P&O Cruises celebrated Australians’ love affair with chocolate at the weekend, conjuring up some delectable chocolate creations for Valentine’s Day.
Along with themed cocktails and chocolate and pink “decadence-themed” desserts, pastries and baked goods available across the cruise line’s five ship fleet, each ship also put their heart and soul into creating a special Valentine’s Day cake, displayed at the entrance to the Waterfront Restaurant.
While the ships went all out for the most romantic day of the year, P&O Cruises Australia's Corporate Executive Chef Uwe Stiefel said Australian cruisers loved chocolate truly, madly and deeply all year round, with the cruise line using approximately 22,000kg of chocolate a year across its five-ship fleet.
“There are a lot of chocolate desserts, pastries and bakery products on our menus and they are always in demand,” Chef Stiefel said. “The favourites amongst our guests are the chocolate dipped Chantilly profiteroles with peach sauce and the chocolate and rhubarb creme brulee with more than half a million portions of each served every year.
“Around 450,000 portions of our delectable creamy chocolate mud cake with strawberry compote are consumed by guests and 400,000 servings of the Grand Marnier torte are also devoured each year,” Chef Stiefel said.
In Luke Mangan’s Salt grill, the gooey chocolate tart with banana, caramel ice cream and honeycomb is a particular favourite, with 27,000 portions served each year across the fleet. On P&O Cruises’ latest ships Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden, cruiselings are expected to devour 35,000 portions of Dragon Lady’s salted 70 per cent dark chocolate cake with white and black sesame seed ice cream and candied pear this year.
Chef Stiefel said across the fleet his team were also busy serving about 350,000 chocolate chip cookies a year at Charlie's Bar, freshly baked and homemade each day, along with 500,000 chocolate croissants served for breakfast in the Plantation Restaurants and The Pantry.
While most of the chocolate is used by bakery and pastry chefs, Chef Stiefel said bar staff also used chocolate in hot chocolate or cocktails, including chocolate martinis.