Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

EATING well

Fill these baskets and enjoy rich dark chocolate

Dark chocolate shells can be customized to your tastes. You can fill them with your favorite fruit or use them as a base for a more decadent dessert.

Associated Press

Dark chocolate shells can be customized to your tastes. You can fill them with your favorite fruit or use them as a base for a more decadent dessert.

If you were to join my family for dinner on a regular weeknight, you'd see our typical dessert routine in action.

It works like this: My husband grabs my favorite tiny bamboo cutting board and a paring knife while I grab a variety of fruit. Then we sit with our four daughters, chatting about our days — sometimes enjoying an impromptu dance show from one or more of the girls — as we pass wedges of pears or whatever around the table. It's sacred family time.

But … sometimes a girl needs a serious dessert. And by serious, I mean chocolate.

Yes, I'll sometimes satisfy this need by nibbling on a square of dark chocolate with my decaf espresso. That's fine. But for truly special occasions I whip up little edible chocolate bowls. They take just minutes to make using chocolate chips, and you can fill them with berries, your favorite fruit or anything else you want. These little bowls are fun enough to make for kids' sleepovers, yet elegant enough to serve at a dinner party.

I love buying the darkest chocolate chips I can find (usually 60 percent) because I love the almost-bitter flavor of darker chocolate. Plus, it is healthier.

Once you master the (simple) technique of making these chocolate baskets, you can easily customize them, adding cinnamon, cayenne, rosemary, chunky sea salt, flecks of orange zest, whatever your imagination desires. I usually fill my bowls with berries or in-season fruit (try lightly sauteed pears), but feel free to treat them like super-tasty tart crusts and build even more decadent desserts in them.

Food Network star Melissa d'Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget and the author of "Supermarket Healthy."

DARK CHOCOLATE BERRY BASKETS

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 teaspoon coconut oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted almonds

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (white, if you have it)

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

Ground black pepper

2 cups halved or quartered fresh strawberries (or other berries or orange segments, membranes and seeds removed)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

In a large glass or other microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Microwave on 50 percent power, stopping to stir every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth, about 3 minutes.

Spread a few spoons of the melted chocolate into a silicone cupcake liner, using the back of the spoon to spread the chocolate up the side of the liner so it is evenly and thickly coated. Sprinkle the wet chocolate with a teaspoon of almonds and a tiny pinch of kosher salt. Repeat with 7 more liners. Chill the chocolate until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together the vinegar, brown sugar and a pinch of pepper. Add the strawberries and toss to coat. Let sit to allow flavors to meld for at least 15 minutes, or up to a few hours. Immediately before serving, stir the mint into the strawberries, remove the chocolate baskets from the molds and spoon in the berries.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 170 calories (90 calories from fat, 53 percent of total calories), 10g fat (7g saturated, 0g trans fats), 0mg cholesterol, 40mg sodium, 23g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 20g sugar, 3g protein.

Fill these baskets and enjoy rich dark chocolate 12/24/15 [Last modified: Thursday, December 24, 2015 10:54am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. UF denies white supremacist Richard Spencer's request to speak on campus

    College

    Citing serious safety concerns, the University of Florida has denied Richard Spencer's application to speak on campus next month.

  2. MoviePass now offers unlimited movie watching in theaters for $10 a month, here's what you need to know

    Blogs

    There's now a service that says it will let you watch as many movies as you want for one monthly price: MoviePass. 

    MoviePass will let customers see up to one movie, every day, for $10 a month.
  3. Former Florida prison guards in KKK convicted of plotting to kill a black inmate

    Criminal

    Two former prison guards in Florida who were members of the Ku Klux Klan have been convicted of plotting to kill a black inmate in retaliation for a scuffle with another guard who also belonged to the hate group.

    A jury in Columbia County found David Elliot Moran, left, and Charles Thomas Newcomb guilty of conspiracy to commit first degree murder after they were caught discussing their plans to kill a black inmate in retaliation for a scuffle with another guard who, like them, belonged to the Ku Klux Klan. [Alachua County Jail via AP (2015)]
  4. Jameis Winston's subtle but strong moment of leadership displayed on 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    Quarterback Jameis Winston went to each teammate in the locker room prior to the Bucs' preseason opener Friday at Cincinnati with one message: 'I got your back.'

    Then he proved it.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston throws during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Friday in Cincinnati. [AP photo]
  5. Daniel Ruth: Duck & Cover? Fix a drink, instead, if a nuclear bomb ever threatens

    Columns

    I am a child of the "Duck & Cover" generation.

    Threats of thermonuclear attack bring to mind the safety advice that school children received during the Cold War, driven in part by an arms race that included the first test of a hydrogen bomb. "Ivy Mike," pictured here, was  set off in 1952 on the Enewetak atoll in the Pacific Ocean. [Los Alamos National Laboratory via The New York Times]