Happy early Valentine’s Day everyone! This weeks recipe is going to be one that I think you will absolutely love. And might I say that it would go great with a Valentine’s Day breakfast in bed? *Wink wink* What is it? Why, it’s chocolate strawberry jam!
So, short story behind this recipe. Before moving this past year I actually had a pretty large garden. Typically in July I will harvest raspberries that I then used to make jam for the holiday season.
There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to grow your own berries and then turn around and process them as a gift for others. In 2018, I used my raspberry crop to make chocolate raspberry jam. However, this year we left at the end of Jung and the raspberries hadn’t yet ripened.
But… my garden also had a small strawberry patch. Ohio typically is one of those places where you have to do almost nothing to get strawberries to fruit successfully. They literally grow like weeds. But for some reason I had struggled over the past three years. Not sure if they just needed to be established or what. But this past year we had a heavy rainy season in the spring and I was able to collect almost 2 kg of strawberries. Quite a step up from the past two years. So I did as I usually did, washed them, packed them up and froze them with the hopes they would become jam or jelly later in the season.
And I was not disappointed.
While I wasn’t able to get jam made in time to give away as Christmas gifts this year (our house closed the day before Thanksgiving), I was able to make a few gorgeous pints last month. This is actually my first original jam recipe. I used my chocolate raspberry jam recipe with some minor adjustments to make this delicious spread.
I’m telling you this stuff is like eating a chocolate covered strawberry. Only better because you can pair it with a bread of your choice. The one depicted here is a store bought grain-free pumpkin loaf.
Never made jam? Don’t worry it’s easy! You only need a few ingredients to make this jam. Strawberries, of course, followed by sugar, cocoa, a little lemon juice and of course liquid pectin. Pectin is what helps jam to gel. It’s pretty easy to find in any local grocery store usually in your canning or baking section.
Most of your time is spent cooking the sugar and the fruit on the stove until it is boiled down. Typically about 15 to 20 minutes. At that point you add the cooca and the pectin and bring it back to a boil, heating the jam until reaches 220°. Then it’s a matter of just filling your jars, sealing them, and boiling them in a water bath for canning.
You don’t have to can them if you don’t want to. This chocolate strawberry jam will store just beautifully in the fridge, especially if you plan on eating it sooner rather than later. But I recommend taking up the practice so that you can extend the shelf life of your jam. There are plenty of excellent resources on online on how to can, but it ultimately boils down – no pun intended – to boiling the jars covered in a water bath for about 10 minutes and then removing them allowing them to cool and seal tightly.
Let me know in the comments what you think of this recipe.
Chocolate Strawberry Jam
- Water Bath Canner
- Large Stockpot
- 1.4 Kg Strawberries fresh, frozen or homegrown
- 600 g granulated sugar aka 3 cups
- ⅔ c cocoa powder
- 1/4 c lemon juice about the juice of 1 lemon
- 2 packets liquid pectin
- In a bowl, combine the chopped strawberries with 1 cup (200g g) of sugar. Let sit on the counter for about 15-20 minutes then refridgerate for at least 1 hour to overnight. This helps pull out the flavor of the berries.
- When ready to make the jam, pour the contents of the bowl into a large pot along with the additional 2 cups of sugar and lemon juice. Stir well and bring the contents to a boil and allow to boil down for about 15-20 minutes. It should reach a syrup like consistency.
- Mash the fruit with a potato masher. Then, add the cocoa and liquid pectin to the pot and bring back to boil. Using a candy thermometer, bring the mixture to a temp of 220 and hold there for about 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and carefully place in jars, leaving ¼" inch room from the rim. Process the jars in a water bath for about 10 minutes and allow to rest for 24 hours before storing. Jars should last 6 months, but really good luck with that.