Chocolate Box with Berries & Cream
6 1 oz Squares Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1 Tablespoon Shortening
2 3 oz Packages Cream Cheese, softened
4 Tablespoons Butter (1/2 Stick), softened (do not use margarine)
1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa
2 Tablespoons Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Cups Heavy or Whipping Cream
2 Pints Strawberries (or any other fresh berries)
Mint Leaves for Garnish (optional)

Line 8-inch square pan with foil; press out wrinkles so chocolate box will come off foil smoothly. In heavy 1-quart saucepan over low heat, heat semi-sweet chocolate and shortening, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth. Pour melted chocolate mixture into foil-lined pan and swirl around sides and bottom, keeping edges as even as possible. Refrigerate 1 minute, then swirl chocolate mixture around inside of pan a second time, to reinforce sides of chocolate box. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare filling. In large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar, cocoa, milk and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy.

In a small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat 1-1/2 cups of heavy or whipping cream until stiff peaks form. With rubber spatula, fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.

Carefully remove foil-lined chocolate box from pan, then gently peel foil from sides and bottom. Place chocolate box on platter. Spread cream cheese filling evenly in chocolate box. Refrigerate until filling is well chilled and firm, about 2 hours.

In small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat remaining 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Spoon into decorating bag with large rosette tip. Pipe cream in a 1-inch wide border on filling around edge of chocolate box. Cut larger strawberries in half and arrange over entire top of cream cheese filling. (Garnish with mint leaves optional).

Yield: 8 servings

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