The strawberry has got to be the unofficial food mascot of Valentine’s Day. Let’s face it, the fruit grows pretty much in a love heart shape, is red, and fills you with sweet deliciousness when eaten.
After a couple of epic fails at creating valentines themed desserts – firstly a red velvet pretzel that tasted like… well, let’s just say I’ve got nothing nice to say about them, and red fortune cookies with love notes that I decided were great but quite complicated to make given how quickly you have to work when the cookie starts to cool (when I figure out a less stressful method, I’ll be making them again) – I remembered that Martyna from Wholesome Cook shared a great recipe for homemade Cherry Ripe bites a couple of years ago and I thought it would be great to make chocolate bars for Valentine’s Day using a similar filling but with Strawberries instead of Cherries.
In Australia, the Cherry Ripe is our oldest chocolate bar still in manufacture, and is much loved. It is dark chocolate coated and filled with cherries and coconut. The only thing I can see is similar in the states is the mounds bar with a plain coconut filling (which we also have in Australia, but it is called a Bounty here). So from my estimation, this strawberry coconut and dark chocolate bar is a welcome change.
There are only 5 ingredients needed for this chocolate bar including strawberries, coconut, goji berries, coconut oil and dark chocolate. It does mean it has to stay in the fridge until consumed thanks to the healthy filling, but that means you don’t have to worry about tempering chocolate as it won’t bloom when kept in the fridge – and tempering chocolate just isn’t on my to do list right now!
You will need some sort of mold to make these chocolate bars, and while I used special silicone chocolate bar molds, you can just as easily use other plastic containers for molds (see recipe for link). Also, they are pretty easy to make meaning you can pop them in the fridge to set, and have them in the hands of your love without too much stress.
Strawberry Ripe Bars (Strawberry Mounds Bars)
- 300g fresh strawberries
- 2 tablespoons goji berries
- 1 1/3 cups desiccated coconut
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 200g dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 180° Celcius (356° Fahrenheit).
Hull all of the strawberries, cut them lengthways and place them on a lined baking tray, cut side up. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Place roasted strawberries in a bowl with the goji berries and blend with an immersion hand blender until smooth. Add desiccated coconut and melted coconut oil and stir till well combined. Set aside in the fridge.
Place chocolate in a metal bowl and put it over a medium pot of just simmering water. Stir till melted then pour a little into the bottom of 8 silicon or plastic chocolate bar molds and pour off the excess to create a chocolate layer in the base of the molds.* Place in the fridge till set, then fill each mold with the strawberry filling (till just below the mold top) and then cover with remaining chocolate to form the bar's base and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
Pop the chocolates out of the mold and keep in the fridge till ready to eat.
*I am keeping these chocolate bars refrigerated due to the preservative free filling so there is no need to temper the chocolate as the chocolate won't bloom if kept in the fridge (and let's face it, tempering is a challenge for the best of us) . I used silicon molds for my bars also, but for great tips on containers for chocolate bars, and how to temper chocolate if desired, head over to David Lebovitz as he has done all the work explaining it here