If whipping up a decadent feast is high on your Valentine's Day to-do list, this adorable heart-shaped cocotte from Le Creuset could help put the finishing touches on your meal. Unlike other lovey-dovey novelty items you'll see online and in stores right now, this cast-iron enameled cookware is as pretty as it is practical, meaning you'll get plenty of use out of it, even once the holiday is over.
On Amazon, this cocotte is available in red for just south of $200. Over at Sur La Table, you can get it in pink or black as well. Similar to other cocottes from Le Creuset, it's made from enameled cast-iron, so you're getting all the great benefits that come from cast-iron cooking, like even heat distribution and solid heat retention, but none of the headaches that can come with maintaining cast iron.
The enamel interior helps keep food from burning and sticking to the bottom, and it's easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth or sponge. Best of all, you won't have to season this item to help with cooking performance, and it's safe to use on all heat sources (including induction, electric, and gas stoves) up to 500° F. You can even run it through the dishwasher or put in the freezer, as needed.
On Amazon, shoppers dig this sweet little cocotte. It has a 4.5-star rating on the site, with one customer raving: "I wanted this because it was SO cute and much smaller than my huge dutch oven. It works wells, cooking evenly, and was easy to clean. I regret not buying one sooner." At 2 quarts, the size of this cookware item makes it a great choice for everything from soups and curries to baking cakes or bread. "Used it to make sauce, including red wine and tomatoes. Inside cleaned up great. No staining at all," one reviewer noted.
Love the look of this heart-shaped cocotte but don't want to spend $200? You can try this ramekin from Le Creuset for $85 on Amazon instead. It's similar to the cocotte—it even comes with a heart-shaped lid—but significantly smaller, with the capacity to hold just 8 ounces worth of food. Folks enjoy it for single-serve desserts like soufflés, with one writing: "It's a beautiful serving dish—I only wish I had ordered more. They are perfect for individual servings."