Honest Fare

Pretty Provisions and Notes from the Kitchen

Sending you some love this Valentine’s Day Chocolate ‘Lovanadas’ Recipe & Giveaways!

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Sending you some love this Valentine’s Day, Honest Fare by Gabrielle Arnold

Here comes Valentine’s Day. So what’s your take on it this year? Are you doing the whole head-over-heels thing with your sweetie, or are you cursing your ex (that was definitely me last year) and the commercialization of love. Or maybe your style is to ignore Valentine’s Day altogether because you just can’t be bothered with it and anyone who puts such pressure on one stupid day? Okay, well let’s at least agree that regardless of your opinion on the matter, the fact remains that everyone likes to indulge their current emotional state in some good chocolate on Valentine’s Day.

Which is exactly why this giveaway from Videri Chocolate Factory of Ralaigh, NC, is perfect!


1. TO ENTER, share a short comment at the bottom of this post or email me at gabrielle {at} honestfare.com (if you want it to be private) telling me how you feel about Valentine’s day this year. Are you into it or are you dreading it? Or do you just not give a shit? Just tell me anything about Valentine’s Day really and I’ll be cool with that. It can be as concise as two words or as long as a paragraph. I’m really excited to see what you all have to say :)

**Okay, for the sake of giving you and example and because it’s only fair that I share my thoughts on Valentine’s Day this year… I’m actually pretty psyched on it! I’ll be spending Valentine’s Day in a “love tent” and camping in the back yard with my sweetheart. We’ll grill some food, look at the stars and, um…

2. YOU MUST ENTER BY FRIDAY, FEB. 8, 2013 by 11:59 pm. And please make sure to key in your correct email when prompted in the comment box (only I will see your email address) so that I can get back in touch with you if you win.

3. THREE WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON SATURDAY, FEB. 9 and contacted via email for their mailing addresses. PACKAGES WILL BE SENT OUT MONDAY, FEB. 11 so they can be received on Valentine’s Day!

**UPDATE** And we have some winners!

First place for the grand prize Videri gift basket goes to…
Janet Bliden of Renton, WA
Valentine’s Day has always been a family holiday for us. My 2 daughters always helped prepare a special meal for our #1 love! We all dressed up in our finest party dresses and had a lovely candlelit dinner on the good china. The best part of the evening was watching my daughters stand on Dad’s feet as they slow danced with their Valentine. The girls are all grown up now, but my husband and I will still share that special meal and dancing. I’ll be serving your lovenadas for dessert because every needs a little chocolate for romance.

Videri Giveaway_Honest Fare_Vday

And our two runners up for the assorted chocolate bars are…
Kelly Edminston of Beaufort, SC
Usually Valentine’s Day is not a big deal. My husband and I got married the week before, so that’s when we usually would celebrate the love we shared. However, this year it looks like I will be meeting with a divorce attorney instead, so the whole month is just a bust! Ha. A little chocolate would go a long way to cheering me up, that’s for sure! Thanks for the chance to win. :)
Karen Collins of Hamburg NY
Married over 30 years now ( didn’t know the ancients read this, did you?), and there is a great difficulty this year, as for the last few, to make valentine’s day really reflect what i feel about my husband. we don’t do cards, flowers, boxes of chocolates, dinners out. I would like to give him a few poems from neruda and others, to let him know I’m seriously into him still. A bottle of wine and a decent dinner at home are the mainstays— and homemade heart cookies.

videri chocolate bars_honestfare.com

I just want to thank everyone who participated by sharing their personal Valentine’s testimonials via comments and emails. I was hooked reading all your touching and hilarious stories! Thank you again for taking the time. xoxo, Gabi.
And, don’t be bummed if you weren’t selected as one of the winners because everyone can actually get something from Videri this Valentine’s Day. Just enter the COUPON CODE: VDAY to get FREE SHIPPING on all purchases made the month of February! Check out the goodies on their online shop.
– end update –

So as a new Partner here on Honest Fare, I want to tell you a little more about Videri Chocolate Factory, the artisan chocolate makers based out of Raleigh, NC committed to making the best tasting, fair trade and organic chocolate in the South! I find it pretty amazing that the entire process of hand sorting and then grinding and tempering cocoa beans all is done within their quaint factory/retail space. Their chocolate bars are even molded and then each and every one is hand foil wrapped by a talented group of friends chocolate lovers! I really respect what they’re doing, and as a lover of Videri chocolate for over a year now, I can honestly say that it’s really great quality stuff. They recently sent me an awesome assortment of chocolate bars – my favorites being the peppermint as well as the peppercorn (which I’ve never had anything like). They also do some really creative chocolate truffles like the Chai Tiger (dark milk chocolate ganache flavored with chai tea); Bee’s Knees (a caramel flavored with cinnamon and vanilla and honey) and my favorite, the Turkish Coffee (blend of dark and milk chocolate flavored with espresso and cardamom). SO good! And they’re even doing a sippable chocolate beverage now too that’s rich and addictive.

Remember to use the COUPON CODE: VDAY when you order online to get the free shipping, and if you’re ever in their area, Videri’s doors are wide-open offering tours and information to anyone curious about the process of handmade chocolate.

Now on to the recipe for these lovely chocolate lovanadas!

Some of you may already know that outside of this blog I co-own La Empanada Food Truck in Winter Park, Florida. We have over 50 kinds of gourmet empanadas in our rotation, so as you can imagine empanadas are always on my mind. I’m especially excited about coming up with this new take on the empanada appropriately dubbed the ‘lovanada’ for Valentine’s Day.

These chocolate cinnamon lovanadas are hot, gooey and rich inside like a lava cake, but I find that the subtle pastry dough creates a perfect balance so they’re not too overwhelming and the perfect individual portion size.

lovanada bite_honestfare.com

I basically just made a very simple chocolate filling by cooking baker’s chocolate with cinnamon and whipping cream and sugar and then let it cool in the fridge to achieve a nice scoopable ganache-like texture. Of course I used only the finest baker’s chocolate from Videri, but you can use any baker’s chocolate in this recipe.

videri bakers choco_honestfare.com_3

Try to control yourself when the intoxicating aroma fills your kitchen…it’s intense. I was essentially drinking this stuff at one point.

chocolate lava process_honest fare

About the adorable pink dough…
You can use a little red food coloring to tint your dough pink during the mixing process. I actually experimented with a natural method of tinting using beet juice, but it ended up being pretty involved so I’m going to recommend the food coloring or no tinting at all. I’ll tell you about the beet juice way in case you have the time or are just interested though. You can boil a peeled and diced beet in like 1 cup of water and cool it. You end up with a deep red colored juice of which you add a few tablespoons of to your dough mixture to make it pink. However, I found that a lot of the color cooks out during baking so you should actually brush the lovanadas with some additional beet juice along with your egg wash before baking. The beet juice thing is great in theory, but there’s no guarantee on color. Your call.

Either way this dough is absolutely fantastic. I’m really happy with the recipe. It’s not too flaky and not too dense so it’s perfect here to give these good texture. Definitely a keeper if you’re looking for a good dough recipe that’ll work with for sweet of savory.

Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter or make yourself a paper or cardboard stencil to get consistent shapes. You’ll need two hearts per lovanada – one for the top and one for the bottom. Then you’ll scoop the chocolate filling onto one heart and cover with another and press the perimeter firmly with a fork to seal.

lovanadas filling_honestfare.com

You might want to bake off a couple tests just to make sure you’re putting in the desired amount of chocolate filling before you make them all. I topped them with a little powered sugar to set off the dough a little and make them look even more romantic!


And yes, we will be serving these on the truck the week of Valentines day so come by if you live in the area!

*** Don’t forget to leave your comment about Valentine’s Day below by 11:59 pm on Friday, Feb. 8 to be entered in the Videri chocolate giveaway!

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Makes about 20 lovanadas depending on size. I’d recommend baking a couple tests just to make sure you’re putting in the right amount of chocolate filling before you make them all. And if you do not have a double boiling style pot, you can make one by just submerging the bottom of a heat safe bowl in pot of simmering water. Simmer the water in the pot and melt/whisk together the chocolate mixture in the bowl.

You need:

For the chocolate filling:

  • 1 cup 60-70% chopped baker’s chocolate or chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs flour

For the dough:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/3 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg beaten for dough, 1 egg beaten for egg wash
  • 3-4 tbs heavy cream (add more if needed)
  • A few drops of red food coloring for pink tinting (optional)


For the chocolate filling:

  1. Melt the chocolate and cream in double boiler style pot (or in heat safe bowl just submerged at the bottom in a pot of simmering water if you don’t have a double boiler) and whisk together until smooth and very hot. Add cinnamon and slowly sprinkle in flour to help thicken a tad. Whisk gently to blend. Pour into shallow container to cool and then refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.

For the dough:

  1. Place flour, salt and butter in a big bowl. Work with your fingertips or in food processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Beat together 1 egg, 3 tbsp of cream and food coloring (optional). Combine dry and wet ingredients and mix using your hands by making smooth circular movements until dough is evenly pink and comes together. Add another tablespoon of cream or water if dough is not coming tougher quickly or seems dry. Roll into 2 balls and wrap in plastic and place in fridge for at least 15 mins or until ready to use.
  3. Roll out dough on a lightly flowered surface to about 1/8 inch thick. Using cardboard stencil or a cookie cutter, cut out as many heart shapes as possible and then combine excess to the other dough ball and roll it out. Repeat until all dough is used.
  4. Scoop chocolate filling onto a heart-shaped dough and cover with another heart. Press edges firmly with a fork to seal. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Beat egg to make egg wash and brush each lovanada with egg wash. Bake at 350° or until golden brown. Top with powered sugar and search warm!



  1. Rodney Crisp
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    I truly believe this Valentine’s Day is going to be amazing. I’m not not deployed this year, my wife and I are closer than ever, aaaaand my wife will be receiving a fantastic Valentine Chocolate Gift Basket this year. This is going to be our best yet. Thanks to Videri Chocolate Factory.

  2. Evan
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    Oh, man. We have never, in eleven years, celebrated Valentines Day… But we do love to share a good chocolate bar together most nights of the year. Actually, I found your site because I was searching online for a card for him (which I have never done before) because I feel like we need to reconnect (having a toddler is not good for couple time!!!). So send us some chocolate love so we can reconnect in style! (And, gotta say, I am psyched to have found your blog… And can’t wait to try the above recipe!) Love, Evan

  3. Posted February 7, 2013 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    I feel conflicted about it. I don’t want to be told to appreciate someone on a certain day. But I don’t want to be a killjoy either.

  4. Shannon
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    Valentine’s Day has certainly shifted since becoming a mother/parent. We decorate the house with construction paper and focus more on hands on activities than romance between my husband and I. Reflective of pretty much every day I suppose!

  5. Rupa
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    Y’know, I’m actually feeling good about Valentine’s Day this year. I’m sending a little surprise “love-package” to my beau and I can’t wait for him to find what’s inside! Even though I don’t really buy into the whole overly commercialized aspect of VDay, it’s just an excuse to do something nice for someone you care about, and that’s all that really matters to me. I don’t mind whether he plans this big thing for me for VDay, I just want to send some love his way.

  6. Meryl
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

    I’m going to eat lots of chocolate, but that’s nothing new!

  7. Louis
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

    I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but I’d love to win this chocolate!

  8. Gabriela
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

    Valentines day this year seems a little gloomy both me and my bf are experiencing a lot of financial problems and i am not sure if we will get to do anything but as long as i get to share the day with him i know he will make it all better.

  9. Grace D
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

    I’m generally excited for Valentine’s day this year. I’ve always loved making valentines with my mom(doilies, garlands, heart-shaped bookmarks) and eating an excessive amount of candy(wax lips and taffy filled dark chocolates). My room mate has been cutting out valentine’s since January, so it’s hard not to notice it coming up. It’ll be my second Valentine’s day with my beau this year, though not as big of a deal as it felt like last year(he was sick, but set up a nice home-cooked dinner at his place with lights strung across the ceiling). This year we’re trying to get reservations at a wonderful restaurant(uses only organic, city based community garden produce

    I’ll be sending my grandmother some valentine garlands and a painting I made for her this past fall(she’s a watercolor artist). I’ll also be going to visit my mom during the day; my sister and I are making her brunch(plus some lavender, rose petal chocolate bark) and we’re gonna wrap ourselves in some blankets to watch Woman of the Year!

  10. Amy
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

    A little sad that my man will be across the country on Valentine’s Day, but looking forward to making up for his absence next weekend!

  11. Sally DePoala
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 10:03 PM | Permalink

    My husband made dinner reservations for us at Diamond Mills for a Valentine’s Day !

  12. Ttrockwood
    Posted February 7, 2013 at 10:27 PM | Permalink

    This year i will be single……still.
    I am meeting a few of my girlfriends at one of their apartments and we are going to cook a vegetarian chili, gossip, drink too much champagne and pass around pints of haagen daz chocolate sorbet

  13. Posted February 7, 2013 at 10:36 PM | Permalink

    I’m super excited about Valentine’s day this year, even though we don’t have any specific plans. Valentine’s day is just one of those holidays I love – any reason to be mushy with my significant other is always awesome!

  14. bn100
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 3:44 AM | Permalink

    Don’t really celebrate it.

  15. Emily Ethington
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    Amazing and lovley holiday.

  16. Anna
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    I just love Valentine’s Day. I start out about a week before making exotic chocolates cookies a special no flour chocolate cake dipped strawberries, Dipped pretzels. I also make truffles. I am fortunate enough to have a tempering machine and go to town with it it is my favorite time of year. I hope to get lingerie from my husband, I am hoping He goes to Victoria Secrets and buys me the sexiest lingerie So I hope you all have a Happy Valentines Day I am going to try these cookies out they look yummy.

    Love YA


  17. Liz
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    Valentine’s day huh. Well, I don’t think to much about it.l I have only really liked the day because of all the treats. Also, in elementary school we would make boxes for everyone to bring valentine’s and I definitely loved that.
    This year my friends are having a Discount Valentine’s day so we will gather on the 15th and party with cheap decorations and candy.

  18. Amanda
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

    I’m pumped about Valentine’s day this year–I had a valentine-making party with my friends last night and I’m ready to share the love with all of my valentines.

  19. Posted February 8, 2013 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    We’ve never really made a big deal out of Valentine’s day (especially since my guy’s birthday is just a couple days after), but these past couple years, I’ve been using it as an excuse to get some schmoopy heart-themed baking in. (Doesn’t everyone need more cake in their lives!)
    So thanks for giving me another amazing-looking pastry to try! : )

  20. Posted February 8, 2013 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

    i just had a baby a week ago so i don’t think my husband and i will be doing anything special this year. it’s already been special!

  21. Carolsue
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

    Valentine’s Day isn’t much of a big deal. Hubby always gets me a card and flowers, so there is that! We don’t go out that night because it’s always too crowded. So I am kind of ambivalant about it

  22. Natalie
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 11:02 PM | Permalink

    I dislike the commercial aspect of the day but love any excuse to love on my family. My husband and I have our own special love day – May 1, the anniversary of our engagement. Going on nine years!

  23. Posted February 8, 2013 at 11:32 PM | Permalink

    I usually look forward to St. Valentine’s day but the sad fact is that my lovely husband is not and never has been in the habit of giving gifts, so it is usually a disappointment. I shouldn’t be disappointed because I don’t get birthday or Christmas presents either. And I’m not alone; he doesn’t buy gifts for other family members (even his mom!) either. So, I think I’ll just buy myself a little something instead. ;)

  24. Ann
    Posted February 10, 2013 at 4:48 PM | Permalink

    For us, it’s so NOT about going out, buying things, or making a splash. We simply feel we need quality, quiet time together, as if no one else exists in the world – even if just for an hour. We have plenty of love, just not a lot of quality time.

  25. kcc
    Posted February 18, 2013 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    hi! thank you so very much for choosing my entry and sending the amazing chocolate. my husband was quite surprised– i said something publicly about him!?!–and i think he really liked it. the chocolates are beautifully packaged— right away you know this is something special— and so very very delicious. what a fun addition to our day! thanks again, karen

  26. Posted February 27, 2013 at 9:08 PM | Permalink

    These look delicious and what a wonderful giveaway. I wish I had discovered your blog sooner!

  27. Posted November 19, 2014 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

    Hello I am so delighted I found your blog, I really found you by mistake, while I was looking on Yahoo for something else, anyways I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a tremendous post. Please do keep up the great work.

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