Thursday, May 10, 2012

Alert - Foodgasm Ahead!! Chocolate Covered Strawberries (with homemade dark and white chocolate - vegan and sugar free)

We went strawberry picking a few weekends ago and we've been eating strawberries every day and I've had fun incorporating these red beauties in everything from ice cream to salads.  You just can't go wrong with strawberries, right!  Don't these look wonderful drenched in chocolate (um, yes, foodgasm - the perfect mix of sweet and tart...swoon)!  What a thoughtful Mother's Day gift these would make, perhaps for dessert after dinner out or a home cooked meal.  This chocolate was completely inspired by Ricki @ Diet Dessert and Dogs.  She recently made some goji berry sugar free chocolates, and they were amazing. It was my first time using stevia as a sweetener in chocolate, and I have to say, it worked beautifully.  And my chocoholic husband LOVED them, so that's ALL I need to know.  If he gives me the thumbs up, it's a winner in my book.  
Ingredients

Dark Chocolate
-1/4 cup cashew butter*
-3 level tablespoons of cacao powder
-1/4 teaspoon vanilla stevia 
-1/4 teaspoon coffee flavor
-1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

White Chocolate 
-2 tablespoons cashew butter*
-1 teaspoon coconut oil
-30 drops vanilla stevia

How To:
1.  For dark chocolate: in a double boiler (or just put a nonstick pan on top of a pot filled with water), add cocoa butter, cashew butter, and cacao powder.  Stir as it melts to help break up the cashew butter.  When the chocolate looks nice and hot and it's melting, turn off heat and continue to stir until everything is well incorporated.  
2.  Add in both vanilla stevia and cocoa stevia.  Stir. 
3.  Transfer melted chocolate into two separate bowls (should be 1/3 cup for each bowl).  
4.  In one bowl add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, and in the other bowl, add coffee flavor.
5.  Allow chocolate to cool and thicken a bit before you start to dip in the strawberries.  
6.  You may need to place the bowls of chocolate in the fridge, but not for long.  Be forewarned, once the bowl gets cold, the chocolate hardens very fast.  So, if this happens, simply put the bowl directly in some hot water to melt and start over.  It may take a few tries to get the chocolate just right, but what you want is a somewhat thick syrup.
7.  It helps if you put a plate in the freezer before you start.  After you dip your strawberries, you can place them on the cold plate and it hardens the chocolate and helps it from oozing.

How To:
1.  For the white chocolate:  in a double boiler (see above), add cocoa butter, cashew butter, and coconut oil. Stir as it melts to help break up the cashew butter.  When the chocolate looks nice and hot and it's melting, turn off heat and continue to stir until everything is well incorporated.  
2.  Add in vanilla stevia. Stir. 
3.  Transfer melted chocolate into a bowl and allow to cool.  You can place in the fridge to help thicken, but see above if it hardens over completely. 

Notes:
*To make cashew butter, add 1 - 2 cups raw cashews to food processor.  Turn on and blend until creamy.  It will get creamy right after the ball of nut butter forms.  
*You don't HAVE to make the chocolate with cashew butter!  Skip it for a creamier finish.  
*When you start to dip the strawberries, do 5 to 7 strawberries at a time, the place in the fridge on the cold plate with a non-stick surface, such as parchment paper to help set up.
*Cool the berries, then re-dip in chocolate until you achieve your desired chocolate thickness.  I prefer a thin layer, 
*If you place the strawberries directly on a glass plate, a metal spatchula works well to remove them from the cold plate - be gentle but firm. 
*Garnish when chocolate is wet, before you place in fridge - use shredded coconut, lemon, orange or lime zest. 
*These can be left out at room temperature, they will not melt all over.  Placing in the fridge just helps them set up.  
*Please add your stevia to taste.  I don't like super sweet, just enough to offset the bitter.  So test the chocolate before you drizzle on the strawberries. 
*Make little chocolates with leftover melted chocolate (see below)
I also use a spoon to cover the strawberry with chocolate 
This is what happens if the chocolate gets too firm, it becomes difficult to work with.  Just warm the chocolate if this happens.  You need to find the right consistency, this takes a little practice.  Remember, the white chocolate will look a little pale, but will become whiter as it cools.  
Shredded coconut and lemon zest for garnish 
Pour your extra chocolate into miniature silicone baking cups and make little individual chocolates.  So fun!


19 comments:

  1. I am a white chocolate FIEND...these look so good! Especially the little double chocolate cups at the end. I could eat one or five of those.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man, Amber, I ate like 20! I couldn't stop myself. Love them.

      Delete
  2. Okay, that was weird--NO idea why my comment came up that way!!! What I said was, how SENSATIONAL those look--and thanks for the shout-out! Glad you love the chocolate as much as I do (though I really, really have to get me some cocoa butter!!). Please delete that previous whatever-it-is!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Ricki for the inspiration!! And yes, cocoa butter is great! It's a must. You have me addicted to making chocolates! But they are so healthy, so why not right. :-)

      Delete
  3. mmmmMMMMMM goooOOOOD! Try to imagine how I was saying that one!! ha! I am so trying these!! Our strawberries are right around the the corner...the local Oregon ones! Can't wait!

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    Replies
    1. Roger that lady! It's like you're right here with me! Can't wait for you to enjoy some strawberries. Summer produce rocks!!

      Delete
  4. LOL, foodgasm. It really is! I am salivating. :) I am making these soon. I bet they freeze well too.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jen,

      Perhaps? Not sure about the freezing. Let me know. They keep in the fridge for a good 4 days. But I like them at room temp. :-)

      Delete
  5. These look so good. Is Stevia safe for SCD? It would open up so many options for me. Either way, thanks for the great recipe. Sharon

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  6. Hello Anonymous,

    Thank you.

    Unfortunately, stevia is not SCD legal. But honey would work great!! :-)

    You might already have this, but just in case, here is a link to all the SCD legal and illegal foods:

    http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/legal/legal_illegal_a-c.htm

    Be Well,
    --Amber

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  7. Yumm...I'll have to try these.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You had me at the title :) My hubby even had to check out this recipe after I read the title to him! Now these strawberries are exactly what I want for Mother's Day. I always avoid white chocolate because I think of it as unhealthy, but not these ones. I am very excited about a delicious, healthy white chocolate recipe on top of fresh strawberries nonetheless!

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    Replies
    1. I can't agree more, Laura. It's impossible to find a sugar free vegan chocolate. So this is such a healthy alternative for my family!! The little chocolates are sooo addicting though. Watch out. :-)

      You have a beautiful Mother's Day my friend.

      Hugs,
      --Amber

      Delete
  9. I love the little chocolate sandwiches! Such a good idea to use cashew butter too! You are such a creative lady!

    Hope you have a lovely Mother's Day!

    Vicky x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you sweet Vicky!!

      That cashew butter was Ricki's super smart idea. She totally inspired me with the chocolates. I thought I would NEVER use all that cocoa butter (that I use for my lotions). Nice to have another use for it. A little goes a long way. :-)

      You also have a great Mother's Day Vicky.

      Hugs to you,
      --Amber

      Delete
  10. You don't need a slice of cake when you have these juicy berries covered with chocolate and that, too homemade.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed! These are super fun. I love that my son can have the white chocolate. I feel so good about giving him a special treat that's sugar free and vegan. He thought they were pretty special!! I have say though, the little chocolates are soooo good! I'm officially addicted. :-)

      Be Well,
      --Amber

      Delete
  11. totally pinned this one! thanks for linking with kids in the kitchen!

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