Use only perfect, unblemished berries for this, the largest ones
you can find. (If your berries aren't as large as mine, it means
only that you'll be able to dip more in this amount of chocolate.)
These are not good keepers; they'll keep overnight under refrigeration,
but that's an outer limit, so plan accordingly. I place the finished
berries in individual candy or muffin cups (depending on their size).
You MUST use top-quality chocolate for these.
- 12 very large,
unblemished strawberries with leaves on (you can buy berries with
the stems as well as the leaves on, but I think they're too expensive)
- 3 ozs. best-quality
semisweet OR bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. solid vegetable
- 3 ozs. best-quality
white chocolate, finely chopped
Wash berries briefly
under cold running water. Gently pat dry with paper towels. Set
out on a cooling rack covered with a double layer of paper towels;
let stand at cool room temperature (not in the refrigerator) for
at least 30 minutes.
After about 15 minutes,
combine semisweet chocolate with 1/2 tsp. shortening in small heatproof
bowl. Set over simmering water on low heat (water should not touch
bottom of bowl); stir often until smooth. Remove from heat and hot
water; let stand at room temperature until barely warm, stirring
occasionally. Repeat process with chopped white chocolate and remaining
shortening, melting over warm water on low heat and pressing out
any lumps in white chocolate with back of spoon.
To dip berries,
have ready a foil- or wax paper-lined tray or baking sheet. You'll
need a small container; it should be about as deep as the longest
berry's length, but not much deeper. In addition, it must be wide
enough to enable you to dip the berries almost up to their leaves.
(I use a wide, short drinking glass.) When both melted chocolates
are barely warm, turn half of the semisweet chocolate into this
container. Top with a layer of half the melted white chocolate.
Repeat with remaining melted chocolate to form four layers; do not
stir. Hold one berry by the leaves and dip straight down into the
chocolate so that only a thin stripe of the red berry shows between
the chocolate coating and the leaves. With berry still in the chocolate
and still being held straight down, rotate it about 90 degrees in
either direction to cause the striping in the chocolate pattern
to curve slightly. Remove berry from chocolate, allowing any excess
to drip back into container, and place on its side on foil-lined
tray. Repeat with remaining berries until all are dipped. (Berries
dipped at beginning will show more of a "patch" effect in chocolate
coating; those dipped at the end will show less striping as the
two chocolates begin to blend.) Chill berries until chocolate is
set, about 20 minutes. Carefully peel berries from foil (use a piece
of paper towel to do so--your fingers might leave prints or smudges
on the chocolate). Serve immediately or chill until needed.
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