3 ounce Godiva Chocolate Vodka
1/3 ounce Ginger Liqueur
Godiva Dark Chocolate Shavings for Garnish


1. Combine Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Bulleit Bourbon and Godiva Chocolate Vodka into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well.
2. Strain over ice into a chilled Martini glass.
3. Shave a Godiva dark chocolate bar over the drink for garnish.
Ideal Serving Glass:
Martini glass
1 Drink
The Haute and Steamy

Haute & Steamy

Paired with dessert course: Godiva Chocolate & Raspberry Bavarian Cake paired with Godiva Chocolate Raspberry Vodka Marinated Fresh Berries
1 1/2 ounces Godiva Chocolate Vodka
Coffee (amount as desired)
1 scoop Whipped Cream
Carmel Sauce for Garnish


1. Pour Godiva Chocolate Vodka into a snifter glass. Add in hot coffee as desired.
2. Top with a scoop of fresh whipped cream.
3. Drizzle caramel sauce over top for garnish.
Ideal Serving Glass:
Port glass
1 Drink

Anyone else inspired to cook for their Valentine??

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Recent Comments


  1. Jacqui B wrote:

    Steak and chocolate… Amazing. Aaaaaand saving.

    Posted 2.8.12
  2. Kim J wrote:

    So fun….wish I was there!

    Posted 2.11.12

Comments are closed.