Decadence, thy name is strawberry
Never mind the yellow around the stems. These strawberries
are the tastiest ever. / Photo by Shannon K. Johnson
By Shannon K. Johnson
February 20, 2009 | There is something about Valentine's
Day that encourages us to indulge. This year I cleared
my busy schedule to indulge in an amazing dessert: Chocolate-covered
Fortunately, the strawberries were on sale this week
and my friend Shelly was around to help.
Fresh strawberries had been on sale at Smith's grocery
store, and after careful inspection I picked the strawberry
box with smaller red fruits, because big strawberries
are not necessarily better strawberries.
As I learned in my biology class last term, the fruit
of the strawberry is actually a segment of the stem,
meaning the fruit becomes woody as it grows larger.
With my small red strawberries washed and drying on
the counter, I set a small pot of water on the stove
and put a small ceramic bowl over it. The bowl must
be larger than the mouth of the pot so the water can
boil to heat the bowl without the water touching it.
This is a poor man's imitation of the double boiler.
In the ceramics bowl we placed the semi-sweet chocolate
chips with a dash of orange extract. This chocolate
is the hardest to melt, and frankly I prefer milk chocolate,
but I failed to check the package at the grocery store
and wound up with the wrong chips.
So we wound up with a darker dip than I would have
We also melted white chocolate and a new cinnamon
chips in the microwave. The key to melting in the microwave
is to take the chocolate out every 30 seconds and stir
it to make sure the chocolate melts evenly and does
But after taking the bowls out of the microwave, we
rotated the bowls onto the boiler (small pot) to keep
the chocolate pliable.
The reason we melted the chocolates in the microwave
was so we could drizzle different layers of chocolate
over one another.
To get an even coat of chocolate, dip the strawberry
in and tilt it to one side. While holding the leaves,
turn evenly. When you pull the strawberry out, flip
it straight over quickly to pull the tip of the chocolate
smooth against the berry.
Lay the fruit on a piece of wax paper and place in
the fridge. This helps cool the chocolate, as if you
leave the fruit out the white chocolate will never dry.
Initially, we had hoped to layer the white and semi-sweet
chocolate, but any time we tried to dip one strawberry
from one to the other, they mixed, and instead of a
cool, layered effect the chocolate turned a messy gray.
Instead we dipped spoons in the melted chocolate and
gently tilted the spoon so a thin trail of chocolate
could be strung over the strawberries.
So after putting the berry in the fridge, allowing
it to cool, it is time to eat the sweet dessert. Chocolate-covered
strawberries are a perfect balance of chocolate and
sweet, tart fruit.
I recommend sitting down with a glass of lemonade
and a good book to leisurely eat the strawberry.