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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: DARK CHOCOLATE DIPPED STRAWBERRIES!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

DARK CHOCOLATE DIPPED STRAWBERRIES!

Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries


chocolate dipped strawberries
A dessert that is actually good for you? That would be dark chocolate dipped strawberries. You can indulge and not feel guilty. Chocolate dipped strawberries are the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day or any special occasion. Don’t spend a fortune for fancy berries off the internet; make your own, save a bundle and have fun.
I don’t know anyone who can resist the classic flavor of strawberries dipped in chocolate. They’ve disappeared quickly at every event I’ve ever catered. I once made 500 for a large event. It was so much fun! A site to behold, platter after platter of gorgeous, dark chocolate dipped strawberries. A small plate for just you and your special date or dinner guests is just as impressive. The accolades you’ll receive are almost guaranteed.

Wash Strawberries

When choosing strawberries, go for larger berries that have a nice green leaves or stem. That stem becomes your handle when you dip the berries. Choose organic strawberries if you can for the best flavor and reduced exposure to pesticides.
Wash the strawberries in cool water and allow them to dry thoroughly. They must be totally dry, because water and chocolate are enemies. If they are at all wet, the water will cause the chocolate to “seize” or become an unworkable, clumpy mess. Place the berries on a tray or plate lined with paper towels while you melt the chocolate and gather your decorations.
Melt Chocolate
For health benefits, choose dark, bittersweet chocolate. Choose one with a 70% rating. That percentage is the amount of chocolate solids. The higher the percentage, the more bitter and the less sweet the chocolate is. Our favorite is Scharffen BergerValrhona, and Guittard are also good options. It you want to decorate with white chocolate, I prefer Valrhona. It has the best creamy taste in white chocolate. You can order these brands off the internet from Amazon or buy it at many higher end grocers, some cooking stores, and sometimes Cost Plus World Market.

Get Ready To Dip

There are two ways to melt chocolate: double boiler or microwave. I prefer the double boiler  method because it’s easier to control the viscosity of the chocolate. Either way, you want to melt chocolate slowly to minimize any graininess.


To set up a double boiler, place a large (4-5 quart or liter) saucepan over medium heat with a few inches of water. Bring to a strong simmer. Place a small to medium sized stainless steel bowl on top of the pan. It should fit just inside the pan, and the bottom of the pan should not touch the water. Turn the heat down to low.
Place chocolate in the bowl and melt slowly. Once the chocolate is almost smooth, turn off the heat and stir. It will become smooth. I find that the chocolate dips and clings the best when it is not too fluid. You will feel the right temperature.


Carefully holding the strawberry by the stem, dip the berry into the melted chocolate, rolling it around to coat evenly. Leave a little berry showing at the top. Allow excess chocolate to drip off, then turn the berry upside down for a few moments. Place the chocolate dipped berry on a parchment or wax paper covered plate or tray. I use quarter size rimmed baking sheets, an indispensible tool.

Decorating Your Strawberries

If you are going to decorate the berries, allow the chocolate to set for a minute, then sprinkle with decorations. Sprinkling works better than rolling as it’s easier to control the coverage. Sometimes you get too much when you roll them in the decorations. Do what works best for you. One good option is the Natures Colors naturally colored sugars from India Tree.
To decorate with white chocolate patterns, melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. When fluid, drizzle the white chocolate with a fork and drag a toothpick through the white chocolate in the opposite direction. You can also use a small piping bag to create an kind of pattern you want.
Allow the berries to dry and set up completely. You can place them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. They will be the best if enjoyed the day they are made, or at the latest the next day.


Dark Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

A dessert that is actually good for you: dark chocolate dipped strawberries. They are easy and fun to make for any special occasion treat. Choose large, organic strawberries for the best flavor and a good quality, dark or bittersweet 70% chocolate. These are best enjoyed the same day, but you can make them the night ahead and refrigerate.
Yield: Approximately 18-20 berries or 6-10 servings
Ingredients
  • 18-20 large fresh, strawberries (preferably organic)
  • 8-10 ounces (225 – 285 grams) of good quality, dark or bittersweet chocolate, rated 70%, chopped coarse
  • Assorted decorative sprinkles, optional
  • 3 ounces (85 grams) good quality white chocolate, optional for decorating
Directions
  1. Wash strawberries and allow them to dry totally and completely on a paper towel lined plate or tray. Ready another plate or tray with wax paper or parchment to hold the dipped berries.
  2. Set up a double boiler. Fill a 4-5 quart (liter) saucepan with a few inches of water. Bring to a strong simmer. Place the dark chocolate in a small to medium stainless steel bowl that will fit just inside of the pan. Place bowl inside of the pan and turn heat down to low. Melt chocolate slowly, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  3. Carefully holding a berry my the stem, dip and roll the berry in the melted chocolate. Allow excess to drip off, then turn the berry upside down for a few seconds to set. Place the berry on the clean line tray. When berry has set for a minute, sprinkle with decorative sugar if desired. To decorate with white chocolate, melt the white chocolate and use a fork to drizzle lines on the berries, then drag a toothpick across the lines to create a pattern.
Note – for clean white lines, allow the chocolate to set up completely, then drizzle with the white chocolate. 
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