February is here and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Whether you’re in a relationship or you’re single, Valentine’s Day gift giving can be a daunting task. Not everyone appreciates flowers and your significant other, friends or family members might appreciate something sweeter than those allergy-inducing bouquets. Store-bought chocolates are nice, but I realized after a couple of Valentine’s Day through the years, the ones that have the nicest packaging have the worst taste. Who dares to mess with chocolate?!
Kidding aside, these chocolate bars taste like bars of sugar with brown food coloring and it doesn’t seem to be made with love at all–the irony. So, if you decide to partake in this romantic holiday, I’ve put together a couple of recipes that you can make for your loved ones. Most of these are vegan and are guaranteed to taste good (Unless you mess it up!).
Vegan and Gluten-Free Chocolate Truffles
- 1 1/4 cup of dark vegan chocolate chips
- 1 1/4 cup of full fat coconut milk, fat separated.
- 1/4 cup of cacao powder, matcha powder, finely ground goji berries, finely ground pistachios or hazelnuts for coating.
- Optional: 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
- In a double boiler, place chocolate chips and melt.
- Once chips are melted add coconut milk to double boiler and whisk. Continue whisking until completely incorporated, creamy and smooth.
- Add vanilla, if using (optional) and mix well.
- Remove chocolate mixture from the boiler and place in the fridge to set uncovered for 2-3 hours.
- Using a knife, test to see if chocolate has set, it should be almost solid.
- Once firm, prepare a small dish of preferred coating for rolling. Use a tablespoon, scoop out small balls from the now firm chocolate.
- Use your hands to roll the chocolate into balls, working quickly.
- Roll in the coating of choice and set on a parchment paper-lined dish.
- Place back into the fridge or freezer for another 1-2 hours minimum to set.
- Remove from fridge or freezer & enjoy.
Vegan Chocolate Glazed Donuts
- 1 15 oz can kidney beans
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 3.5 oz package vegan dark chocolate
- 4 tablespoons hazelnut brittle You can also sub it with chopped hazelnuts, or use sugar sprinkles or coconut flakes instead.
- Rinse and drain the kidney beans. Place them into a blender together with the brown sugar, almond milk, and cacao and blend until the mixture is smooth.
- Then transfer it to a medium bowl and stir in the whole-wheat flour, the baking powder, and vanilla. Spray the donut pan with cooking spray or grease it with vegan butter such as Earth Balance.
- Either use a spoon to fill each donut or fill the batter into a Ziploc bag and cut off one edge.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F and bake the vegan chocolate hazelnut donuts for 9-11 minutes. Allow to cool down in the pan for a couple of minutes, then move them to a cooling rack.
- In the meantime, make the chocolate glaze. Melt a 3.5-ounce package vegan dark chocolate either by using a microwave or place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place it over a pan of barely simmering water. Once melted, cover the donuts with the chocolate and sprinkle with hazelnut brittle.
Vegan Pots de Creme
Pots de Creme
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked 4-6 hours
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Cashew milk
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate melted
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- pinch of salt
Coconut Whipped Cream
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk separated
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Drain and rinse the cashews. Place in a food processor or high-speed blender along with the remaining ingredients. Blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
- Pour into 4 small ramekins and refrigerate for 2 hours, until chilled all the way through.
- To make the coconut whipped cream, scrape the white solids from the top of the can. Place in a bowl with powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Using a handheld mixer whisk the mixture together until it resembles whipped cream.
- Top each pot de creme with a dollop of whipped cream just before serving.
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ⅓ cup cane sugar (blended into a fine sugar)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup coconut milk (full fat and cold)
Whipped Coconut Cream
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp cane sugar (blended into a fine sugar)
- Coconut cream (cold, from one can of coconut cream or coconut milk – see note)
- 1 pound strawberries
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 450F/230C.
- Strawberries: Cut strawberries into quarters. Mix in a medium-size bowl with sugar and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- Shortcake: Mix together flour, baking powder, sea salt and cane sugar in a medium-size bowl. Mix together coconut milk and lemon juice in a small-size bowl. If your coconut milk has lumps in it, blend it to make it creamy smooth. Your coconut milk should be cold for the fluffiest biscuits possible!
- Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and slowly pour the milk into the well. Mix with a spatula until just combined. The dough will be a bit sticky but still pliable. Do not overmix the dough or else the biscuits will be tough.
- Flour your hands and dust the countertop with flour. Pat the dough out until it is about ¾ inch thick and cut out 8 biscuits (using a lightly floured cookie cutter or the rim of a glass). Pat out any corners or unused dough and cut until you have used up all your dough.
- Transfer the biscuits to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before transferring to a plate.
- Whipped Coconut Cream: Scoop the thick layer of coconut cream out of the can. Place in a mixing bowl with sugar and vanilla. Whisk with an electric mixer for a couple minutes until soft peaks form (see photo).
- Assemble shortcake: Layer one large scoop of strawberries and coconut cream on top of the biscuit. Place a second biscuit on top. Garnish with additional coconut cream and strawberries.
What’s amazing about these Valentine’s Day gift ideas is that you can go creative with the packaging. Just add red or pink bows or put it in nice looking jars and you already have a very thoughtful gift that you can give to your loved ones for Valentine’s Day. Not only that, but I definitely think that these gifts are made with love!