Valentine’s Day can cause a lot of stress in regard to finding gifts for loved ones, and that stress can rack up quite the bill. Fear no more, friends, for homemade chocolates are a great way to show a loved one that you care — whether that loved one is a partner, a friend, a parent, or just yourself. Homemade gifts show you put effort into your gift rather than buying the first heart-shaped thing off the shelf at Walmart. They also allow you to personalize for taster and dietary restrictions. Simply dipping the fillings means there’s no need to buy an expensive mould to shape the chocolates — plus, they look super cute. The following flavours are tasty and easy to make, but feel free to change them up in whatever way your heart desires.
FILLED CHOCOLATE DROPS
PEANUT BUTTER FILLING
Whip half the icing sugar and the rest of the ingredients in with the peanut butter. Slowly add the remaining icing sugar until the peanut butter becomes dry to the touch, similar in texture to playdough. Depending on the brand of peanut butter you use, you may not need all the icing sugar.
CHERRY FONDANT FILLING
100 g marshmallows
Heat the marshmallows and water in the microwave for 30 seconds or until the marshmallows are melted. Using a rubber spatula, mix in ¾ of the icing sugar. When no more icing sugar can be mixed in, pour the marshmallows onto a flat surface and knead in the rest of the sugar until smooth. Cover the fondant with plastic wrap to avoid drying out. Plan to add one to two cherries, depending on preference, for each individual chocolate.
Shape your fillings into the size you want (typical chocolate sizes range from 10 to 15 grams, or slightly larger than a toonie). Once shaped, place the fillings on parchment paper in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt your chocolate with the oil until it is completely smooth. Use a double boiler if you have one to avoid burning the chocolate; otherwise, microwave on low in 30-second increments. Keep adding oil until the chocolate is thin enough that it runs.
Once the chocolate is melted, hold the filling with a toothpick or fork and completely cover in chocolate, and then gently place back on the parchment paper. Allow the chocolate to completely set before decorating or moving, but do not freeze the chocolate as it may become discoloured.
Optional decoration: Add chocolate swirls on top of the peanut butter chocolates, or drizzle melted white chocolate on the cherry chocolates.
Photography by Lydia Fleming.