In the 1860s, Richard Cadbury, of the now famous Cadbury chocolate company, created the first heart-shaped box of chocolates to sell for Valentine’s Day. Ever since, rich, creamy, and luxurious chocolate has been inseparably linked with this international holiday of love.
This Valentine’s Day, instead of buying a box of chocolates for your loved one, why not take the time to prepare a decadently delicious dessert for them in your own kitchen?
From a simple and easy dessert of fruit or pretzels dipped in chocolate, to a decadently layered cheesecake, show your loved ones how much your care by presenting them with a hand crafted dessert.
Create one of these luxurious Valentine’s Day favorites, such as: rich and creamy cheesecake; milky and smooth caramels; warm and gooey cookies; delicate cakes and cupcakes; or fudgy brownies.
For a super-simple Valentine’s Day treat, chocolate-dipped fruit or pretzel sticks is the hand’s down choice. To prepare a batch of chocolate-dipped fruit or pretzel sticks:
Select what you will be dipping. Fresh strawberries are a classic choice, but you could also dip:
- Dried apricots
- Candied orange peel
- Pretzel sticks
Wash and allow any fresh produce you will be dipping to dry thoroughly.
Choose what type of chocolate you will be dipping in. You could use:
- Dark chocolate chips
- Milk chocolate chips
- White chocolate chips
- Almond Bark
All of these chocolate options can be found on your grocer’s baking aisle.
The advantage of using almond bark is that it sets faster and the items that you dip do not have to be refrigerated once the chocolate coating has set. Items dipped in chocolate might need to be refrigerated so that the chocolate stays hard, depending on the climate you live in.
Melt the chocolate you will be dipping.
- Put chocolate chips or almond bark squares into a microwave safe bowl.
- Microwave on low power for about 60 seconds.
- Keep microwaving on low for 30 second intervals until the chips or squares have just begun to lose their shape or soften.
- Remove the chocolate from the microwave and stir until it is fully melted.
Dip your items into the chocolate and shake off any excess chocolate or use a spoon to scrape off the excess. If dipping large items, use a spoon to spread the chocolate over the item.
Lay the chocolate-dipped treat onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and allow the chocolate to harden.
Decorate your dipped items by drizzling them with an alternate color of melted chocolate or sprinkling them with Valentine’s Day themed sprinkles, chopped chocolate, or chopped nuts.
To speed the hardening process, put the chocolate-dipped items in a cold place.
If you are dipping fresh fruit, you will need to store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to share it with your loved one.
Fresh fruit can sweat inside of its chocolate shell, so do not prepare them too far in advance.
Tips for Making Luxurious Valentine’s Day Desserts :
- If you are tied to the success of this dessert, do not try a recipe that you are unfamiliar with.
- Give yourself plenty of time to prepare the dessert successfully. You might need to make it a few days ahead of time.
- If necessary, be sure that you have enough space to store your special dessert in the refrigerator before you start.
- If your special dessert will be a secret, have an appropriately sized and temperature controlled hiding place in mind before you begin.
- Be sure that you have all of the ingredients you need before you start.
- Read through the recipe before you begin to familiarize yourself with the steps you will follow.
- Be sure you have any special equipment that is necessary for your recipe or have a plan in place to prepare the recipe without the special equipment.
- Think through how you will serve your special dessert and be sure that you have the supplies you need.
- If you are using fresh fruit, be sure that it is ripe and free from blemishes.
- Have a back-up plan for your dessert in case it does not turn out the way you want.
- Purchase enough ingredients to remake your dessert in case some sort of disaster happens.
- Remember that emergencies happen, you might have to adjust your dessert expectations.
- If possible, sample your dessert before serving it to make sure that it tastes the way you want it to.
- Make sure to account for any food allergies of the people who will be eating your dessert.
- If you will be sharing your dessert at a party or buffet, prepare a list of ingredients so that those with food allergies can avoid any potential issues.
- Serve your dessert at the appropriate temperature.
- Serve an appropriate serving size of your dessert, especially if it is a rich dessert.
- If you are short on time, doctor a store bought dessert.
- Prepare a special sauce for a purchased cheesecake or ice cream.
- Frost store bought cookies or bake cookies from a store bought cookie dough.
- Use a box mix to prepare cookies, brownies, or cake instead of making it from scratch.
- To prevent scorching when melting chocolate in the microwave, be sure to use a microwave safe bowl and melt the chocolate on low power for short periods of time, stirring frequently until chocolate begins to melt.
Recipes for Decadent Valentine’s Day Desserts :
French Silk Pie
Source: The Happy Chocolatier - Why we give chocolate for Valentine's Day.