Well, Valentine’s Day is less than two weeks away, and this is my first Valentine’s post of the year. So many Valentine’s Day recipes are very high in sugar, and we are trying to limit our sugar significantly. And, you know, if I blog about it that means I ate it. Dipping fruit in dark chocolate is probably one of the healthiest traditional Valentine’s Day desserts, you really need just a little chocolate for Valentine’s Day.
Usually, we think of chocolate dipped strawberries for Valentine’s Day, but any non-cut or dried fruit will work. Here I used strawberries and mandarin orange segments. You want to use non-cut fruit because cut fruit is wet, and you need dry fruit to get the chocolate to go on nicely. I wash mine, blot it dry with a paper towel, let it air dry for thirty minutes, and then blot it again. Any wetness can make the chocolate seize and get lumpy. The air drying also allows the fruit to get at least close to room temperature if it has been refrigerated, which also helps the chocolate go on smoothly.
So, my kind of new philosophy when it comes to sweet recipes is that it can’t have too much sugar, and it must also have something good for you about it. All of the fiber and vitamins in this fresh fruit definitely add the good for you factor, but the chocolate does too. The key to keeping it healthy is to keep the chocolate dark. Darker chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa, which makes it higher in antioxidants and lower in sugar. Another key is to keep any thing you roll it in after the chocolate healthy. So, instead of sprinkles, choose nuts or unsweetened coconut. Let me tell you about unsweetened coconut… it is addictive… so much better than the sweetened kind!
You can microwave the chocolate if you want, but I think it is worth the trouble to use a double boiler to ensure the chocolate is perfectly smooth and doesn’t seize. I don’t actually even have a double boiler, but just float a stainless steal bowl in a small saucepan of water. I am particularly partial to this little bowl Steve brought with him when we got married because it is so small in diameter. This makes the chocolate deeper when in melts and easier to dip the fruit in.
Chocolate Covered Fruit
- 12 ounces strawberries (I had 8 very large berries.)
- 1 mandarin orange
- (or any combination of uncut fruit)
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1 teaspoon butter
- unsweetened coconut for topping
- chopped nuts for topping (I used pecans and ran them through the food processor to make them more finely chopped.
- Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper.
- Wash strawberries. Blot dry with a paper towel. Air dry for 30 minutes, and then blot again.
- Peel orange.
- In a double boiler over medium, melt together chocolate and butter stirring constantly.
- Dip fruit in chocolate and then in coconut or nuts, if desired.
- Place on prepared cookie sheet.
- Allow to cool until set. You may refrigerate to speed up setting.
The nutritional information below is based on 4 servings because this seemed like a lot for two people, and you can eat the leftovers the next day. It does not include the coconut or the pecans because I did not measure them.