Valentine’s for dinner: Tips from a Moroccan chef

Ghada Abdel-Kader , Sunday 13 Feb 2022

Chef Zeinab Mustafa reveals insider secrets for rich flavors in the kitchen and the atmosphere of Moroccan valentine’s celebration.

Valentine s

For seven years, Moroccan television presenter Zeinab Mustafa has been a chef, specializing in Moroccan cuisine, desserts and pastries.

She always says that one of the love languages is cooking.

 “It is the sixth love language. Food is a powerful element of connection in our lives and is one of the ways to express love and affection,” she says.

“Food is a universal love language. It is one of the important part of cultural heritage for each country. It becomes a special love language between two couples. There are different rituals or special ceremonies in each country when it comes to celebrating love through food,” she adds.

“In Morocco, lovers are always ready to celebrate this day, exchange special gifts and remind each other with their mutual love,” Mustafa explains.

Mustafa says that In Valentine’s Day, the traditional Moroccan food dishes are always prepared at home for family gatherings.

The famous mouthwatering recipes include Moroccan couscous, Al-Rafisa Al-Amiya, pastilla, meat tagine, tagina Marrakech, Harira, saffa buried with chicken and many others.

She reveals some of her special secrets for all the ideas to inspire your Valentine’s Day menu as follows:  

1-Determining and preparing the food menu

Choose some simple easy food recipes, along with appetizers, salads, and desserts as well.

The appropriate suggestions for dinner could be spaghetti, creamy chicken with mushrooms, steak with mustard and rosemary, delicious veggie dish, cheesecakes, cupcakes, biscuits... etc. It is preferable to stay away from any dish contains ingredients like onions and garlic.

2-Table setting:

The table must be well organized. Chose a distinctive dining utensils set and luxurious table linen, placing lovely red rose bouquet beautifully arranged in an elegant vase on the table.

Arrange the dishes in beautiful and attractive way, complement the flavor and the style of food with delightful garnish that add color and panache to any dish. Style rice into heart shape portions.

3-Music makes such a big difference:

Make a playlist of your favorite songs or music that bring back most pleasant memories like a marriage proposal, engagement, wedding and so forth.

4-The lighting is pivotal:

There is nothing better than candles to create a warm and romantic atmosphere at home. Use various candle shapes, sizes and designs to decorate the place. Try to distribute them properly adjusted to create a soft hue of light.

If the setting is outdoors like a terrace, swimming pool, or garden, it is preferable to delay dinner until late night and the sky is full of the stars. Add natural aroma to the dinning place. Keep it away from the food.

5-Disconnecting from outside world

All communication technologies such as the mobile phones should be off while eating dinner because the main goal of a romantic dinner is enhancing the connection between couples.

Valentine Cake Recipe:


Two chocolate sponge cake

Cream Butter

Red colored melted chocolate

Pink colored melted chocolate

Red and pink Food Coloring

For garnish Red, white, pink and silver sprinkles


For garnish:

Add red and pink food coloring to the butter cream. Gently spread a thick row of each color (red, white, and pink) of butter cream into plastic wrap. Roll up different colored together. Put it into a confectioner pastry bag with rose tip to form colorful roses.

Melt the chocolate into the microwave safe container for one few minutes. Pour melted colored chocolate directly into small heart shaped cookie cutter on a lined baking sheet. Let it cool tap to remove from cutters.

Divide the cake into layers. Fill it with butter cream or fresh seasonal fruit of your choice. Use an offset spatula to add crumb coated all over the cake. Scrap off the extra frosting. Place the cake in the refrigerator to chill. Then, add a thick and deep layer of butter cream to the sides of the cake. Apply red and pink colored butter cream randomly.

Use plastic cake scraper to go around the cake edges several times to smooth and create perfect colored stripes. Add sprinkles to the base.

Start by piping a beautiful multi colored roses directly on the round top of the cake. Place red and pink heart-shaped chocolate as garnish on the top. Fill the center hole of the cake with a pinch of colored sprinkles.

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