DIY : Valentine’s Day Chocolate Bag

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Yes, that’s right… a chocolate bag.

For those of you new to the area, or who have never had the pleasure of dining at McCormick & Schmick’s on the Country Club Plaza, you may have never heard of a chocolate bag. So, let me enlighten you: imagine a paper lunch bag, but made of chocolate instead of paper, filled with (what I guess to be) a white chocolate mousse and topped and surrounded with fresh berries. It is definitely as good as it sounds.

After indulging in one of these chocolate bags for our anniversary a few years ago, my husband (a self-proclaimed chocolatier) decided to experiment and make one of these desserts for me for Mother’s Day. It was every bit as good, if not better, than the one at the restaurant!

Now that Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, and because not all of us mommies can get away for a Valentine’s date with our sweetie to a fancy restaurant for a fancy dessert, I wanted to share this little dessert how-to with you, to make your evening a little more sweet!

What you’ll need:

about 2 cups of your favorite chocolate (1/2 semi-sweet and 1/2 milk chocolate is a fave around here)

assorted fresh berries, cleaned and sliced

1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, divided

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

6 oz white chocolate

2/3 cup sugar, divided

2 egg whites

2 wax paper bags, one inside of the other

To make the chocolate bag:

Melt your semi-sweet and milk chocolate in a double boiler (or in larger pot or bowl sitting over a simmering pot of water). When it is nice and melted, with no more lumps, paint on a thin layer into the inner wax paper bag (the outer one is for support). Coat the bottom and the sides, as high as you want to go on the bag. It is OK if you miss some spots; just make sure you don’t make this first coat too thick, otherwise your wax paper bag will collapse and you will have a mess! Then stick it in the fridge until it’s set up and hard.  Repeat this paint/cool/harden process until you have the desired thickness of chocolate that you want, until you can see that there are no thin spots or holes in the chocolate, especially in the folds of the bag.

Once you repeat the painting/cooling process a few times (3 or 4), the inside of your bag should look kind of like this (it’s OK… it doesn’t have to look pretty!)

Now it’s time to CAREFULLY peel off the wax paper bags.

To make the white chocolate mousse:

Melt white chocolate with 1/4 cup of the heaving whipping cream in a double boiler.  Set aside and let cool (about 10-15 min). Whip heavy cream with vanilla bean seeds and 1/3 cup sugar until soft peaks form. Then, in another bowl, beat egg whites and the remaining 1/3 cup sugar together until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the cooled white chocolate, and then gently fold in the whipped cream until it is all just combined.

Pour mousse into your chocolate bag and stick in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

When ready to serve your chocolate bag, top the mousse with assorted berries, and arrange some around the bag on the plate you have it sitting on. Serve and enjoy!

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