Happy Valentine’s Day! Here we go again, celebrating a holiday that beats all records of candy sales nationwide. Regardless of whether you love Valentine’s Day or roll your eyes at how commercial it has become, I hope you have a lovely day today!
I’ve been thinking of posting a dessert recipe on Valentine’s Day, but most of the things I baked recently were inspired by cookbooks or Pinterest, so the recipes weren’t mine. Then it hit me: I could just post the recipe for my supereasy dark chocolate candies with dried plums that I’ve been making for years! All that’s left was to come up with a sexy name for them (it’s Valentine’s Day, after all!), and the star was born.
Meet the three-ingredient Chocolate Decadence Candy – a dark chocolate lover’s ultimate delight! A batch of these beats any store-bought candy like nobody’s business!
Making these is so easy that calling the guidelines a ‘recipe’ feels kind of like a stretch. The only three ingredients involved are dark chocolate (chips or baking bar), dried plums – a.k.a. prunes – and roasted walnuts. The whole process takes about 20 min, followed by 15-20 min of refrigeration. This means that if you make these before dinner and pop them in the fridge, they’ll be ready to go by dessert time!
Prunes have long acquired a reputation of ‘old folks’ food’ because of their high fiber and vitamin content. In order to make them more attractive to younger generation, FDA has recently approved a name change for prunes, allowing the manufacturers to call them ‘dried plums’ on the packaging. In my opinion, words are just words, so we should include this healthful plant food in our diet regardless of our age.
And what better way to do so than to cover them in dark chocolate?!
When I made these for the first time a few years ago, I was amazed by how well the flavor of dark chocolate was complemented by dried plums. If you serve them with a cup of coffee, the dessert experience goes to the next level! Not a coffee drinker? Any tea will work too.
To make sure your Chocolate Decadence candy is completely vegan, make sure that the chocolate chips you use are marked as vegan/’dairy-free’, like these chocolate chips by King David. A lot of brands mention on the package that while there is no dairy among the actual ingredients of their dark chocolate, there might be some traces of milk in their chips because they use the same equipment for making all of their products. If this doesn’t bother you much, go ahead and pick the best kind of dark chocolate chips you can find.
I feel like I have to include some sort of a disclaimer here: although dried plums, walnuts and cacao in chocolate come from plants, these Chocolate Decadence candies are in no way a low-calorie/low-fat/diet food, so don’t be tempted to wolf down the whole tray as I usually am while making these!
These three-ingredient chocolates can make a lovely handmade gift for your Valentine! They are quick and easy to make, and taste amazing when paired with a cup of coffee.
- 12 walnut halves (may substitute pecans)
- 12 medium-sized dried plums (a.k.a. prunes)
- 1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Arrange walnut halves on a cookie tray. Insert the tray into the oven, bake for 10-12 min, checking after 8 min to make sure the nuts don't get burned. Alternatively, you may use raw walnuts if you choose.
- Melt the chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds on high. If they are not completely melted, continue microwaving for 5-10 seconds more. Best results can be achieved if you stop melting the chips while a few of them are still whole, and then slowly stir the chocolate as those chips disintegrate.
- Let the chocolate thicken up to a consistency of a pudding while you're stuffing the dried plums with walnut halves, one walnut piece per plum.
- Line a cookie tray with wax paper. Dip each stuffed plum into the melted chocolate, turning with a fork to cover evenly, then place the plum onto the lined cookie tray. Repeat with the rest of the pieces.
- Put the cookie tray into the refrigerator (not freezer!) for 15-20 min, or until the chocolate solidifies. Serve and enjoy! The leftover candy can be refrigerated for up to a week.
Are you making any special desserts for Valentine’s Day, or do you just give in to the store-bought chocolate treats?
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