Galina combines chocolate and orange with powerful chemistry, and creates a healthy and delicious dessert for Valentine’s Day.
Like lovers, the flavors kiss, and magic is made.
Who doesn’t love chocolate dipped strawberries? I surely do. But February in the Northern hemisphere doesn’t have amazing strawberries, other than maybe for decorative purposes. You might still taste the chocolate, but the fruit itself is lost. Tasteless and disappointing.
With a good chocolate dipped strawberry, the chocolate is the garnish, not the dessert itself. When you have a berry that’s lacking, you’re forced to lean on the chocolate, and pretty soon you have either a sub par dessert or a chocolate treat that didn’t need the berries to begin with.
When we’re looking for a healthy and delicious dessert for Valentine’s Day, we want the whole package. We want balance of flavor, texture, and presentation. We also want something light, because Valentine’s Day is not the day to feel heavy, stuffed, groggy, or sleepy. Romance is in the air, so when I pondered the best dessert for a healthy and delicious dessert for February 14th, I still went straight to fruit, but I knew that strawberries just wouldn’t cut it.
Enter the orange
You may have had dark chocolate flavored with orange zest before – a combination that works with the powerful kitchen chemistry usually only seen on a Discovery channel show about food. The elements of each somehow kiss and make magic, and before you know it it’s more than just chocolate and it’s more than just oranges, These two co-ingredients have mixed into a third substance, one that much more delectable, sensual, and even sensuous.
I won’t go into detail here, but as i write this, it’s the day before Valentines, and I am at home, sick.
I never get sick – I think mostly for fear of missing out (is that FOMO?) on my weekends with Roland. For months, sick students have been going in and out my door and I have not gone sick, not even an inkling of it. Yet, when Roland went to New York last week, my body finally sensed I can lay low, so I got it.
On my last day home, today, I felt some energy to get off the floor and do something other than boil water for tea. So I thought I would make some dessert for tomorrow, something that takes minimal effort yet maximizes the gorgeous seasonal fruit we have this time of the year, and celebrates the amazing chocolate and orange marriage so well.
Sweet and juicy Cara-Cara and Navel oranges
Cara-Cara oranges are the more orange ones, very juicy, fleshy and sweet, a variety only available for a few months every year in winter and definitely my personal favorite. Then comes navel oranges, which are more like a true orange and have that delicate bitter aftertaste that plays on the dark chocolate.
A healthy and delicious dessert for Valentine’s Day
As i hope you can see from my photos, the “recipe” is quite simple.
Chocolate dipped cara cara oranges
2-3 large oranges – wedges or slices
3 oz dark chocolate (melted in a double boiler)
edible flowers, dried fruit, coconut flakes, decorative salt, spices, anything colorful and smaller to stick to the chocolate as a texture element
Start by separating the wedges. The Cara-Caras are softer and you may have some break (more in the mouth while cooking!). Be gentle as you separate. I know you’ve cut oranges before, but the more even the better.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. I used a fair-trade dark chocolate, but any plain, unflavored chocolate would work.
If your double boiler is large or deep, you might want to transfer the chocolate to a smaller, warmed container so it’s easier to evenly dip the pieces.
Lay the pieces out on a plate or cookie sheet topped with a waxed paper or baking paper sheet, then sprinkle anything on top that you would like to stick; then move the sheets to the fridge to cool. Once cooled you can gently separate them from the paper and pick them up and arrange any way you want.
Or like this?
There’s no such thing as leftover chocolate!
So what’s with the cashews?
There was “leftover” chocolate, so I dug through the pantry to see what looked dippable, and cashews fit the bill! I grabbed a handful, dipped, and sprinkled some sea salt to boost the fun.
Leftover chocolate is your chance to play around. Experiment. Leftover chocolate is fun and forgiving. Leftover chocolate is the best!
I hope you try this fruit and chocolate (and cashew) combination – I’m excited to hear how it inspired you to make your own healthy and delicious dessert for Valentine’s Day.
We invite you to slow down, savor and enjoy every bite. Food is to be loved and what better reminder of the power of love than celebration? What better way to bring the sweet taste than to use Real Food to nourish your senses and your body.
Want more healthy and delicious dessert for Valentine’s Day? Check these out!
What Roland made for Valentine’s Day + cheesecake in a jar
What Galina made for Valentine’s Day + chili chocolate truffles
The best ice-cream ever + there’s always room for ice cream!