As an adult, I was never much into Valentine’s Day. I admit it. It seemed so contrived – like a forced display of love. And nothing makes me more crazy than something that seems forced. One day in talking this over with my sis, she totally convinced me otherwise. “Why would you not want to celebrate a day dedicated to love?” I don’t know what happened, but when I heard those words, it just clicked with me that Valentines’s can be what you want it to be. It does not have to be cheesy and over the top, but can be just what YOU want it to be.
I view Valentine’s Day as a day to celebrate ALL love. The love we have for our parents and children. The special bond between best girlfriends and of course the big amore of our lives. Apparently my father felt the same way because every year without fail, he would bring all of us girls (his 5 daughters) a box of chocolates. And for my mother the same thing, only it was always three times bigger and super fancy with ribbons and flowers all over it.
So every year since my sis talked me into loving Valentine’s Day, I make chocolates for those I love. Here is a recipe for strawberry filed cioccolatini. So simple, yet so decadent.
16 ounces chocolate of your choice
8 ounces fresh strawberries
3 teaspoons sugar
1. Chop chocolate into pieces and melt two thirds in a double boiler. Save the other one third to temper.
*Note: see working with chocolate notes below.
2. After chocolate has been tempered, pour into silicone mold and fill half way. Shake mold to ensure there are no air bubbles. Place mold into fridge and allow to cool.
3. While chocolate is cooling, wash strawberries, cut and place in a food processor, pulse until texture is smooth.
4. Cook strawberries with sugar on low heat for 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool.
5. Take chocolate mold out of the refrigerator and add strawberry filling on top of each chocolate.
7. Cover the strawberry filling with chocolate making sure no filling is showing. Allow chocolate to harden and remove from mold. Decorate with opposite chocolate color if desired.
8. Break out the bubbly and enjoy with all your loved ones.
*Notes on Chocolate: make sure not one drop of water comes into contact with your chocolate otherwise it will become grainy and impossible to work with. Your chocolate should be tempered as well to get that shiny surface. Have a look at this site for directions and temperatures for tempering chocolate: www.bbcgoodfood.com