Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Organically grown strawberries covered in luscious chocolate anyone?  Yes please, I'll take several!  Even though we are 30 inches deep in snow we are lucky enough to have fresh, sweet strawberries at our local grocery.  I love it!  Why do I prefer organic strawberries?  Check out the Environmental Working Group's classification of  the "Dirty Dozen".  These are the 12 most pesticide contaminated fruits and vegetables.  They also classify the "Clean Fifteen", those fruits and vegetables with the least contamination.  The EWG also provide a complete LIST of rankings from "most contaminated" to "least contaminated".  I find this information extremely helpful when I am budgeting money for our monthly grocery bill.  Organically grown fruits and vegetables are frequently more expensive (not always!) so I know which fruits and veggies I absolutely much have organic.  Strawberries, you might have guessed, are in the "Dirty Dozen" category.  In my book, this is good information to have for your next grocery run.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

2-3 lbs of organic strawberries
12 ounces of good quality bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (e.g., Callebaut, Scharffen Berger, El Rey)
1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Rinse strawberries in cold water and dry completely using paper towels to absorb excess moisture.  Line two sheet pans with wax paper and place strawberries on sheets, in 4 to 5 rows of 4 strawberries each (this depends on how big the berries are --leave an inch or more between the berries).

Chop chocolate and place in metal or glass bowl with butter.  Put the bowl in a pan of water that has just come to a simmer (heat turned off but still on burner) the Alice Medrich Method.  Stir chocolate and butter with spatula until melted, then stir in the cream.  Stir until smooth.  Remove bowl to counter and dip strawberries --hold stem with hand dip in and move back, front, left, and right to coat all sides.  Transfer the coated strawberry to the lined sheet and repeat process with the rest of the strawberries.   Chill until set, about 10 minutes.

I chilled my strawberries on top of the huge mountains of snow in our yard --it was a little faster than my usual refrigerator method. Ha!