Are you still trying to come up with the right Valentine’s gift? Couldn’t decide and now you’re worried that you’ve left it too late?
Well, don’t panic – you won’t have to run all over town for these perfect last minute fun ideas.
If you would you like something that involves chocolate (the healthy kind) and looks impressive but is actually really easy to make and can be done together, then read on!
You could prepare these very simple, but indulgent treats ahead of time and then surprise your other half after a romantic dinner. Or you could have a fun afternoon making them together, it’s up to you.
First up are truffles and all it takes preparation wise is a quick trip to the supermarket for the ingredients.
- 200g dark chocolate, chopped (minimum 70% cocoa)
- 150ml pouring cream
- Orange rind, chopped nuts, dried fruit, your favourite liqueur, such as Cointreau – whatever you would like in your truffle centres
- Cocoa or cacao powder, dessicated coconut, or extra melted dark chocolate for dusting/coating
- Combine the dark chocolate and cream in a medium sized bowl and heat over a saucepan of simmering water. Keep the heat low and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and you have a smooth mixture.
- Remove from the heat, stir in any desired extras such as chopped nuts, or orange rind and Cointreau.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes, until mixture is firm, but not completely set.
- Roll truffle mixture into balls, place on a tray lined with baking paper and place back into the fridge for another 30-60 minutes.
- Coat the truffles by rolling in dessicated coconut, cocoa powder or melted chocolate and place back in the fridge to set.
- This recipe will make 10-12 truffles, depending on size.
- I don’t think it matters that they are not all exactly the same size or perfectly round, that’s the beauty of them being truly hand made.
Chocolate coated strawberries – you may think that they are cheesy, but really you can’t go wrong with a bottle of champagne and some choc coated strawberries. They are the perfect end to a romantic dinner, besides home made truffles, of course!
And just in case you don’t know how to prepare them, here you go:
- a punnet of strawberries
- a block of dark chocolate, broken into pieces (at least 70% cocoa)
- Gently melt the chocolate as directed in the above truffle recipe and dip the strawberries into your melted chocolate.
- Place the strawberries on a tray lined with baking paper and freeze for about an hour, or until the chocolate has hardened.
Now for the banana/choc popsicles.
These are more of a fun thing to do with the kids, if they’re keen to be involved in your Valentine’s celebrations.
- A couple of frozen bananas
- Popsicle sticks or skewers
- Some melted chocolate
- Chopped nuts
- Peel the bananas and chop them in half, see picture above.
- 'Skewer' the bananas with the popsicle sticks. Make sure that you leave enough of the stick at the bottom so that they will resemble popsicles or icy poles when you're finished.
- Place on a tray lined with baking paper and freeze for 2-3 hours.
- Take the bananas out of the freezer, roll in melted chocolate and then chopped nuts, if desired.
- Freeze again to set the chocolate and voila! A fun, frozen healthy treat.
You probably noticed that in these recipes I keep insisting that you buy dark chocolate that is a minimum 70% cocoa powder and of course there is a very good reason for this. Dark chocolate has a lot less sugar than milk chocolate and the higher the cocoa percentage, the better.
And if you really want to impress and make your own (it’s easier than you think) click here for my simple 3-ingredient recipe.
I hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day, whatever you are doing and whoever you are with.