…which to be honest, I’m ordinarily not. I’ve never liked red roses and am seriously averse to all of the cutesy packaging and infantalising soft toys that are tethered to Valentine’s Day in it’s modern form. Also, I like my romance year round, rather than pre-packaged once a year.
This year, however, I’ve gotten a little swept up in the madness because come Valentine’s Day my parents will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. I think that’s huge. Hugely impressive, and all kinds of sweet and heartwarming. Factoring in leap years, that is 9131 days and nights shared. If my maths skills were more awesome than they are, I could spit out some cool figures like number of meals shared, but I can’t so you’ll just have to be awed thinking about the fact that it could run into tens of thousands. I’m sure many people celebrate this length of time together, but this is the longest relationship that I have witnessed, and is certainly one of the happiest and most loving.
So, misty eyed and mushy as I am at the moment, I thought I’d share a recipe for a simple but impressive looking treat that you could make this Valentine’s Day – chocolate dipped strawberries. Make them for someone that you fancy, take them into work and be the office star for the day, share them with your flatmates, or surprise a friend. I actually made these for a birthday picnic recently, so those of you with the anti-Valentine’s Day brigade needn’t miss out on principle.
You will need
750g strawberries (approximately 30 strawberries)
250g dark chocolate, chopped*
150g milk chocolate, chopped*
*Depending on your preference, you can substitute white chocolate, or swap the quantities of dark and milk chocolate.
The how to
1. Prepare a surface to set the strawberries on by laying a piece of greaseproof paper on a baking tray or chopping board.
2. Wash strawberries, keeping the leafy tops intact. Dry carefully – a clean kitchen towel will do nicely for this – any water remaining on the strawberries will hinder the chocolate from adhering properly.
3. Leave the strawberries aside for a moment, and get the chocolate melting.
Pop a medium sized saucepan on the stovetop and fill it up to halfway with water. Set a heatproof bowl on top, ensuring that the water is not touching the base of the bowl. Put the dark chocolate into the bowl, and turn on the heat so that the water comes to a simmer. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
Using a smaller saucepan and bowl, do the same with the milk chocolate.
4. Now for the fun part.
Holding the strawberries by their leafy tops, dip them one by one into the dark chocolate. Once you have coated approximately two-thirds of the strawberry, gently shake a little of the excess chocolate off, then lay the strawberry on the pre-prepared tray.
. Once you have dipped all of the strawberries in dark chocolate, you can decorate them with the milk chocolate. I piped on thick swirling lines of milk chocolate, but a similar effect can be achieved by coating a spoon in the melted milk chocolate and drizzling across.
When you’re done decorating, refrigerate your lovely creations until they are set.
To serve, take the tray of strawberries out of the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes before you wish to eat them. This is a good time to transfer the strawberries to a pretty serving tray to hide all evidence of the somewhat messy decoration process.
If you’re on the looking for something a little fancier, here are three gorgeous Valentine’s Day themed recipes that I’ve been eyeing off recently:
P.S. On the topic of anniversaries and celebrations, this piece is a little milestone for the F tangent as it brings us to a grand total of 100 posts on this here blog (I did say it was only a little milestone). Secretly (or, at least it was secret until I shared it here) I’m a little chuffed. Thanks for reading x