Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dipped Strawberries

Since Valentine's is just around the corner, I thought I should add a classic:) I don't remember where I got this recipe from, but I use it whenever I can smell fresh strawberries while shopping. Because unless the strawberries are really tasty I feel I'm wasting chocolate.

Pretzels, nuts, dried fruit, pound cake, cookies and/or other bite-sized fresh fruit (rinsed and patted dry), can also be used.

The trick with making these is to make sure that the fruits are completely dry. There shouldn't be a spec of water left on them.

Although the recipe uses a microwave, I use a double boiler because I have actually managed to burn chocolate in the microwave. Regardless of the method used to melt chocolate, stir it as it starts to soften. Chocolate should not be hot - if it gets too hot, it will be too thin and it will drip off of the strawberries rather than adhere to them.

To make them even more decadent and appealing to the eye, using a contrast chocolate (white on dark etc.) dip a fork in the contrast chocolate and drizzle it over the dipped strawberries. The white chocolate can be difficult to drizzle with a fork, so if you are having difficulty you can put some in a Ziploc bag, open a small hole at the bottom and squeeze it over the strawberries.

These taste best if eaten within the first 24 hours. You can't really have them around for too long anyway:)


DIPPED STRAWBERRIES

Ingredients:

24 strawberries, rinsed and patted dry
6 oz (.375 lb) sweet, semi-sweet, bittersweet, or white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening

Directions:
Line baking sheet with wax paper.

Microwave chocolate and shortening in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on high (100%) power for 1 minute; stir. The pieces may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring until smooth.

If using a double boiler place about two thirds of the chocolate into the bowl of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Make sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir occasionally, very gently, until the chocolate has melted, about 1 minute. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and add the rest of the chocolate, stirring gently until it has melted.

Hold strawberry by the stem or with a wooden pick and dip into melted chocolate; shake off excess. Place on prepared baking sheet; refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.

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