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Valentine's Day


Valentine's Day

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Readers found this combination of romance and science (with a happy ending) irresistible. Mandy Len Catron’s essay “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This” went viral, with couples across the country and around the globe trying the questions themselves. (Illustration: Brian Rea)

The 36 Questions: An Answer to Their Prayers?

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Red velvet cake, once a reasonably tender, softly flavored culinary gimmick, has become a national commercial obsession, its cocoa undertones and cream-cheese tang recreated in chemical flavor laboratories and infused into all manner of places cake should not exist. (Photo: Rikki Snyder for The New York Times)

Red Velvet Cake: A Classic, Not a Gimmick

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9 Kisses: Rosario Dawson & Jenny Slate / 18 of the year’s best actors pucker up for the magazine's Great Performers issue. Watch them all here: nyti.ms/9-kisses (Photo/Video: Elaine Constantine)

9 Kisses: Steve Carell & Laura Dern / 18 of the year’s best actors pucker up for the magazine's Great Performers issue. Watch them all here: nyti.ms/9-kisses (Photo/Video: Elaine Constantine)

9 Kisses: John Lithgow & Julianne Moore / 18 of the year’s best actors pucker up for the magazine's Great Performers issue. Watch them all here: nyti.ms/9-kisses (Photo/Video: Elaine Constantine)

9 Kisses: Benedict Cumberbatch & Reese Witherspoon / 18 of the year’s best actors pucker up for the magazine's Great Performers issue. Watch them all here: nyti.ms/9-kisses (Photo/Video: Elaine Constantine)

Classic Film Kisses in Rain and Shine / (Photos: Everett Collection, Janus Films/Photofest, Columbia Pictures/Photofest, Paramount Pictures/Photofest, Universal Pictures/Everett Collection, The Weinstein Company)

9 Kisses: Chadwick Boseman & Kristen Stewart / 18 of the year’s best actors pucker up for the magazine's Great Performers issue. Watch them all here: nyti.ms/9-kisses (Photo/Video: Elaine Constantine)

9 Kisses: Jack O’Connell & Shailene Woodley / 18 of the year’s best actors pucker up for the magazine's Great Performers issue. Watch them all here: nyti.ms/9-kisses (Photo/Video: Elaine Constantine)

9 Kisses: Gugu Mbatha-Raw & Miles Teller / 18 of the year’s best actors pucker up for the magazine's Great Performers issue. Watch them all here: nyti.ms/9-kisses (Photo/Video: Elaine Constantine)

9 Kisses: David Oyelowo & Timothy Spall / 18 of the year’s best actors pucker up for the magazine's Great Performers issue. Watch them all here: nyti.ms/9-kisses (Photo/Video: Elaine Constantine)

How Long Before a Kiss of Death Takes Hold in the Movies? / ( Photos: Everett Collection, MGM/Photofest, United Artists/Photofest, Paramount Pictures/Photofest, Selznick Releasing Organization/Photofest, Paramount Pictures, De Laurentiis Entertainment Group/Everett Collection, Fox Searchlight Pictures/Everett Collection)

9 Kisses: Patricia Arquette & Jason Schwartzman / 18 of the year’s best actors pucker up for the magazine's Great Performers issue. Watch them all here: nyti.ms/9-kisses (Photo/Video: Elaine Constantine)

The Most Romantic Kisses in Cinema / (Photos: Everett Collection, Janus Films/Photofest, Columbia Pictures/Photofest, Paramount Pictures/Photofest, Universal Pictures/Everett Collection, The Weinstein Company)

Groundbreaking Kisses in Cinema / (Photos: Library of Congress, Everett Collection, Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection, 20th Century Fox Film Corporation/Everett Collection, Steve Sanacore/Vision Films)

Truffles are ubiquitous on Valentine’s Day, but few seduce like these intense little morsels, all sugar-dusted and infused with Schramsberg blanc de noirs sparkling wine. | 15 Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day (Photo: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day

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Cacao fans will find the straight, uncut flavor of the bean in these bars made in San Francisco by Dandelion Chocolate, which roasts and grinds beans from a single farm or cooperative at a time. | 15 Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day (Photo: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day

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A trompe l’oeil temptation, saucisson au chocolat, comes wrapped in paper and string like a real salami. Bits of marshmallow, candied orange peel and other additions embedded in the lusciously intense dark chocolate create a texture that’s actually meaty. | 15 Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day (Photo: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day

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There’s nothing wrong with Chinese takeout for Valentine’s Day, especially when dessert is a lush, mousselike chocolate pudding that comes dolled up with whipped cream and berries. | 15 Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day (Photo: Andy Matias for The New York Times)

Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day

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The Old Fashioned Five-Layer Chocolate Cake, dark and handsomely iced, is one of the all-American indulgences on the dessert menu at the new Polo Bar restaurant in Manhattan, and it can be yours to slice at home. | 15 Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day (Photo: Pablo Enriquez for The New York Times)

Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day

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Assemble your own four-pack of Ample Hills Creamery flavors or, for Valentine’s Day, there is an “Ample Love” package, which includes chile- and cinnamon-laced Mexican Hot Chocolate, and Be Mine, strawberry ice cream swirled with dark chocolate. | 15 Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day (Photo: Stephanie Diani for The New York Times)

Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day

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Shiny rainbow-streaked chocolate hearts from the Florida chocolatier Norman Love are not all show. They encase creamy bursts of bright flavors like cherry and vanilla, passion fruit and orange, milk chocolate and habanero, and dark rum with bittersweet chocolate. | 15 Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day (Photo: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day

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This is the garb of a goth sundae, a hot fudge sauce verging on too dark and too bitter, chocolate as the Aztecs revered it. Made by Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, in Ohio, it is shocking and irresistible, best when slashed across the purest vanilla ice cream you can find. | 15 Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day (Photo: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day

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Honey-filled dark chocolates may be exotic enough, but a new collection of one-bite bonbons also flaunts rose, cardamom and other whiffs of Morocco. The honey is gathered from rooftops in St. Paul. | 15 Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day (Photo: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day

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Canelé by Céline on the Upper East Side offers an array of mini canelés in chocolate flavors, including a bittersweet version, made with 72 percent chocolate, that is intensely fudgy, not too sweet and impossible to stop eating. | 15 Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day (Photo: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

Chocolate Gifts for Valentine’s Day

nytimes.com