4. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate produces aphrodisiac and mood-enhancing effects. Dark chocolate (72% cacao and above) in particular contains a compound that releases the same endorphins triggered by sex, and increases feelings of attraction between two people, according to research publishing in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Yum. Try this:
DARK CHOCOLATE-DIPPED STRAWBERRIES
1 lb large ripe strawberries
3-3.5 oz bar 72% dark chocolate
1- 3.5 oz bar white chocolate (optional)
½ cup chopped raw pistachios or almonds (optional)
1) Create a double boiler: Fill a small saucepan ½ or ¾ of the way with water and place a metal or glass mixing bowl on top. Heat over medium-high heat.
2) Add dark chocolate pieces to the mixing bowl and slowly melt over medium-low heat. Be sure not to get any water into this pan, must stay completely dry.
3) Using a spatula, gently stir chocolate until fully melted.
4) Holding the top of each strawberry, dip the strawberries ¾ of the way into the chocolate. Place onto wax or parchment paper.
*If using nuts, roll the chocolate dipped strawberries into a plate of crushed nuts. Place onto wax or parchment paper.
* If using white chocolate, melt the white chocolate into a clean double boiler, following the same directions as above. When melted and slightly cooled to the touch, using a small spatula, add the white chocolate into a Ziploc bag (remove all air and seal the bag) or use a parchment cornet. Using clean scissors, clip a very small hole onto the corner of the bag. Twist the bag at the top and going back and forth horizontally across the strawberry to make stripes.
5) Allow the chocolate to cool to room temperature for approximately 2-3 hours, or place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Makes: 2½ dozen strawberries