These are my favorite Valentines Day recipes and will soon become yours.
Red hot desserts, smooth and silky homemade chocolates and more goodies below.
TIPS TO Make PERFECT Chocolate Covered Strawberries - my number one Valentines Day recipe.
There are many way to prepare these strawberries, but I am going to give you my easy methods.
When you are melting the chocolate over a double boiler, don't let the water touch the bottom of your upper pan.
Heat until only 1/2 of the chocolate is melted, then remove from heat and stir gently until it is all melted.
The chocolate should actually be cool or tepid to the touch. If it's hot, chances are it will seize up and thicken. If it does that, no amount of heating or stirring will fix it.
If you don't have a double-boiler, use a saucepan - bring the water to a boil, and then use a stainless steel bowl to rest in the saucepan to melt the chocolate.
Strawberries are grown with many pesticides, so rinse the strawberries first with a veggie wash, and let them drain on paper towels until they were thoroughly dry so the chocolate would adhere properly. Any moisture would have interfered with the chocolate adhering.
Spike the strawberries! Fill a syringe with a sweet white dessert wine, and slowly inject the wine into the strawberries near the stem (after you've done the dipping in chocolate.) You want to inject enough wine to saturate the berries, but watch not to add too much otherwise they end up becoming runny. These are always a hit when I bring them to dinner parties.
Pierce the strawberries on the stem side with a toothpick. Holding the strawberry by the toothpick, dip into the chocolate mixture. Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick into Styrofoam for the chocolate to cool.
So, here's the first of my Valentines Day recipes and it's a good one. How does chocolate dipped strawberries sound? For a healthier version; make with 12 ounces of (Ghiradelli) dark chocolate chips. This amount covers two pounds of strawberries.
CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES
16 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate (or milk chocolate)
4 ounces white chocolate
I use a small crock pot instead of a double boiler which works
out very well. Dip the strawberries in the chocolate, let them cool in
the fridge for approx. 15 minutes and then take a toothpick, dipped in
the melted white chocolate and lightly drizzle it over the chocolate.
(See above picture)
Stick toothpicks in the strawberries, and dip them in the chocolate, and then placed them in upside down plastic strainers/colanders with small holes. You can also use Styrofoam to stick them on after dipping.
After you dip the berries, let the excess chocolate drip off, and placed them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet in the refrigerator for about 4 hours until you are ready to serve them. (The chocolate will harden in about 30 minutes.)
If you have left over chocolate, drizzle it over pretzel sticks or angel food cake and put them in the refrigerator to harden.
Another one of my valentines day recipes is for chocolate dipped strawberries that has a twist to it...
CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES WITH CANDY
16 ounces of dark, semi-sweet or milk chocolate
1-1/2 lb fresh strawberries
1 cup mini M&M's, crushed red hots or any candy that you like
1/4 cup homemade graham crackers, crushed
1/4 cup nuts, crushed
Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding them by the toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture.
Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick into Styrofoam for the chocolate to cool. Sprinkle topping of choice on top. My recipes for chocolate dipped strawberries are requested all the time. Enjoy - it's not just for Valentines Day.
Nothing says "I Love You," than this Valentines Day recipe...
HOMEMADE RED VELVET CAKE RECIPE
2-1/2 cups cake flour
1-1/2 cups white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup butter
1-1/4 cup buttermilk**
1 TBS pure vanilla extract
2 oz red food coloring (optional)
PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9 inch (or three 8") cake pans and dust the inside with flour and tap out excess. Line the bottom of the pans with wax or parchment paper. Put the cake pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Sift the dry ingredients together and place in a mixing bowl. Add the oil and mix. Then add the remaining ingredients and mix until incorporated.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or when a knife inserted in the center of
the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and cool for 5 minutes,
then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off
the paper liners.
Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up. (These cooled cakes may be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months.)
1 TBS plus 1/4 tsp lemon juice or vinegar
1-1/4 cup milk
Measure out lemon juice or vinegar in a bowl and add milk. Let sit for 15 minutes and then it's ready for this recipe.
I use this frosting with my best red velvet cake recipe. If you want something different, I have more cake frosting recipes for you to browse through.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup pecans, finely chopped (optional)
Beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, beat and fold in the pecans. I serve this cake cold.
A delicious twist on this cheesecake recipe. How
about red velvet cheesecake as the next Valentines Day recipe? Yum.
HOMEMADE RED VELVET CHEESECAKE RECIPE
1-1/2 cups crushed Oreos (in blender or food processor)
3 TBS butter, melted
2 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg, beaten
3 TBS cocoa, unsweetened
1 TBS pure vanilla extract
2 tsp red food coloring (optional)
PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Place 16 foil lined cupcake holders in a regular size muffin tin.
Mix the crushed Oreos and melted butter in a small bowl. Blend with a fork and press into the bottom of cupcake holders with the back of a spoon.
Bake the Oreo crusts for 10 minutes and bring out of the oven. Cool for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat 2 packages of cream cheese with 1/2 cup white sugar until fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Divide batter evenly among baking cups.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the center is firm. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecakes sit for 25-30 minutes to set, with the oven door closed.
Remove from oven and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before chilling. Allow to chill completely in the refrigerator before unmolding.
You may chill a couple chocolate bars and peel off curls with a potato peeler. Garnish the tops with the chocolate curls.
If you do not have the time, just dollop some whipped cream on top and sprinkle with coco powder.
I just want to wish each and every one of you a Happy Valentine's Day - and I hope you enjoy these homemade Valentines Day recipes.