I wrote the following blog post right after Valentine's Day and I know we're quite far from it, but Halloween is rapidly approaching and these chocolates are the perfect Halloween treats!
I invite you to travel back to February with me in order to adequately prepare for October 31st...
I went on a chocolate making spree last Valentine's Day. It was the first year I've done anything super special for Feb. 14th and I was lucky enough to share it with my friends Kelly and Danielle. It kicked off Sunday night when Danielle and I went to a double feature! We saw True Grit (wow, I LOVED it) and Blue Valentine (I didn't love it, but I'm really glad I saw it!) There's rarely anything for me at the concession counter at the theatre, so I made us treats. I'm a huge fan of fruit and chocolate, so I worked with what we had in the house. The chocolate dipped fruit couldn't be easier!
Chocolate Dipped Fruit
6 oz. vegan dark chocolate (just make sure "milk" or "butterfat" isn't an ingredient and you should be good to go! I opted for Ghirardelli dark chocolate baking bars, but there are PLENTY of delicious dairy free chocolates)
Dried fruit of your choice
Prepare your fruit by slicing it into bite sized (or maybe two-bite sized) pieces. You want it large enough so there's enough surface area for you to hold onto while you dip. Line a plate or cookie sheet (you want it to fit in the fridge or freezer) with wax paper and set aside.
Finely chop chocolate and place in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for twenty seconds. Remove bowl, stir chocolate. Heat for twenty second increments until the chocolate is very smooth (mine needed about 60 seconds total) Just make sure that you stir it as much as possible - chocolate tends to burn easily and it's a shame to toss out six ounces of chocolate because you overheated it.
Finally, get dipping! I made mine with sulfite-free dried pineapple and apricots and they were delicious. Dip your fruit of choice in the chocolate and coat to your heart's desire! Let the excess drip back into the bowl and place the fruit on the prepared plate/pan. Once you've filled your tray, pop it into the fridge or freezer for at least five minutes to allow the chocolate to set.
These chocolate dipped fruit treats were the perfect snack for the movie. This recipe also works very well for making chocolate covered strawberries.
Step one of Valentine's Day was complete-movies watched (two steps closer to seeing all the Oscar nominated movies) and pineapples enjoyed, it was time to head to Newport for some time with the Atlantic. I made more dipped pineapples, apricots, and strawberries, but I also experimented with truffles....
Spiked Vegan Chocolate Truffles
to make these alcohol-free, just use 1/3 cup of water instead of alcohol
1/6 cup of Chambord (or any alcohol of your choice, I think amaretto would be amazing, or rum!)
1/4 cup of canola oil
12 ounces dark chocolate finely chopped
Combine water, alcohol, oil and 6 ounces of the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for 1 minute. Remove and whisk until smooth. You may need to reheat it for an additional twenty seconds to get it completely smooth, it really depends on your microwave.
Once completely silky, cover bowl with lid or plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 5 hours to chill. Prepare pan or plate by lining it with wax paper, just like you did with the fruit.
Once the chocolate mixture is solidified (you should be able to scoop it with a spoon), use a melon baller to scoop chocolate balls onto the prepared pan/plate. A melon baller isn't necessary, but it makes the job quite a bit simpler.
Once your chocolate mixture has been scooped, melt the remaining 6 ounces of dark chocolate the same way you did for the fruit (twenty second increments, stirring between each 20 second interval). Using two spoons, or one spoon and a chocolate dipping fork, coat each chocolate ball in the melted chocolate, returning each one back to the wax paper to cool. Once all are completed (depending on the size of your melon baller, you should make around two dozen truffles) place in the fridge or freezer to set.
If coating the truffles in more chocolate doesn't appeal to you, try coating them in unsweetened cocoa powder, confectioner's sugar, cinnamon or chopped nuts.
I think those folks who sampled my Valentine's Day / Presidents Day chocolates really enjoyed them and I hope you do as well!