As far as holidays go, Valentine’s Day can be pretty divisive. On one hand, you have those blissful coupled folks who wait for February 14th with excited anticipation—awaiting a day of cute handmade love notes and intimate dinners at fancy restaurants. On the other, you have those who vehemently, bitterly despise the holiday, begrudging its invention by greeting card companies as cause for singleton-shaming. Then, you have people like myself who fall somewhere in the middle—the oftentimes irritatingly smug ones who make claims like “Valentine’s Day is about all love!” while shoveling heart-shaped candies into their mouths. [Indeed, at least as far as I’m concerned, any opportunity to celebrate (especially when there is copious amounts of candy involved) is good by me—single or not.] Still, despite the vastly differing opinions on Valentine’s Day, I think we can all agree that the holiday gets at least one thing right. Chocolate. Whether February the 14th finds you immersed in starry-eyed romance, wallowing in the abysmal depths of self-pity (we’ve all been there), or just plain old apathetic about the whole thing—chocolate makes literally everything better. Bearing this in mind, we asked the ever-awesome Johnny Battles (yes, that’s his real name) of Charleston’s Sweeteeth Chocolate to contribute a recipe for the big day. And we’ll tell you right now—this scrumptious chocolate tart will help you get over any Valentine’s Day hangups. Dig in! —Max
Click through for the full recipe after the jump…
- 4 cups ground graham crackers
- 1.5lb melted high fat butter
- 1/2 cup 10x sugar, sifted
Put ground grahams in a large mixing bowl and add the melted butter and 10x, folding until combined. You’ll know you’re at the right place when you can make a clump in your fist but it remains a little crumbly. Pour mixture in the center of a spring form pan and evenly spread and build the crust along the bottom and up the side until the entire thickness is uniform. Toss it in the fridge and get at the fillin’s!
- 1lb fresh strawberries washed and quartered
- 1.5 cups sugar
- zest and juice of two lemons
- 14oz dark chocolate in small drops or chopped finely — (you’ll want to get as high a quality as you’d hope to eat. Careful picking chocolate from the store as some brands meant for cooking will have a percentage of wax which makes the mouthfeel rather off putting) I like a nice 65% for the darkness but still the subtle sweetness that’s sometimes avoided with darker versions. On this, the choice is yours.
- 12oz Heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean, seeded
Bring cream and vanilla bean to a boil and turn off the heat. Let it infuse with the vanilla for about 10 minutes or so. After the cream has a heavy vanilla aroma bring it to a second boil and pour through a strainer directly over the chocolate. Swirl the chocolate bowl ever so slightly to make sure the hot cream is in contact with all the solid bits in the bowl. Set aside to let slowly melt for about 3-4 minutes. Take a whisk and slowly emulsify the chocolate and cream by whisking from the inside and moving slowly to the edge. Once you’ve gotten a little chocolate puddin’ (a ganach rather) you can set the bowl aside until cooled.