Chocolate is a fascinating food, there is simply nothing else like it in the world. The texture is so luxurious and creamy; the way it melts on your tongue with an explosion of unmistakable flavor, makes chocolate truly unique. Valentine’s Day is approaching and pretty packages of chocolates are everywhere. Instead of a store-bought, heart-shaped box, why not create scrumptious chocolate treats for your loved ones this year?
Cooking with chocolate is a joy if you keep in mind a few helpful hints. Chocolate and water don’t mix, so for the best result when melting, opt for the microwave instead of a double boiler. Too much heat can damage chocolate so always use the least amount of heat possible when cooking with it. Try my irresistible Chocolate Lava Cakes, their rich molten centers and tender silky cake, will win you brownie points with the ones you love. Chocolate Dipped Strawberries are always a favorite and beyond easy, so dip some and savor the unbeatable flavor combination.
Delightful confections really are simple to prepare, so wow your Valentine this year with neat treats made of chocolate.
Chocolate Lava Cake
1 ½ sticks of butter
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
Additional butter and flour for preparing ramekins
Butter 6-8 ramekins and dust with flour. Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave in 30 second intervals stirring in between and let cool. In a bowl combine flour and sugar. Add eggs to the chocolate mixture and stir, next add flour and sugar and mix well. Using a kitchen scoop, spoon batter into prepared dishes and place them into the refrigerator to rest 1-2 hours or for up to 3 days. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 10 12 minutes, centers of cakes will still look soft. Let rest 3 minutes before inverting dish onto a plate, dust with powdered sugar if desired.
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
1 pint fresh strawberries
1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips, 60% cocoa
¼ cup white chocolate chips
Wash, dry and refrigerate berries so that they are cold when dipping. Melt dark chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals stirring each time until chocolate is smooth. Dip chilled berries into chocolate and place them on waxed paper. When chocolate is set, melt white chocolate in the same manner as dark. Pour melted white chocolate into a zip top bag. Clip the end with scissors making a small whole in the bag and drizzle strawberries with white chocolate. Serve within 4 hours.