Traditional and modern Scandinavian and Nordic recipes.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate covered strawberries make an easy and elegant candy dessert.  This is a fun and great sweet treat to whip up in a hurry.  They are great to take to parties, give as a gift, or just to enjoy on your own.   What a treat to have right after work or on the weekend! 

 



With summer coming the farmers markets we will have a great assortment of big beautiful strawberries.  Choose strawberries that are fresh, ripe and in season for the best flavor.  Plus, you'll want to get some large red strawberries.  That way you can make show stopping chocolate dipped strawberries with either a variety of chocolates, roll them in all sorts of toppings and even soak it in your favorite liqour! 


When possible, use the fresh strawberries from the farmers markets to get the best flavor and pickings
This recipe includes an option to soak your strawberries with Finnish vodka.  We wanted to give the strawberries a Scandinavian flare to this delicious dessert. You might or might not want to soak your strawberries in vodka.   Depending how busy you are you can make everything the same day or over a 2 day period.

First Step is to soak the strawberries with vodka (optional)
Soaking strawberries in Finnish vodka for at least 1 hour infuses the fruit with vodka flavor.  Multiple options to use vodka infused strawberries are chocolate dipped strawberries, topping for ice cream, as a filling for pies, or freeze them and add them to adult smoothies.  So, there are multiple delicious ways you can serve vodka infused strawberries.

Ingredients:
1 pound (500 g) fresh strawberries with leaves
1 cup (240 ml) vodka

Kitchen Tools
  • a bowl
  • a plate
  • a fork
  • a jar
  • a spoon
  • color coded toothpicks

Instructions:
Rinse strawberries in a bowl and dry thoroughly. Poke holes into the strawberries with a fork. This will allow them to soak up more of the vodka. Next, place the strawberries inside the jar. Pour a cup of vodka over the berries. We used a Finnish vodka when making this delicious dessert. 

Refrigerate the jarred fruit for 1 to 24 hours. If you’re not sure how strong you want the strawberries, taste one after a few hours and see if you want to continue the soaking process. Open the jar and remove the berries from the vodka using a spoon.   

Cooking Tip: We recommend to color code your strawberries with vodka and strawberries without vodka with toothpicks.  We used red toothpicks for all of the vodka soaked strawberries and blue toothpicks for the strawberries without vodka.

Place them on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Second Step is to Dip the Strawberries into Chocolate
 

 



Ingredients:
  • 16 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 16 ounce white chocolate chips 
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • Bowl of almonds

Kitchen Tools:
  • measuring cups
  • parchment lined or foil
  • 1 skewer 
  • a baking sheet
Directions:
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil or parchment paper. The strawberries needs to be washed in advanced and dry and at room temperature before making the chocolate.  If the strawberries are cold, the chocolate won't stick too well

First step is to decide which chocolate to melt.  You can substitute white or milk chocolate for semi-sweet, or experiment with double-dipping the strawberries in different chocolates to vary the flavor and appearance. 


In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth.  In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, combine bittersweet chocolate and shortening. Stir occasionally.  (Another option is to microwave your chocolate chips for 30 seconds then stir.) Remove it when some pieces are still not melted, and stir until they melt. If you are using white chocolate, be sure to remove from heat as soon as it is mostly melted.  White chocolate can be sensitive.  



Cooking Tip: Overheated chocolate gets thick and hard to work with, so it's important to keep a careful eye on the chocolate.  If you are using low-quality chocolate chips, you might need to add a little vegetable shortening to thin it out and make it easy to work with. 
   
Next Step is insert a toothpick into the top center of each strawberry where the stem is.  Holding the strawberries with color coded toothpicks. Dip strawberries into the melted chocolate. Don't cover the strawberries entirely because you want to see some of the lovely red strawberry.  Twirling in a circular motion to evenly cover most of the berry. As you lift it from the chocolate, twirl it so that any excess chocolate drips back into the bowl.  As you are dipping your strawberries the chocolate is starting to harden it up then you can microwave it. 



Place the berry on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining berries and chocolate.  Once all of the berries are dipped, cool at temperature for five minutes.  By letting it cool it helps the chocolate from cracking. Then refrigerate then refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes to set the chocolate. These strawberries taste best when eaten the same day they are made.




Decorating the Strawberries (optional)
When the strawberries are in season, you can't go wrong dipping them in chocolate! But what about dipping them in almonds, sprinkles, chocolate chips, coconut, etc...? They are gorgeous and delicious!

 

When the strawberries have all been dipped in chocolate, dip a fork into the white chocolate, and drizzle back and forth over berries to stripe.  Drizzling light chocolate over a strawberry dipped chocolate gives it a dramatic look.









You can use other toppings such as shaved coconut, chopped up almonds, and tiny chocolates





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