Dr. Nicole Basaraba

Assistant Professor in Digital Humanities, TCD

Nicole Basaraba


Make it chocolate covered for Valentine’s Day

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Since I won’t be in Belgium this Valentine’s Day, and I won’t be able to get the usual Cote D’Or or Neuhaus I so enjoy, I started thinking about the chocolate options in Alberta, Canada. (Read more about my take on Belgian chocolate here).

I miss you Neuhaus!
Image via www.worldclass.ro

Cadbury and Ritter Sport rank rather high on my chocolate scale in terms of taste, but in Canada, its more about chocolate bar brands such as Snickers, Mars, KitKat, etc. Most chocolate bars that are widely available have certain fillings. The chocolate acts more like a coating rather than the base. You can go to the “special” section of the grocery stores or specialty shops and find some higher-end chocolate, which usually costs about the same as a grande latte from Starbucks ($5-6 CAD). In Belgium, you can get fancy chocolate for 2.50 Euro a bar.

So since chocolate tends to be more of a coating in Canada, I’ve determined that I much prefer chocolate coated items than the popular brands of chocolate bars.

Here is a list of my top five favourite chocolate-covered treats:

1. Chocolate covered pretzels

There is just something about the marriage of salty and sweet and crunchy and smooth that makes me melt over chocolate covered pretzels.

In Alberta, these seem to be “specialty” items because you can pay between $6-8 CAD for a tiny bag. But instead you could buy a bag of pretzels and a few bars of regular chocolate for $5 and make at least three times the quantity at home.

Chocolate covered pretzels are now at the top of my list mainly because of the salty-sweet mixture…and maybe because you can eat a lot more of them in one sitting than other chocolate covered treats.

2. Chocolate covered almonds

Chocolate covered almonds used to be my all-time favourite way to eat chocolate. I eat almonds like a kid eats candy and I love the mix of nuts and chocolate and the contrast of the smooth chocolate coating and the hard interior. But I’ve come to realize that you can only eat so many before your stomach starts to protest.

I haven’t found salted almonds covered in chocolate yet, so maybe if someone creates this, or can tell me where to find some, these might sneak back to the top of my list.

3. Chocolate covered cherries

Fun Fact: Maraschino liquor exists.
Image via wikipedia.org

It was a toss-up between cherries and strawberries, but chocolate covered cherries are often of the maraschino variety, covered in a delightful sticky syrup. It’s not often that one gets to eat maraschino cherries without someone else thinking it’s completely unappetizing or juvenile to order extra cherries with your adult blended beverages.

Chocolate covered cherries are only done right in dark chocolate. I can eat more chocolate covered cherries than almonds, but the sugar rush tends to put a cap on the intake.

4. Chocolate covered strawberries

Chocolate covered strawberries are probably a go-to for Valentine’s Day. Strawberries never tasted better without chocolate. They tend to also look pretty when arranged on a fancy plate and there is something that oozes romance around chocolate covered strawberries.

Maybe because couples can feed them each other. I don’t think pitching almonds into the other’s mouth like a basketball game is very romantic. Nor is holding a pretzel up to a woman’s mouth because she would probably have to debate as to whether she should bite into it like a lady or put the whole thing in so that the rest doesn’t crumble to peices.

The only disadvantages of chocolate covered strawberries is dealing with the green leafy parts because this sloppy leftover portion is also not very attractive and they tend to be very filling so it limited the number you can enjoy in one sitting.

Image via www.luvimages.com

5. Chocolate covered cream puffs

The last of my top five was very hard to choose. But when thinking back to the delicious desserts I’ve tried that have been chocolate covered, I will never forget the cream puffs I had in a restaurant in Bordeaux, France. I might even go as far to say that eating said chocolate covered cream puffs also topped with whipped cream was one of the best things about visiting Bordeaux.

The cream puffs, being made in France, were filled with all full fat ingredients, drizzled with hot fudge and included a dollop of real whipped cream for good measure.

This is a sit-down dessert that you will require a fork for so its slightly less easy to eat, but no less delicious.

Honourable mentions:

Chocolate covered nougat, biscotti, ice cream and donuts. And the only reason cheesecake and brownies were ruled out is because they can also be chocolate-based.

What are your favorite chocolate covered treats? What is your favourite chocolate to eat on Valentine’s Day?

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4 thoughts on “Make it chocolate covered for Valentine’s Day

  1. Chocolate-covered strawberries get my vote. Yum! Although my favorite chocolate thing might actually be turtles–dark chocolate covering caramel and pecans. Best when purchased at Godiva Chocolatier.

    Oh no, you’ve given me a craving!

    1. Yeah chocolate covered strawberries are delicious! Mmm turtles are great. I wonder how why are so highly associated with Christmas time though…They are definitely an all year round treat.

  2. Ohhhh, Nicole, you are speakin’ my language here, LOL!
    I love, love, love ALL of the above. I can never decide which I like best — the crunch of the salty pretzel underneath the chocolate or the tangy sweetness of a strawberry or cherry chocolate-dipped treat… I don’t think I’ve had the cream puffs you mentioned, however (must fix that!!), but one of my top 5 favorites would be chocolate-covered caramels sprinkled with sea salt :).
    Hope you have a *delicious* Valentine’s Day!!

    1. Wow chocolate covered caramels with sea salt sounds superb! I need to find some of those and yes chocolate covered profiteroles are something that must be tasted and it’s even better if you can have them in France. 🙂

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