So red and covered in hearts.
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner – don’t fight it people. Resistance is futile.
This is the story of the successful rehabilitation of a confirmed Valentine’s Day hater.
It begins, innocently enough, with a young lady who isn’t a fan of hearts, doesn’t look good in red, and can’t stand the taste of chocolate.
Seriously? I don’t blame you if you’re clicking away right now.
But wait! There’s a happy ending to this story…
Have you ever read this book? Young Lady did.
Yup. In the throes of a particularly violent episode of Valentine’s Hatery, Young Lady read Like Water For Chocolate.
And something magical happened!
Young Lady fell in love with this sweet, sweet story.
So much so that Young Lady fell in love with love!
Which was a good thing since right around the same time Young Lady met a certain Older Gent.
Older Gent became Young Lady’s Valentine. And 15 years later, Young Lady and Older Gent still celebrate every Valentine’s Day together.
There will be no Valentine’s Hatery in this dojo.
So you can probably understand why Baking Like Water For Chocolate is one of the first things that comes to mind when Young Lady thinks about Valentine’s Day.
Which brings us to these chocolate hearts – we’re making chocolate today just like Tita did!
Keep in mind that this recipe is heavily adapted. We’re not roasting and conching and grinding. We’re keeping it real(istic).
But the idea behind these chocolate hearts is to create our own version of Mexican chocolate. So we’re grinding our own blend of blanched almonds, fresh vanilla beans, ground canela and cacao nibs.
The result is a rich, complex chocolate taste, and a texture similar to that of Mexican chocolate.
I hope you’ll make these Mexican Chocolate Hearts. I hope you’ll pop one in your mouth any time you feel any Valentine’s Hatery coming on. Confirmed antidote.
And now that you’re feeling the love, I hope that you’ll share it with some of my most amazing friends!
Check out these sweet, sweet Valentine’s treats:
1. Confessions of a Cook Book Queen: Valentines Twinkies on a Stick
2. Buns in My Oven: Hot Fudge and Strawberry Donut Pudding
3. Glorious Treats: Red Velvet Cupcakes
4. Cookies and Cups: Glass Topper Valentines Cookies
5. Bakingdom: Valentines Day Cookie Cakes
6. The Hungry Housewife: Valentines Jello Hearts
7. Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle: Valentines Dotty Cookies
8. Sprinkle Bakes: Red Velvet Cake Minis
9. Bake at 350: Double-Decker, Stripey, Valentine Cookies
10. Two Peas and Their Pod: Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
11. Scarletta Bakes: Mexican Chocolate Hearts
12. She Wears Many Hats: Valentines Popcorn
Mexican Chocolate Hearts
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (You can use chips or baker’s chunks, whichever you prefer.)
1/2 tsp. canela, ground (Ground cinnamon may be substituted.)
2 tbsp. almonds, peeled, blanched, slivered
1/3 c. cacao nibs
1 vanilla bean, whole
Please note that you will need a chocolate/candy mold with at least 14- 1 oz. cavities. I opted for Wilton plastic heart molds, but you could really use silicone or plastic molds in any shape and size.
To prepare your chocolate, begin by grinding your almond slivers to a fine meal in a spice/coffee grinder. Don’t worry if your meal is uneven with larger pieces remaining – this will add a nice texture to the finished chocolates.
Slice open your vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Place the cacao nibs, canela, ground almonds and vanilla seeds into the bowl of a large mortar. Use your pestle to grind the ingredients together into a coarse but uniform meal. The most important thing is that the final product is well-blended. Place the meal into a heat-proof container with a pouring spout.
Meanwhile, temper the chocolate in the bowl of a double-boiler. Pour the melted chocolate over the meal and stir until well-blended. Carefully pour the chocolate mixture into the cavities of your mold and smooth the tops of each chocolate. Allow your chocolates to harden before popping them out of the mold. The instructions that accompanied my plastic molds directed me to place them into the freezer for 5 minutes until the bottoms of the cavities appeared frozen, at which point I removed them and popped the chocolates right out – this worked like a charm. Store finished chocolates in an air-tight container for up to a week.
YIELD: 12-14 1-2 ounce chocolates