Chocolate, Hello Lover!
I am so excited about this recipe I can hardly stand it! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and that means it’s Chocolate Season! I love chocolate! I love looking at it, smelling it, thinking about it, cooking and baking with it…..ah and yes, eating chocolate! On more than one occasion I have convinced myself, quite successfully, that chocolate is a vegetable and yes, I should eat it and eat it often! After the holidays have calmed down, it seems like I go the entire month of January without my friend, Chocolate. Well, I’ve missed you dear friend! Here is a recipe/project that is fun, messy, easy and perfect for Valentines Day….or really any day that you want a special treat! I have filled these adorable chocolate cups with a ricotta cheese mixture which is a great source of protein and calcium! So there, top it with some fruit and we are pretty close to a well rounded meal!
Mini Chocolate Cups
- 4 oz Semi Sweet Chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 tbsp Vegetable Shortening (I know, ick! but it’s just once a year!)
- 9 Mini Paper Baking Cups
Combine the chopped chocolate and shortening and melt. Either in a double boiler on the stove top or in the microwave. When melting chocolate in the microwave, stop every 30 seconds to stir.
Using a small spoon or spatula, coat the inside of the mini baking cups with the melted chocolate.
Place the cups into a mini muffin tin to ensure they keep their shape.
Transfer to the fridge for at least 15 minutes and add a second coat of chocolate and return to the fridge for an additional 30 minutes. You can probably skip this step if you pile on the chocolate thick the first time. But I like to play with chocolate! Once the chocolate is set, gently peel off the paper lining from the cups.
And now the fun begins!
- 1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese (I go for the Part Skim Ricotta)
- 2 tsp. Sugar Substitute (OR 1 tbsp Honey or Maple Syrup)
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract (get the good stuff here!)
Stir together to combine. The options are limitless here….So get creative, you could add in a different flavoring like mint or almond extract. You could sprinkle in some lemon or orange zest. Spruce it up with some cocoa powder, cinnamon or espresso powder.
I filled a pastry bag with the ricotta cream and piped it into the chocolate cups.
At this point you can enjoy these little cuties just as they are….or top them with just about anything you like! Chopped nuts, fresh fruit or mini chocolate chips. Since I had some melted chocolate, I felt the need to take a strawberry for a swim and then sprinkle on some demerara sugar (aka natural brown sugar).
These are a pretty tasty treat on their own!
These would be perfect served along side this Healthy Hot Chocolate!