Chocolate Covered Strawberries.....or Any Other Yummy Fruit

What could be easier than chocolate covered fruit?  A refreshing and delicious dessert, this is by far one of my favorite things.  I love oranges, strawberries or bananas dipped in chocolate. 

These should be eaten immediately, or within 24 hours of making {bummer, right?}.

Some variations include:  melt 2 ounces of white chocolate to drizzle on top or chop nuts {pistachios or almonds would taste great} and dip the strawberry in the nuts after the chocolate.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Makes 20 berries

8 oz. chocolate - semisweet or milk, or a combination {I use 4 oz. milk and 2 oz. semisweet to cut down the sweetness}
1 T. shortening or canola oil
1 pound {approx. 20 berries} strawberries, stem on

Bring the strawberries to room temperature.  This will prevent sweating of the berries while you're dipping them. 

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper to lay the dipped berries on, or, if you don't want a flat side, take a piece of foam block and insert toothpicks into the stem area of each strawberry.  Once the berry is dipped, you can turn it upside down and insert the opposite end of the toothpick into the foam block.  Allow the chocolate to harden before removing.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate with the shortening until fully melted, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat.  {Alternatively, put chocolate and shortening in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 40 seconds, stir, then in 10 second intervals, stirring between each, until melted}.  Holding the stem end, dip each berry into chocolate, swirling slightly to ensure even distribution, then place berry on prepared pan.  Repeat this with each berry. 

If you need to refrigerate the berries overnight they will sweat when they are removed from refrigeration so remove them an hour prior to serving and remove any moisture with a paper towel.

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