Craving a platter of gourmet Chocolate Covered Strawberries for you and your valentine?
..it’s easier than you think to turn up the gourmet bling on your berries. Just a few easy tips and basic berries become extraordinary. Pop some bubbly and plate these berries for a Valentine’s Day to swoon over.
Walk into any gourmet grocery store here in NYC and you’ll find a pile of gourmet chocolate bars speckled with fancy ingredients like pepitas, crushed hazelnuts, raw coconut, dried blueberries, goji berries, toasted pecans and more. But before you shell out up to $5 for one of these exotic treats, why not try making your own gourmet chocolate treat – via a romantic Chocolate Covered Strawberry.
So easy my husband can do it.. My husband will openly admit that he is lacking in chef skills, but when making chocolate-covered anything, he is a pro. He adores hand-dipped waffle cones and now for Valentine’s Day he’s moved onto berries! So if you want to give a shy chef a little confidence boost, hand them over this recipe and they are sure to succeed with some delicious and fun results..
Step One: Strawberries
Average-sized berries = ordinary treats. Seek out the long-stemmed strawberries for that gourmet touch. They look elegant and make it easier for you to dip and twirl the berries into the melted chocolate. Wash your berries and dry them very well so the chocolate sticks. Set aside.
Step Two: Melted Chocolate
For a more sophisticated chocolate, use high quality dark chocolate chips.
Tip: give your chocolate extra shine by adding a tablespoon of olive oil.
Other chocolate add-ins:
* A splash of vanilla extract or even a pinch of real vanilla bean for warm flavor.
* A tablespoon of instant coffee for “mocha chocolate”.
* A dash of your favorite spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or even spicy cayenne.
* A splash of peppermint extract for mint chocolate berries.
* A splash of brandy or your favorite flavored liquor.
Melting: Melt your chocolate over a double broiler. I make it easy and simply rest a stainless steel bowl right on top of a water-filled soup pot (filled a quarter of the way). The steam from the boiling water gently melts the chocolate. This will also prevent burning the delicate chocolate chips.
Step Three: Toppings
Now that your berries are dipped in your melted chocolate you can let your imagination run wild with exotic ideas for chocolate toppings. For a few high-end ideas, you can use those “fancy” chocolate bars as your inspiration – just read the labels. Or try these ingredient ideas..
Dried fruit (small or chopped): goji, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, pineapple, banana..
Chopped nuts: pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews..
Seeds: sunflower, poppy, pumpkin..
Crushed: grahams, pretzels, shortbread cookies, gingersnaps
Step Four: Cooling
Allow your berries to cool on parchment paper in the fridge until the chocolate hardens and the toppings set. This may only take a few minutes.
Serve. Enjoy. Share!
Want more VDay recipes? Browse these Family Kitchen slide-shows: