Mexican Chocolate Stuffed Strawberries (Low Carb and Gluten Free)


It’s time for the October edition of the Secret Recipe Club, and I am really excited about this one. To be fair, I’ve been excited about all of them, since I love finding and exploring new food blogs. This time, I was assigned to a blog called Food For Thought, written by Dana. I did my usual tour of the blog, looking through the archives and searching for recipes that suited my taste and style. I spotted the recipe I wanted to make almost immediately, but there was so much to see on Dana’s blog, I didn’t want to miss anything. Dana has been writing Food For Thought since May 2010 and she has a wonderful collection of recipes, so I encourage you to head on over and check it out.

But yes, I was immediately taken by her Mexican Hot Chocolate Covered Strawberries and knew almost immediately that it is what I would make for the October Secret Recipe Club. Dana developed this recipe as an entry into a chile recipe contest, and I have to say, I find the idea so smart. It’s simple and straightforward, and yet has an interesting twist from regular chocolate covered strawberries. I also happen to adore chocolate with cinnamon and chipotle in it, so that was a huge selling point. And I knew I could easily make the recipe suitable for someone on a low carb diet.

At first, I intended to make them as she did, just covering the strawberries in the spiced chocolate. But then I started to conceive of them as part of a larger dessert. My 10th anniversary was coming up and my mind was running to some fairly elaborate creations. I’d also been obsessing about the pastry cream from my Boston Cream Pie, and wondering about incorporating a chocolate pastry cream into something. When the day of my anniversary dawned, however, I found myself with a number of other tasks on hand and little time to prepare an elaborate dessert. So I simplified. I’d seen a number of posts from other bloggers on stuffed strawberries and I thought that would be a great way to incorporate pastry cream into my post for the Secret Recipe Club. Why not stuff the strawberries with chocolate pastry cream AND cover them with chocolate, and have everything flavoured with a touch of cinnamon and chipotle?

I will say, it took a few tries to figure out how best to do this. I wanted to keep the hulls intact on the berries, for both looks and as a way to hold onto the berry. So my first attempt included trying to cut out a bit of the bottom of each strawberry and stuff them that way. But that only allowed for the teensiest but of pastry cream to get inside the berry. In the end, I cut off the hulls and cored the center out of each strawberry. Since most big strawberries have a somewhat hollow center, this allowed me to get a nice amount of pastry cream into each. It definitely made it trickier to then cover each berry in chocolate, but with a fork and some toothpicks, I think I managed in the end. It also makes them a little messier for eating, as you don’t have the hull to hold onto and you do get chocolate on your fingers. But I suppose there are worse things in life!

The Results: These were so, SO good, and a lovely little treat with which to celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary. They had a nice kick of heat that was complemented by the cool sweetness of the strawberries themselves. The chocolate pastry cream was incredible, I could have eaten the whole bowl by itself, quite frankly. It was fairly spicy on its own and at first I thought maybe I’d put too much chipotle in (1/2 teaspoon), but once it was a part of the final product, I think it was the right amount. I really loved these and I have to thank Dana and her Food For Thought blog for such a great idea.

One thing to note is that the recipe here includes about twice as much pastry cream as you really need for the strawberries. You could cut down on the pastry cream, if you really want to. But it’s incredible, so rich and chocolatey and spicy, so personally, I recommend making the whole amount and eating it on its own like pudding. That’s what I did! Or if you are having a party, increase the number of berries and chocolate dip, and make a whole lot for everyone to enjoy.

Mexican Chocolate Strawberries

Chocolate Pastry Cream:
1 cup whipping cream
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp granulated erythritol
2 tsp cornstarch
pinch salt
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 tsp chipotle powder (to your taste)
12 drops stevia extract

1 lb large strawberries

Chocolate Dip:
6 tbsp butter
2 tbsp powdered erythritol
2 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 tsp chipotle powder (to your taste)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
18 drops stevia extact

For the pastry cream, bring whipping cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar and salt, then whisk in cornstarch until mixture becomes pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.

Slowly whisk about half of the hot cream into the yolks to temper, then return the yolk/cream mixture back to the saucepan and cook until thick and glossy, about 1 1/2 minutes, whisking continuously. It thickens up suddenly and quickly, so watch carefully!

Remove from heat and whisk in butter, vanilla and stevia. Add in chopped chocolate, cinnamon and chipotle and stir until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and press plastic wrap flush to the surface. Chill in refrigerator at least 3 hours.

For the strawberries, wash and dry carefully. Cut off the tops along with the hull and discard. Using a small knife, gently core the center of the berries. You will only need to cut into the berry by about 1/4 inch, as the center tends to be hollow. Place berries standing upright in a dish.

Place pastry cream into a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped tip. Fill each hollowed berry with pastry cream, allowing cream to overflow the top somewhat. Chill until chocolate dip is prepared.

For the chocolate dip, melt butter together with powdered erythritol and chopped chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously until smooth. Add cocoa powder, cinnamon and chipotle and stir until smooth. Stir in vanilla and stevia extract. (If you find your chocolate seizing, add a little more butter or vegetable oil and stir until smooth).

Using a fork or two toothpicks, gently lower each filled strawberry into chocolate dip and roll around to cover. Remove strawberry and place on a plate lined with wax paper. Repeat with remaining berries. Chill 1 hour until chocolate is set.

Makes about 20 berries (with leftover pastry cream). Each strawberry has 3.5 g of carbs and 1g of fiber. Total NET CARBS is 2.5 g.

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  1. Jill @ MadAboutMacarons says

    Congratulations! What a wonderful way to 'spice up' a 10th wedding anniversary. These are fabulous, Carolyn.

  2. Judee @ Gluten Free A-Z says

    Happy 10th Anniversairy. What an interesting twist on chocolate covered strawberries. They look really good. Thanks for sharing such a great SRC choice.

  3. Belinda @zomppa says

    How elegant! And a lovely surprise inside – very creative…and VERY nice way to celebrate. Happy anniversary!

  4. Katrina {In Katrina's Kitchen} says

    Happy 10th! This is a great way to celebrate! I'm going to have to tuck this idea away for sure!!

  5. Anonymous says

    Well, I see why you chose this recipe. What a wonderful creation! They look amazing and i LOVE chili in chocolate or on anything actually, i think I'm a little bit addicted to it. Your photography is impressive too.

  6. aveganobsession says

    oops, I clicked the anon button for my comment about your photography and being a chili addict! I shall disclose my

  7. RavieNomNoms says

    UM WOW!! These are amazing…I have no idea how I missed them on Dana's blog…I mean really, those are just gorgeous! I gotta try these…

    Happy Anniversary by the way! :-)

  8. Karen says

    I love chocolate with spice, too. It adds such a nice unexpected flavor.
    These strawberries sound perfect for an anniversary dessert!

  9. Claudie says

    Happy Anniversary!
    Those stuffed strawberries are lovely! I've seen many chocolate covered strawberries, but that touch of actually stuffing them takes them to the next level.

  10. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. says

    Wow, these are just fantastic! I love that you not only covered them in chocolate, but you also stuffed more inside! Yum!

  11. JavelinWarrior says

    Wow, those are decadence incarnate! But they are SO beautiful, I'm not sure I could eat them… The cream filling bursting from the top is the best part. And thanks for suggesting Food for Thought – a great blog.

  12. Alicia says

    I've made the cheesecake stuffed strawberries several times this year but would love to try these. I've never had chocolate with any time of heat added to it, but I've wanted to….oh how I have wanted to. Thanks for the recipe.

  13. Gina says

    Darn I hate when there is a bunch of leftover chocolate filling. These sound so good, I love chocolate and strawberries, but these are better with the filling. Good choice, will have to say hi to Dana. Hope you are having a great week.

  14. Lindsey says

    Happy Anniversary! Carolyn, these look delicious! I love that you added a little spice to a cool, delectable dessert. :) The pastry creme is a lovely touch.

  15. Liz @ Southern Charm says

    Ok, I love chocolate covered strawberries to begin with, but THIS??? With chocolate pastry cream … wow, just wow!

    Not only to these look amazing, but the sound amazing as well!

  16. Nami | Just One Cookbook says

    Happy 10th Wedding Anniversary Carolyn! These chocolate covered strawberries look so yummy. I love how you put the chocolate cream in it. Very creative version!

  17. janet@cupcakestocaviar says

    What a neat idea! Chocolate covered strawberries are one of those classic treats and I love the twist to this version. I can't wait to try these.

    I hope you have a wonderful Anniversary!

  18. Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen says

    Will be saving this for next year's strawberry season. Hot, cold, smooth, with a dark chocolate snap. OMG!

  19. Ali says

    Wow!! this looks great. Perfect timing, I think my girlfriend would really love these on he birthday!! love the photos.. so appealing.

  20. sweet road says

    wow! i can just imagine the sweet juicy taste of the strawberry mixed with the deep spicy and rich chocolate… must be so delicious!

  21. Megan says


    love it carolyn. great twist! And heck, who doesn't love leftover pastry cream! – megs

  22. Kate@Diethood says

    wow wow wow … um… wow!! The only word that is coming out of my mouth, plus the drool. TMI, I know, but 'tis the truth. :)

  23. Foodiva says

    These chocolate-filled, chocolate-coated strawberries look so, so decadent! And you can't really have too much chocolate on anything, can you?

  24. Deeba PAB says

    Just amazing. Love the way you brought these together. Will have to look for a substitute for chipotle powder here {???} but would LOVE to make these beauties one day! Novel and ever so pretty!

  25. JavelinWarrior says

    This post is so fetish-worthy, I've been inspired to include it in my Friday Food Fetish blog. If you have any objections, please let me know

  26. Catherine H. says

    Just made these for a cocktail party last night! They were a success; I myself was particularly pleased–they were easy to make, and delicious. I had one problem while I was making the pastry cream: everything was proceeding beautifully until I added the chopped unsweetened chocolate. Then the pastry cream kind of curdled on me and oil started pooling on top of it. I “saved” it by using my immersion blender to blend it back together forcibly, but it still had a slightly gelatinous texture, almost as though I had used xanthan gum in it. I was wondering if you had any tips for the future to avoid this. Thank you for yet another excellent recipe!

  27. Cici says

    These popped up on my news feed & I thought they’d be great for cinco de mayo! I was surprised to see cornstarch in the list of ingredients. Then I saw was a recipe from 2011. If you were to redo this recipe now, would you still use cornstarch? If not, any other changes you would make?

    • Carolyn says

      I’d probably use arrowroot starch still. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to make good pastry cream without it. Xanthan gum makes it too gloopy!

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