Gourmet Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Gourmet chocolate covered strawberries are scrumptious all on their own, but make a tasty and eye catching cake decoration, too. They are simple enough to make on your own, only requiring ripe strawberries and good quality chocolate. You can make them with milk, dark, bittersweet or white chocolate or use a combination of different types of chocolate. Layering white chocolate with another type of chocolate creates an eye catching effect.
To start, you'll want to be sure to use fresh strawberries in season. The larger the strawberries, the sweeter they are. When you buy the strawberries, turn the package over and look at the bottom. Sometimes bad strawberries are at the bottom. Make sure they don't have any bruises. You will be leaving the strawberry completely in tact for dipping. Wash your strawberries and allow them to dry completely. Any water remaining will prevent the chocolate from sticking. Your gourmet chocolate covered strawberries will taste best if you use fine quality chocolate.
I prefer Lindt and Ghiradelli which are available in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. While you can use chocolate chips, I find that the chocolate is so thick that it doesn't cover the strawberry smoothly. If that's all you have to work with, thin the chocolate chips by melting a teaspoon of shortening with them to thin the mixture out. Melt the chocolate over the top of a double boiler containing simmering water. Don't bring the water to a boil or you could burn the chocolate. The water should not be touching the bottom of the top pot.
|You can use your fingers to dip the strawberries...|
|but it's much easier to do hold and dip it properly with a fondue fork. You can use the microwave to melt the chocolate but do so in 30 second intervals. Once you burn chocolate, it's ruined for good.|
|Dip the strawberry about 3/4 of the way into the chocolate and lay it on a sheet pan covered with wax paper. Place the strawberries in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden. With strawberries, I wouldn't put them in the freezer, because you don't want to freeze and thaw the strawberries. That will create condensation, making the strawberry sticky and the chocolate could come right off.|
|If you want to double dip your gourmet chocolate covered strawberries and add a layer of white chocolate, just repeat the process on top of the first layer of chocolate, but this time, don't dip the strawberry as much into the chocolate. You want the regular chocolate to show beneath the white chocolate. It doesn't matter if you dip first in the white chocolate or the milk chocolate. It depends what look you want to achieve. Chill again in the refrigerator.
To make your strawberries extra fancy, place white chocolate in a cake decorating bag fitted with tip #4. (Or, you could put it in a plastic baggy and cut a tiny hole at the tip of the bag). Pipe lines back and forth across the strawberry to create and nice effect. Chill to set.
|These strawberries are fantastic alone or adorning the edge or top of your cake.|
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