Though I’m not the best at remembering to create recipes for every holiday, Valentine’s Day isn’t one that I let slide. Something about the hunger-inducing red theme and celebration of all things chocolate makes it impossible to ignore. And this year, I teamed up with Pascha Organic Chocolate to create these decadent Chocolate Cups filled with an easy but impressive, from-scratch Strawberry Cream.
This recipe was inspired by a trick that I learned from the talented Cat Ruehle. She uses freeze-dried fruit to infuse flavor without moisture – brilliant! A sweet, strawberry-infused cream was definitely the first item up on my Valentine agenda, and what better way to enjoy it than in dark chocolate cups!
I’m not much of a cake girl – in fact I prefer to enjoy sweet dairy-free whips as “undiluted” as possible. I’ve been known to frost graham crackers, but chocolate seems like a tastier medium, don’t you think? I liken these chocolate cups to whipped frosting shots, but with an edible delivery system! And the beauty: you can choose semi-sweet for a milkier, more indulgent treat on up to pure dark for bittersweet contrast. I took the middle ground, and used 85% cacao chips.
Keep in mind, when making a recipe that uses only a handful of ingredients, the quality of those foods is oh-so important. As mentioned in the recipe, make sure to use full fat coconut milk or cream that sets up into a very thick cream. Brands that have too many stabilizers will stay liquid. Purity = creamy goodness.
Also, you really want to use top notch chocolate. Pascha Organic is my current favorite, as not only is it dairy-free and available in whatever cacao percentage suits my mood, it’s also certified fair trade, organic, non-GMO and has an amazing, pure taste.
Special Diet Notes & Options: Strawberries ‘n Cream Chocolate Cups
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian and top food allergy-friendly. Just make sure you choose a pure brand of chocolate like Pascha, which is free of soy lecithin, made in a top allergen-free facility and certified vegan.
For paleo strawberry cream chocolate cups, use coconut sugar in place of the powdered sugar. However, place it in your spice grinder with the strawberries to powder. Also, opt to use 100% unsweetened chocolate chips (you can add a few drops of alcohol-free stevia to the melted chocolate, if desired).
As referenced above, this post is sponsored by Pascha Organic Chocolate, but only because I asked them to. I really do love their chocolate!
- 1 cup Pascha Organic Chocolate Chips (55%, 85% or 100%) or Chopped Chocolate Bars (55%, 70% or 85%)
- 1 teaspoon non-hydrogenated shortening (I used Nutiva)
- 1½ cups chilled coconut cream (see note below)
- 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries
- 6 tablespoons organic powdered sugar, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Generous pinch salt
- Chocolate shavings, optional for garnish (I used a peeler to make shavings of the 85% chocolate bar for contrast)
- Melt the chocolate with the shortening, preferably using this method.
- Brush half of the chocolate on the sides and bottoms of silicone mini-muffin cup or candy molds (these will provide the easiest release, I do not recommend paper liners or metal tins!). Chill while you prepare the strawberry cream.
- Place the strawberries in a spice grinder and whiz until powdered. If there are a few little specks remaining, not a worry.
- Place the chilled coconut cream in a mixing bowl (chilled if possible), along with the powdered strawberries, sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat with a hand mixer until fully incorporated, thick and just a little fluffy. Cover and chill while you finish the chocolate cups.
- Brush the rest of the chocolate on the chocolate cups to make them a little thicker / stronger, and return to the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Scoop the strawberry cream into a piping bag and pipe into the chocolate cups. If desired, garnish with chocolate shavings. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
This recipe looks delicious, but it there any way these could be made without palm oil shortening? I’d prefer not to use something responsible for so much environmental destruction.
Yes, it’s just a small amount for thinning the chocolate. You can use coconut oil instead. But this is the brand I use, which is not contributing to the environmental issues of some of the palm oil industry – http://nutiva.com/company/faq/red-palm-faq/. And this popular brand also discloses their sustainability – http://www.spectrumorganics.com/sustainability/
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I thought my stalking skills were spot on but Alisa- A recipe I haven’t pinned and drooled over yet! Exciting times! 🙂
Glad I can entice you with one of my own recipes, too, Arman!
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I’ve got to get my hands on some of this chocolate! These are lovely, we’re totally on the same page today Alisa – strawberries and chocolate 🙂
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I think I died and went to a heaven! No, really. Not only are these adorable, but I love love love whipping coconut milk. And adding strawberries? Must taste divine!
It does! Thanks Angela – hopefully you get the chance to try the recipe some time!
These really are such an adorable treat!
OHH MAN! I can imagine the delicious crunch with the smooth, creamy strawberry filling when you take a bite – PHENOMENAL!
It’s addictive 🙂 Thanks Gigi!
what a fun valentine day treat – your chocolate cups came out perfectly, and I am definitely going to use your dried fruit tip to flavor whipped cream from now on
These little cups are adorable! I love the trick with the freeze dried fruit! I use them to add flavor to french macaron shells too. I can only imagine how insanely good these are with all these high quality ingredients!
Ooh yes, that makes sense with the macaron shells – the possibilities are endless!
Freeze dried fruit!? That is GENIUS! I’ve been thinking about making a strawberry coconut whipped cream, but every time I’ve tried it just falls flat from the added moisture. I think you just solved my dilemma 🙂
Happy to help 🙂
YUM! I love the idea of the strawberry cream! I can see all sorts of possibilities with freeze dried fruit! Great post!
cool tip with the freeze dried fruits, I would like to try it but I know already that it should be great! Thanks for sharing =)
We’re newly trying to do dairy-free, so I’m pinning this and definitely going to try it. Looks delicious!
That’s great! Let me know if you ever have any questions Julie 🙂
I LOVE the sound of these, and they are a perfect treat for Valentines! I also love the freeze dried fruit trick – I have never thought of that before, and I use freeze dried fruit often for the vibrant flavor.
we are traveling for Valentines weekend, so I may have to make these a few days ahead as an early surprise!
Yes – so logical, but I’d not thought of it before either! Now that freeze-dried fruit is so readily available, you can bet I’ll be doing this more often!
My mouth is watering over here Alisa! These are the cutest.