With Valentine’s Day almost here, are you still planning your move? Haven’t written that poetic love letter, or decided to cook a sexy decadent dinner for two?
You might even find yourself searching that same old aisle of red heart-shaped boxes, chocolate covered cherries, and “be mine” conversation hearts. Uninspired and regretting that you didn’t order a box of imported chocolates or fresh chocolate dipped strawberries, you settle for edible chocolate roses, glittery gummy hearts, and peanut butter lovemojis.
Well, skip the store-bought candy and create a sweet unexpected surprise for your valentine. Luscious, creamy and perfumed with liqueurs, chocolate truffles are easy to make – and so impressive.
Bittersweet and milk chocolates are melted, mixed with heavy cream and spiked with rum, Cognac or Grand Marnier. The chocolate is chilled and truffle-shaped balls are hand-rolled, dusted with cocoa, and topped with nuts, fruit or coconut. These eye candy jewels look and taste tingingly temptuous, and make a smashing impression with a cold bottle of bubbly. For a zingy presentation, flip the champagne glasses over and top the bottom with a truffle. This will get your valentine’s attention.
Even easier to make and ready in minutes, how about DIY fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate? Compared to mail order berries that may look great, but taste ho-hum, these are ripe, sweetly fragrant and perfectly tipped with creamy chocolate. Fashion some with the colorful green caps and stems attached, and shape others into a heart. With champagne or a sip of warm Cognac, know that your valentine feels and tastes the love.
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
- 1 pound carton of fresh strawberries (or more), washed, dried, stems and caps attached
- 3.5 ounces milk chocolate and 3.5 ounces dark chocolate
- Bring the dry strawberries to room temperature. If they are chilled or wet, the chocolate will not stick.
- Line a flat plate or baking sheet with waxed paper.
- Select good quality chocolate (Lindt, Ghirardelli). Break the chocolate into small pieces and place it in a microwave-proof bowl. Melt the chocolate on the defrost setting for one minute. Stir and return to the microwave for 10-second intervals until melted and smooth, but do overheat the chocolate.
- Holding the strawberry by the stem or cap, dip the bottom into the chocolate. Allow it to drip briefly and gently place the strawberry on the waxed paper. If the chocolate runs off the berry too quickly, allow the melted chocolate to cool slightly before proceeding.
- Place the strawberries in the refrigerator to harden the chocolate. They can be transferred to a platter and served.
- For heart shaped strawberries, remove the cap and stem with a V-shaped cut on the top. Dip the top into the melted chocolate by holding the pointed bottom tip.
Grand Marnier Truffles
- 10 ounces milk chocolate – good quality chocolate, such as Lindt or Ghirardelli
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- pinch kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier liqueur (can be purchased in a miniature bottle)
- French (Valrhona), Dutch, or other good cocoa powder for dusting the truffles, or they can be rolled in nuts, coconut, or sparkling sugars
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces, and place in a bowl.
- Heat the cream, Grand Marnier, and salt until small bubbles appear in the cream.
- Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate and whisk until smooth and melted.
- Microwave a few seconds if chunks are not melted.
- Refrigerate uncovered overnight, until the chocolate is cold and hard.
- Use a melon baller, small ice cream scoop, or spoon to scoop up 1 inch rounds.
- Roll the chocolate quickly in the hands to shape the balls. If the chocolate softens, return it to the refrigerator.
- Roll the balls in cocoa powder and refrigerate.
Rum Truffles with almonds or pistachios
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- Chopped pistachios or slices of toasted almonds
- Prepare the truffles as above, except use dark rum instead of Grand Marnier.
- Roll the truffles in pistachios or almonds instead of cocoa.
Raspberry Cognac Truffles
- 2 tablespoons Cognac
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- ½ cup sugar
- Prepare the chocolate truffles as above, using Cognac instead of Grand Marnier.
- In a small heavy saucepan, cook the raspberries with the sugar until thick. Cool and refrigerate the mixture.
- Roll the balls in cocoa and spoon some of the raspberry purée on top.
* Keep chocolate truffles in the refrigerator.
Read or Share this story: https://www.pnj.com/story/news/2019/02/12/diy-valentines-day-recipes-sure-win-anyone-over-cooking-school/2837921002/