Homemade Valentine’s Day Gift

I stated before, I’m not a valentine’s day person. I prefer to celebrate my other half everyday with small or big stuff. I mean why wait? If you don’t, someone else will do it for you, but that’s not the point of this post. This is for you couples out there who do celebrate the holiday.

One of the reasons I’m able to mess around in my kitchen is from the job experience I have. I’ve worked in the food/restaurant industry since I was 16. Team member, management, you name it I’ve done it. My last job was at edible arrangements. I loved the work people do there, but the prices are ridiculous! For how it’s put together, people pay way too much for fruit on skewer. You know me, if I can do it myself, I’m going to.

Which brings us to this post…….

I’m going to show you how easy it is to make chocolate fruit bouquet for that special person, or for yourself if that’s what your plans are. Now, funny thing is this can be used for kids valentine’s day parties too. Make sure to ask if anyone is allergic before you send them to school.

Remember how I said how expensive the bouquets were? Well I priced the items myself, and if you want to pay 300 for this, go ahead. I spent 30 dollars total for creating this. Sometimes it’s better to do it yourself opposed to buying things. It’s just the time. That’s the thing, and hiding it. This is where friends and family get involved.

First, and the most important part. Find a place where you can do this project without getting caught, if it’s a gift. If for the kids, find a place where you have space. It takes a lot of room to create a piece like this also concentration. So keep that in mind. If its for a spouse, you have to be able to trust this person to secrecy and storage.

Next you’ll need supplies. Here’s the list.

Dippable fruit: Strawberries, Pineapple, Grapes, Bananas

Other fruit fillers: Other berries, Cantalope, Honeydew, or any fruit you can put on skewer.

Candy Melts. These are like chocolate chips but used specifically for dipping. They come in tons of colors, and can be found at your craft store(Joann’s, Michaels, etc) or craft section in your superstore.

Chocolate chips(white or regular), to add to the candy melts. It’s more for flavor.

Skewers. These can be bought anywhere. I have wooden ones, which there’s a reason for that I’ll get into later

Vase

Colored Tissue or Foam. This helps hold the skewers in place as your creating the bouquet. Depending on your design, you may not need it, but if your going for the bouquet of flowers look, it’s needed.

Cooking utensils.

Multiple Bowls

Like I said, you’ll need plenty of space to create this, so make sure you have that more than anything else before you start.

Make sure your fruit is chilled, not frozen or luke warm temps. The melts/chips take better to cold fruit. Best way to tackle this is assembly line.

First….

We are going to cut up the fruit, and make our strawberries into roses! Yes, it’s doable, and with concentration and a steady hand, it can be done.

Make sure the strawberry is clean and dry. Also, again they should be cool. Not frozen, or room temperature. Cool strawberries are easier to manipulate. Starting at the bottom, take a pairing knife, and make a cut in the strawberry on the side. Just enough to peel back the flap. You continue to do this around the strawberry. Going up the strawberry until it appears that you have a blooming rose. Try not to pull the flap out too much, or you’ll damage the strawberry. You can pull the flaps out more for the full blossomed look, but these can’t be dipped.

You may want to decide how and what look your going for, but in any event, this process should be done last since you have open fruit, and it only last for for maybe a couple days tops.

Now the fun part: Dipping!

Again, you want cool fruit, not damp, frozen or room temperature.

First we make the candy melts according to directions. One minute in the microwave. Check and stir. If it’s not smooth liquid, continue in 30 second incriments until it’s smooth. I added chocolate chips to my regular chocolate, and white chocolate chips to my white batch so it tastes like chocolate. If you want to create other flavors, you can find more wilton products at Michael’s or stores like that. They have a four pack that has cinnamon, creme de menthe, cherry, and peppermint. It’s kind of like your back in chemistry class making this stuff!

I’m going to explain by fruit each process. It’s generally the same, except for the prep process is slightly different.

Strawberries: Skewer the berry. Make sure it’s secure enough on the skewer before dipping. You want to tip the bowl while dipping, enough so you can see if you get the leaves. NO DIPPING THE LEAVES. These should be left out for the ‘illusion’ of the rose. Tap the skewer to remove the excess chocolate from the berry. The weight of the chocolate will break the berry if not. Carefully place the skewer into the vase, and repeat.

Bananas: Cut your banana in to chunks. Get a paper towel, and wipe the exposed ends of the banana. The moisture will not let the chocolate bond with the fruit if you skip this step. Skewer and dip in chocolate, and repeat the dipping steps.

Pineapples: Remember, the juice from fresh pineapples will burn your eyes, so be careful. Cut into cubes, and get paper towels. You need to press each side to remove the juices from the pineapple to get the chocolate to bond. Repeat the steps for the bananas.

Grapes: Skewer grapes and dip. pretty simple.

Oranges: Peel the orange and separate. Skewer at the bottom of the orange carefully, so you have the look of a ‘crescent moon’. Dip in chocolate like strawberries.

I dip little by little. It helps to let me see how I want to arrange the bouquet. Once your done just play around with it. There’s no perfect science to it, that’s why it’s awesome. It’s original and from the heart. it’s a process, but who ever you decide to give this to, will definitely love you long time!

Check out the videos on the you tube channel for a step by step process!

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Enjoy!

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~CSM~

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