Monday, May 23, 2011

Chocolate Covered Strawberries: Three Ways

Oh strawberries, I love YOU more!
Chocolate and Strawberries, OH the places you can go with those two ingredients. As yall may have noticed, its strawberry season here in NC, so I am eating them by the pint and trying to incorporate them into as many dishes as possible. Im may be part strawberry now, I cannot stop eating them.

I had a dear friend for dinner and wanted to make something fancy, but not time consuming. I also needed to use the oven for the other dishes, so I ruled out a pie or cobbler for space reasons. With a hot appetizer and entree, I wanted something cool and refreshing to finish the meal with. Yes indeedy, I made a three course meal for my friend, I treat my hommies RIGHT.

During my nightly reading of my new cooking bible, "America's Best Test Kitchen: Family Style" I spotted chocolate covered strawberries and instantly realized I found my dessert.
Who knew something so elegant was so simple. Sure it takes some time, especially if you want to make ones drizzled in white chocolate, but who cannot put aside an hour to make a delicious fancy treat? Its worth every minute. Actual kitchen time is only about 10-15 minutes, then you just pop them in the fridge and let them chill out until ready to serve.
Is your mouth watering? Mine still is from eating this gems! 
I wanted to jazz them up a  bit so I made three different types, trying to see which one I preferred for future strawberry dipping occasions. Im hoping these occasions will be frequent and include champagne.
Not surprisingly my favorite was chocolate covered with white chocolate drizzle. They also happen to look the nicest, which a great plus. It did take a few tries to get the drizzle right, the first batch looked like white chocolate vomit, or as if I was trying to recreate a Pollock painting with white chocolate. But I added some grapeseed oil, got it a bit drippier and you can see for yourself, they look pretty good for homemade!

Its crucial you use a high quality bittersweet chocolate, you cannot use chocolate chips. Chocolate chips have additives that change the way the chocolate melts, so buying bars is the way to go. I used Ghiradelli 70% cocoa bittersweet chocolate baking bar and it was heavenly. Ghiradelli in general is a great brand, just make sure it has at least 60% cocoa. Same thing goes for the white chocolate, don't buy chips and try to get a higher quality white chocolate. I used toberlone white chocolate, which worked great.

Get ready to impress your friends and family, dip it up yall!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries: Three Ways

The Goods:
8 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 quart strawberries, rinsed and dried
(See below for variations)

The Deal:
1. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Microwave the chocolate, whisking often, until melted and smooth, 1 to 3 minutes.
roughly chop chocolate and melt, whisking often
2. Dip the fruit into the chocolate and transfer to the baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the refrigerator until the strawberries cool completely, at least 30 minutes.
Just dipped, ready to chill out
These can be dipped up to 8 hours ahead of time and refrigerated. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Chocolate-covered strawberries with Candied Ginger: 
Mince two tablespoons of candied ginger. When dipping your strawberries in chocolate, roll the chocolate dipped strawberry in candied ginger before refrigerating them.

Chocolate-covered strawberries drizzled with White Chocolate:
Do not use white chocolate chips, use a high quality bar for better melting.
Microwave 3 ounces of white chocolate, whisking often, until melted and smooth, 1 to 3 minutes. If the white chocolate seems to stiff, stir in dash of vegetable oil, to try and loosen in. Using a spoon drizzle the white chocolate over the already hardened chocolate strawberries in lines. Refrigerate until the white chocolate hardens, another 20 minutes or so.
Looks good, taste good, DAMN IM GOOD.

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