Secretly, this post is a test to see if my husband actually reads our blog like he says he does. Anyone care to take a bet on whether he reads it or not?
I was looking for something fun for Valentine’s Day this year. Because let’s face it, once you have kids, it’s no longer just about you and your sweetie. My daughter loves chocolate and strawberries, so I thought it was the perfect kitchen activity for us. But, as I was making them I kept thinking how fun it would be to make these with my hubby. I mean I had chocolate ALL over. It would have been fun to have someone there to help me lick it off. (Ha, sorry trying to get in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, and after 7 years of marriage you have to take what you can get.)
These strawberries are a little-effort-but-big-reward kind of recipe. You don’t really cook anything and the hardest part is trying not to eat them all before you can give them to your Valentine. I decided to use toasted coconut, slivered almonds, and sea salt as my toppings, but I will tell you the plain old chocolate was my favorite. Although, the toasted coconut was a very close second. I served these with a bottle of sparkling apple cider from a local hard cidery, Bold Rock. I plunked a yummy strawberry down in the champagne flute and poured the bubbly cider over it. It was an amazing combination. Obviously the cider was a grown up only addition to the sweet treat, so we indulged once the munchkin was in bed.
Local Ingredient: Sparkling Hard Cider from a Local Cidery
10 oz dark chocolate, at least 70% cacao (dairy free if Paleo or Vegan)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 lbs or 32 oz organic strawberries
1 cup slivered almonds (optional)
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spread the coconut on an ungreased baking sheet in an even layer. Place coconut in the oven for 10-15 minutes checking it every couple of minutes. You may want to rotate the cooking sheet as the coconut in the back tends to toast more quickly. Coconut should be a caramel color when toasted.
Create a double boiler using a saucepan and a glass bowl. Fill the sauce pan about 1/4 full with water. Place the glass bowl in the pot. NOTE - Be sure the bowl doesn't touch the water or the chocolate will melt.
Turn the stove on to medium high heat. Place chocolate and coconut oil into the glass bowl. Stir occasionally. Once the water begins to boil turn the heat to medium low. You don't want to burn the chocolate.
While the chocolate is melting, wash the strawberries well. Then place them on a paper towel to dry. The strawberries need to be fully dry before dipping them in chocolate.
Prepare a work area with your toppings; toasted coconut, almond slivers, sea salt, etc. Also, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Leave space on the work space for the melted chocolate and dry strawberries.
Once the chocolate has melted, set it on the work station.
Using the stem as a handle, dip the strawberries into the chocolate and let them rest on the parchment lined baking sheet.
Allow the chocolate to cool and dry for about 3-4 minutes before dipping it into the topping(s). The chocolate should be warm enough for the toppings to stick but not so wet that they slide off.
Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.