|Posted by Dana Santillan on February 17, 2014 at 6:40 AM|
We are going to show you a few trade secrets to making a perfect looking dipped strawberry. With these few tips you can impress anyone at a family get together, romantic dinner or just because. However, they can be time consuming so remember that you can always let The Sweet Shoppe of Houston take care of them for you!
GET ORGANIZED BEFORE YOU GET STARTED
I always recommend laying out all the things you will need to finish your strawberries before you get started. It is time consuming, but when you get started the last thing you want to do is stop to get something you should have already had. What we recommend for you to do this at home is get your strawberries, high quality chocolate, a melting pot, 4"-6" skewers, a wire rack, a Tuffboard Cake Board or something similar, and a cookie sheet lined with either a Silpat sheet or parchment paper. Once you have all that ready to go it's time to get started!
FIND THE BEST LOOKING STRAWBERRIES
Remember that the strawberry is going to look exactly the same when it is covered in chocolate so find the best shaped ones in the bunch. You may actually hunt through alot of stawberries to find the ones you like the best, but it will be worth it. Also, try to find the ones that are firm, but also nice and ripe, to make sure you get the texture and sweetness your looking for when you bite into them.
GET HIGH QUALITY CHOCOLATE
Did you know that cocoa-buttons, or melty's that you find at your local craft store are most likely not chocolate. They are really just a candy that is easily melted to dip things in and make them look nice. However, they are not what you want for the perfect chocolate dipped strawberry.
Go to a fine food store or purchase your chocolate online through a number of different places. One of our favorite online stores is Chocoley.com. The high quality chocolate cocoa-buttons work perfect for dipping strawberries, because they are easily tempered and most can be melted in a melting pot. What you are looking for is a high percentage of cocoa and cocoa liquor, but expect to pay between $4.00-$15.00 per pound.
HOW TO DIP THE STRAWBERRIES
There are two ways that you can dip a strawberry and both work fine. It's really a preference. The first is simply melting your chocolate, dipping the strawberry using your fingers or a fondue fork and placing them on a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper sheet. The downside to doing your strawberries this way is that when you lay the strawberry down on the cookie sheet it will have a flat bottom of chocolate that really doesn't look as nice as our other method. However, it will taste JUST AS GOOD, so don't be afraid to do this!
First thing you want to do is set your wire rack on a hard surface and place you Tuffboard Cake Board on top of the wire rack. This is where you will place the skewered strawberry once they are dipped. I would recommend poking holes into the cake board about 2 inches apart to make things easier.
Now that you're ready for the next step skewer the strawberry into the green stem part of the strawberry. Try not to pierce the red fleshy part of the strawberry if you can to avoid having the juices run out if stored for a few days. If you pierce the flesh of the strawberry it will also make the strawberry go bad faster.
Next dip the skewered strawberry into the melted chocolate and get off as much of the excess chocolate as you can to avoid making a messy looking strawberry. After you've dipped your strawberry and taken off the excess chocolate, you can add coconut, nuts or any other toppings you would like. If you're adding toppings you have to do it while the chocolate is still wet to get it to stick. Once you have or have not added toppings, with the strawberry pointing up, slide the opposite end of the skewer into the holes in the cake board that is sitting on your wire rack. Continue doing this until your cake board can't support any more and let the chocolate set for about 5 minutes. Now you have a perfectly covered strawberry without the flat bottom of chocolate. Then you lay them on your cookie sheet that's lined with a Silpad or parchment paper and place in the refrigerator for another 5 minutes.
Now you are ready to decorate your strawberry with a perfect drizzle, if you didn't add any toppings. This is the fun part and you can get very creative. Keeping it simple is a good start, however. If you have a squeeze bottle of any type that would give you the best looking drizzle. Add some melted chocolate white or dark chocolate, depending on what your strawberry is dipped with, to your squeeze bottle. Then simply go back and forth on each strawberry till you have a great looking desert and you are done!
(Don't have a squeeze bottle? Just dip a spoon into the melted chocolate and drizzle it over the strawberries going back and forth in a constant motion. They don't look as even, but it gets the job done.)
Hope this helps. Enjoy!