Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries, an Incredibly Simple (and tremendously popular) Dessert

I first made these for my grade eight graduation; I took a book out of the
school library and followed the simple directions. I still remember the
teachers having the kids spread all of the food out on different mixed plates.
When it was time to eat, kids were running up and down the hallway
looking for the chocolate strawberries. Let me tell ya,people still do that.
Try serving it to company; I personally guarantee success. These are SO simple,
(I just make it sound hard :0) because I'm obsessed with the details)

Here are a few little tricks...

Warm chocolate for dipping:

You can just melt the chocolate in the microwave and dip strawberries if you like
them warm. (or any other fruit. The chocolate stays liquid for a surprisingly long time)

Microwave melting:

Try a mix of dark chocolate and milk chocolate; it'sdivine. I don't usually like
dark chocolate, but I actually prefer V.E.'s dark to the milk.

Use a relatively deep small bowl for ease of dipping (stone-wear or ceramic keeps
nice and warm if you have it): 1 cup of the V.E. chocolate 'chips' takes just under
a minute. Stir every 20-30 seconds to prevent burning. (Time depends on how
powerful your microwave is.)

To make chilled strawberries:
  1. Lightly butter (or margarine) a plate--(or use a tray covered in wax=paper.)
  2. Chill plate in freezer for a couple of minutes.
  3. Wipe strawberries thoroughly with a paper towel (don't wash in water or the chocolate will not stick well.) Leave tops on.
  4. Melt chocolate (as above) and dip strawberries into it. Twirling them in the chocolate gets an even line.
  5. Let excess drizzle back into bowl and set strawberries on chilled plate or wax paper tray.
  6. Chill in fridge for 10-15 minutes or until desired hardness.

Decorating & other Options:
  • You can drizzle more of the left-over chocolate on the hardened strawberries to make a little raised design (and/or on the plate for prettiness.) Garnish with mint if you have it...
  • Before serving, loosen the berries from the plate by giving them a little poke with a knife (so all of the chocolate comes off the plate and into your mouth!) :-) Or just loosen off of wax paper and put on a serving plate.
  • Alternative fruits that work great dipped (if dry enough) nectarine, raspberries on a toothpick (small but delctable)banana dipped all the way (to prevent them browning.) :-)
  • This same process works great for dipping cookies too (or mixing into cookie recipes like chocolate chip peanutbutter...)and the chocolate makes incredible nut or V.E. berries & cherries clusters: just throw nuts/fruit in the melted chocolate and spoon out clusters onto the chilled sheet. (Perfect for holiday gifts.)
  • It's definitely the great chocolate that makes the difference; use the finest quality you can afford. Yummmm!

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