2 Easy Valentine’s Day Chocolate Treats To Make At Home
You Might Not Want to Share These!
Chocolates are the go-to gift for Valentine's Day in Japan — and homemade are the perfect way to share your love, interest, or gratitude for having someone in your life.
Whether you are trying to make the perfect Valentine’s chocolates for someone special, or just want to try your hand at making your own sweets, these are two simple recipes that are easy, not expensive to make, and of course, super delicious.
Made with melted milk or dark chocolate, these treats are exceptionally simple to make, but done with the right finesse, are just as good as brand name chocolates. Plus, this simple recipe gives you plenty of opportunities to decorate and play with your creations!
To begin with, you will need jelly or chocolate molds, which can easily be found at every 100-yen store this time of the year, or you can even use a simple ice cube tray to make bite-sized chocolates. Make sure these molds are heat and cold safe, or else you may end up damaging the mold and contaminating your chocolates.
For fillings, prepare things like fresh pomegranate seeds, cherries, finely chopped nuts, or even, if you are feeling really ambitious, jam or liqueur can be combined and tailored to suit the recipient. While dried fruits are a good option, they can also really up the sugar content of these chocolates, so if you are trying to make a more healthy option, then fresh is the best choice. If you do want to make a liqueur filling, you’ll need to turn it into a syrup first — tutorials for this are available on Youtube.
What you need:
- 2-5 milk/dark chocolate bars
- 1/2 – 1 cup of filling (if jam, 3-5 tablespoons, if liqueur 5-8 tablespoons)
How to make:
Chop and melt the chocolate in a double boiler (essentially a metal bowl sitting in a pot of boiling water on the stove). Using a spoon, pour a little chocolate into each mold to cover the bottom by a few millimeters. Let this chocolate layer dry a bit, then add your fillings to the shell, and pour the remaining chocolate on top to cover the fillings completely. Once you’re satisfied with the results, carefully put the tray in your fridge or freezer to set them. The amount of time it takes to set them will depend on the fillings you used, but overall 15-30 minutes should suffice.
These chocolates can be stored in the fridge for about a week, but it’s recommendable to eat them before that!
Sea salt and dark chocolate nuts
Almonds, peanuts, and cashews are good options for these treats, which can be made in a very short time and are perfect for Valentine’s, housewarming gifts or other special occasions.
If you aren’t a fan of sea salt, you can use matcha powder and sugar, kinako powder and sugar, or even ground curry spices and sugar to make chocolates with a bit of a kick.
What you need:
- 2 – 4 milk/dark chocolate bars
- 1 – 2 cups of unsalted nuts (roasted is more common, but unroasted if possible)
- sea salt
- any course or raw sugar
How to make:
If you have a cookie sheet on hand, use that, but if not, a large dinner plate or even a wooden cutting board will suffice. Cover this with parchment paper or a baking sheet. Mix the sea salt and sugar together in a small dish (a miso soup bowl or even a measuring cup will do) and set this aside.
Melt the chocolate in the double boiler, then take the melted chocolate bowl off the heat, and pour the nuts into the melted chocolate. Mix them about with a fork until completely coated, and then scoop them out, laying them out one by one on the sheet you prepared earlier.
Sprinkle the sea salt and sugar mix over the nuts while the chocolate is still warm, and then allow the chocolates to dry. If you are feeling impatient, then you can pop them into the fridge until the chocolate sets.
These chocolates will last for up to four weeks if kept in the fridge — but again, you probably won’t be able to resist them that long.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!