A Valentine’s Day cheese platter is a great opportunity to treat your loved one

A great way to let your valentine know you care is with small, unique gestures. So why not go beyond the traditional flowers and chocolates and surprise your special someone with a romantic cheese platter? Your partner will think the world of you and it only takes minutes to prepare.

This platter maximizes pleasure and simplicity, and everything on it can be eaten with a fork. Start off with a Saint-Paulin, a creamy and buttery cheese, and couple it with a salty and savoury Parmesan. Cut both cheeses into cubes and place them on the simplest, most elegant plate you can find. Plain white will do fine.

Next to your cheese lay out slices of fruit paste and wedges of panforte. Fruit pastes, which can be found in the fruit and vegetable aisle of your grocery store, are intensely flavoured and a great companion for your cheeses. Panforte is a traditional Italian cake containing fruits and nuts. Look for a small glass container and fill it with honey. Place the honey in the centre of the platter so that you can dip your other ingredients in it.

The laws of romance demand a nice bottle of wine for the event. To honour the official colour of Valentine’s Day, go for a bold and romantic red: a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Syrah. For dessert, treat your loved one to a sweet glass of ice cider or a late bottled vintage port and, of course, chocolate.