Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Chocolate - Covered Strawberry Jam (Toast Topper #57)

If the attendance at my gym is any indication, it's safe to say that with the end of January came the end of most people's resolution determination. February is definitely the season for chocolate everything - from (relatively healthy) cherries and strawberries to bacon, potato chips and Oreos. If you're a fan of chocolate, Valentine's Day is the perfect excuse to incorporate the confection into every meal of the day - why not have a rich bowl of mole poblano bowl at lunch, cocoa rubbed steak for dinner and a molten chocolate cake for dessert? Chocolate is definitely one of those ingredients that fits neatly into both the sweet and savoury kingdom, and hey, it can be healthy too!

The meal chocolate almost always manages to convert into dessert is breakfast. Given that most of our morning meals in the Western world are already on the sweeter side of things (I'm talking to you, breakfast food aisle), the addition of sweet chocolate often just ratchets up the saccharine notes. Think about it - chocolate chip pancakes and waffles, Nutella crepes and muffins are essentially staples on every diner menu, and even Cheerios and oatmeal are being given the cocoa (and sugar) kiss. While nobody is claiming they're the best way to start the day, they are arguably some of the most decadent ways! Now, I love my chocolate and sugar as much as the next girl, but I'd rather not blow up to 1200 calories in a single meal. Instead, I hearkened back to the original chocolate delight - the enrobed strawberry - and created this simple confiture to spread on seedy whole grain bread! The secret to making this jam taste downright sinful next to it's peers on the shelf is the best quality chocolate you can find - I went for Callebaut's bittersweet couverture chocolate callets - and adding a scoop of cacao nibs to cut the sweetness inherent in a pectin-free spread. Thick, but not "jellied", it nicely falls into the crevices of an artisan loaf or English muffin, but I wouldn't hesitate to smear it on whatever I had handy!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Jam


Chocolate - Covered Strawberry Jam
Adapted from Chez Mummy 
Makes ~18 fl. oz, 36 (1 tbsp) servings
2 cups chopped strawberries
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 oz chopped bittersweet couverture chocolate
3 tbsp cacao nibs (optional)
  1. Place strawberries into a saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice and gently heat, while stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Increase heat and bring to a low boil, stirring often, until the temperature reaches 220°F on a candy thermometer.
  3. Remove from the heat and cool 3 minutes.
  4. Stir the chopped chocolate and cacao nibs into the strawberry mixture. The chocolate should melt into the mixture.
  5. Can 15 minutes in a waterbath.
 Amount Per Serving
Calories: 48.9
Total Fat: 1.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1.6 mg
Total Carbs: 10.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.3 g
Protein: 0.3 g

Have more (or less) of an ingredient? Try my (more or less) fail-safe formula for this jam - it scales by weight, not volume, so is more accurate when going up or down:

1 part strawberries
.75 parts granulated sugar
.03 parts lemon juice
.17 parts chopped bittersweet chocolate
.09 parts cacao nibs (optional)

Follow the same procedure described above and enjoy!