Friday, 14 December 2012

Chocolate-Coated Strawberries

When I was a student studying in the US, there was this store that sold luscious and perfectly-coated chocolate strawberries for US$1 each. As students on a tight budget, we would only buy them on special occasions and a few of us would share a dozen. We savoured each bite as they would be gone within a few mouthfuls.
I’m so glad that now I know how to make my own chocolate-coated strawberries. However, there is an art to doing it right. The first time I made this, my melted chocolate turned clumpy and I could hardly coat the strawberries properly.
A little research on the Internet showed that there are several steps that will ensure you get perfectly coated fruits:
  •  Choose good quality, unblemished strawberries.
  • The strawberries need to be at room temperature and perfectly dry. Wash them and pat them dry with a kitchen towel.
  • Use chocolate droplets for melting. If you are using a block of chocolate, chop it into fine pieces. Small pieces will melt more evenly and faster.
  • Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate. Place the bowl holding the chocolate into a larger bowl filled with water but do not allow the bowl on top to touch the water. Excessive heat will cause the chocolate to clump up.
  • Use a rubber spatula to stir the chocolate bits gently till it melts.
  • Refrigerate the dipped strawberries till the chocolate hardens but not for longer than an hour to prevent condensation droplets from forming on the strawberries.
This is a an easy-to-make dessert that is bound to impress your guests this festive season. Juicy strawberries covered with good quality chocolate provide a light and sweet ending at your parties.


Chocolate-Covered Strawberries (20 servings)
A Martha Stewart Recipe

Ingredients
  • 8 ounes (227 g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 pound large strawberries (about 20), washed and dried well
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pistachios (optional) – I used macadamia
Method
  • Place chocolate in a bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally, until melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. One at a time, dip each strawberry in chocolate, twirling to coat; then sprinkle chocolate-covered portion with pistachios, if using, and place on waxed paper.
  • Chill chocolate-dipped strawberries at least 15 minutes to set chocolate. (Strawberries should not be stored in refrigerator longer than 1 hour as condensation drops may collect on the chocolate.)

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