Friday, May 2, 2008

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Yum! Chocolate Dipped Strawberries. Sinfully good. So worth the calories. These are definitely my top guilty pleasure!

I just realized that Mother's Day is just a week away. What better way to say "I Love You" to mom than with some yummy Chocolate Dipped Strawberries? I don't know. I would certainly love them if I got some from my hubby or D. Anyway, I beat them to the punch. As it turns out, the chocolate dipped strawberry has been around for quite a while. In the beginning, the chocolate was combined with paraffin to make it smooth and to help it adhere to the berry. Now, they are really simple to make for any occasion or even for no occasion at all. But I thought it would be nice to make some for a mom even if that mom is me!

From the reading I have done about dipping strawberries, I learned that the best chocolate to melt for this purpose is chocolate chips! I would not have thought that. There are so many varieties available at local grocery stores you might have a problem choosing.

There is also a best practice technique to use when dipping the berries. The first step would be to purchase some large fresh berries, wash them and make sure you dry them completely. I rinsed them then patted them dry with paper towels and set them on my counter to dry really well. Apparently, if you have even a hint of liquid on them or on your utensils it would cause your chocolate to "seize up" or turn the entire mixture into a grainy mess. You don't want that!!

Once you have the clean, dry berries ready, then you can start melting your chocolate. I have always thought it was best to use a double boiler but the microwave is a good option if you don't own a double boiler. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chips using either the defrost setting or 10-percent power in the microwave. Use two to three minute increments until smooth.

Once your chocolate is melted and smooth you dip the strawberry into it, then give it a little shake as you withdraw it. This will fill in all the cracks and leave a nice, even line of chocolate at the base. When the strawberry is completely withdrawn from the chocolate, swirl it in a quick, clockwise motion to "spin" the dripping chocolate off.

Invert the hand, pointing the strawberry at the ceiling, to seal it and allow you to sprinkle other candies or toppings around the surface.

Cool covered strawberries on a sheet pan with wax paper. Keep them at a cool room temperature and try to dip them the same day you serve them.

You can always "double dip" them into different types of chocolate such as dark and milk or white and dark. The possibilities are endless. If you make these treats yourself at home, they are much less expensive than buying them at say Godiva Chocolate. I bought myself one very large yummy dipped strawberry at Godiva a year or two ago and it cost me about $8.00! Yikes!

Of course, you can also dip other types of fruit such as pineapple or orange slices or you could dip marshmallows or graham crackers but I am a purist. Only the berries for me!

The Creative Cook