Making chocolate dipped strawberries...
- PMac Aug 10, 2005 09:17 AM
I've never made them and want to this weekend. Not an abundant amount...just enough for two. Any suggestions on good chocolate for this purpose, and any tips from those with experience is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
These are so easy to do. I use T.J. dark choc
but if you like semi sweet, I'm sure you can use choc. chips.
Be sure to get a really good quality choc. tho.
Chop choc and put into micro safe dish
Add a tablespoon or so of canola oil
Micro on high for maybe 20 sec. then stir
if not melted- micro another 10 sec until almost
melted. Don't over heat, it will look like it's
not done but when you stir it, it will be melted.
Dip in Strawberries and let sit on a wire rack until
choc has firmed up. Eat and enjoy!
That's because it's out of temper. Tempered chocolate is dark and shiny and has a nice crack to it. Untempered chocolateis dull, lighter, and a bit crumbly in texture. Fortunately, tempering is very easy.
(Forgive me, I'm just cutting and pasting from an earlier message here. This question comes around every couple months).
You need a chunk of tempered chocolate to "seed" the melted chocolate. (There are other methods, but they are needlessly complicated.)
Chop your chocolate, reserving about 1/4 in a large block. Melt your chocolate gently. I like to bring water to a boil, turn the heat off, then put the chopped chocolate in a metal bowl over the warm water, with a sheet of Saran Wrap over the top. Once it's all melted, remove from the double-boiler. Stir in the large block. Stir some more. Just keep stirring. Feel the bottom of the bowl. If it's still warm to the touch, keep stirring. When the chocolate has cooled, you test it. Otherwise, there really isn't a way to know if the chocolate is tempered yet, so you could conceivable dip a bunch of chocolates/strawberries in untempered chocolate.
The test is easy. Take a metal spoon. Dip the tip of the spoon in the chocolate, just about a centimeter in. Put it to the side. 1-2 minutes later, touch the chocolate. If it's in temper, the chocolate will have already set up. It might be a bit tacky, but it will definitely have firmed. If the chocolate is not in temper, it will remain melted. That's it. If your chocolate isn't in temper, keep stirring. If it's very cool and has started to thicken and still isn't testing for temper, take out your big chunk of chocolate, reheat the rest, and start again.
This was the method we used at the CIA, before we were allowed to use the tempering machine. We had to do the marble method once, just to know how, but we didn't use that method regularly. I've never had a problem.
Use way more chocolate than you need. Once it's in temper, the chocolate will want to set up, and if you don't have enough, you'll have to keep rewarming it. Just a little rewarming - to the count of three while stirring over heat - won't usually take it out of temper, but always retest. You also need a goodly mount to allow for a clean dip.
The block of chocolate you use must itself be in temper. Not usually a problem if you've bought it fresh, but could be if you've kept it around the house and it's gotten overheated. Doesn't matter if the chopped chocolate that you melt is in temper, of course.
- tempered chocolate if you want the shine
- make sure the berries are washed and very dry, try not to get any water/liquid in the chocolate or it will seize( harden up so quickly you'll wonder what the heck happened)
- place dipped fruit on wax or parchment paper lined plate or cookie sheet
- when I make dipped strawberries I like to slice off the stems off of about half of them (pat the liquid on paper towels before you dip) because I find it easier just to pop the whole strawberry in my mouth instead of trying to nibble or bite while trying to hold on to a tiny stem. I dip some with stems just for variety and the look.
- my favorite chocolate is Calebaut (sp?), I've seen chunks of it sold at Whole Foods in CA. I am also a fan of Lindt, I buy the big huge bars from their stores on the East Coast.
- I also like to do a bowl of dark chocolate and also a bowl of white chocolate.
- I make small parchment paper piping bags and fill with remaining chocolate to write designs on the fruit in contrasting chocolate. Insignias, initials, hearts, swirls, tuxedo strawberries(cheesy but easy to make). Most times, I just quickly criss-cross dribble chocolate from the bag across a whole pan of dipped strawberries, quick and easy.
- it's also quite easy to do dipped cherries(pit them first) with the stems still attached. Be sure to wipe the juice in paper towels before dipping.