Sweet treats given straight from the heart have always been a staple of Valentine's Day. While a heart-shaped box picked up on your way home might be easy, nothing says 'personal and heartfelt' quite like home-made treats. This Valentine's Day, we challenge Canadians everywhere to try out these easy, home-made chocolate ideas. So, pick up some chocolate bars and sweet treats, and show someone special in your life how much you care!
1. Candy-Filled Chocolate Heart
All you need for this one is a heart-shaped baker's mould, some sweets, some basic baking supplies (a bowl, a pot, wax paper, plate) and a bar of your favorite chocolate.
- Melt the chocolate using the double-boiler method
- Drizzle the melted chocolate into the heart-shaped mould. Use a brush or a spoon to smooth the chocolate, coating the mould as evenly as possible without filling it completely.
- Once the mould has been coated in chocolate place it face-down on a sheet of wax paper and leave it in the refrigerator for a few minutes until hardened.
- Repeat the process again to make the other half of the heart. Once hardened, remove both halves from the mould.
- Fill one chocolate heart half with your favorite candies. We're partial to wine gums and liquorice all-sorts, but any candy will do!Keep in mind that chocolate absorbs odours and flavours, so if you want to preserve the flavour, you might want to put the filling in a plastic bag.
- Place a plate in the microwave for a few seconds until it is warm to the touch.
- Press the empty chocolate heart half open-side-down onto the plate just long enough to melt it a little, then lightly press it against the other half. The melted chocolate should seal it shut.
You can also place little presents inside, such as small toys, notes, or even jewelry. Just make sure the recipient knows something's in there.Never place something small enough to be a choking hazard into a child's treat!
2. Chocolate-Dipped Fruit
For a more sophisticated treat, a chocolate dip is even easier to prepare than a chocolate heart, but just as impressive.
All you’ll need is a few pieces of fruit, your favorite chocolate bar, a bowl, a pot, and some optional seasonings or dustings.
The directions are unbelievably straightforward:
- Melt the chocolate using the double-boiler method, add seasoning to taste (optional)
- Dip the fruit
- Dust with flavour (optional)
- Leave to dry
- Serve, and bask in adoration for making such a sweet, delicious treat
Bite sized fruits such as orange slices or strawberries are ideal for dipping.They're small enough to easily submerge, but large enough that you can easily keep hold of the edge with your fingers.
While plain chocolate works perfectly, you may want to add a little more variety. Adding some spice or seasoning to the melted chocolate (such as ground chili or mint) can give your treat an extra kick. Dusting the fresh-dipped fruit not only looks great, but adds some extra flavour as well. Use a pinch of sea salt or nutmeg, or for some texture use crushed peanuts or shaved coconut. Get creative!
3. Shaved Chocolate Topping
While chocolate plays second-fiddle when used as a topping, it can still make an excellent addition to a number of treats, and it’s our easiest idea of all. The only things you'll need are a bar of your favorite chocolate and an ordinary vegetable peeler!
Hold the vegetable peeler and chocolate over your favorite dessert, and grate the chocolate to your heart's content. Chocolate is soft enough to shave off smoothly and consistently.
Fresh-shaved chocolate toppings are perfect for ice cream sundaes, brownies, cupcakes, and even healthier treats like carrot cake and banana bread!