We have been telling you about how I ended up making cakes for my side of the families Christmas gathering this now past Christmas. And about how we did them up fancy like.
Here is a picture of all of them on display in my sister's dining room.
We've zoomed in on the "Drool-over-able Chocolate Cake",
the "Strawberry Cake",
and the "Carrot Cake".
But to stop there would just be wrong. There are a couple of more pictured items that we really should zoom in on!
Today's is the Chocolate Covered Strawberries (YUM!).
As with the drool-able-over chocolate cake, yes, I CAN easily provide a list of reference's whom will confirm that these chocolate covered strawberries do indeed provoke a "YUM!" response, should you doubt me o;-p. And no, the list does NOT only contain woman's names! It was reported to me late Christmas Eve, that a certain brother-in-law of mine had been spotted with more than one. ;-p And his name is only one of the male names on the list.
There are numerous recipes out there for chocolate covered fruit. And we have tried a few of them. One year we paid a considerably higher price and purchased this quality name specialized dipping chocolate. Melted it according to directions. Made and served the product. Only to be told in sort of whispers, "Please don't take this wrong, but I liked the way you use to make these better. What did you do different?" We weren't offended, we found it comical!
We tried recipes where you melted butter with the choc. chips. Several times. Because we just could not figure out what was causing it to lump up so quick. Never did.
Some people use recipes which include melting wax in with the chocolate. Yes, this is edible. In-fact, lots of store brand choc. chips contain wax. While they do make the final product more shiny, we have chosen to stick to our plain and simple but oh so tasty technique. Why? Because they never fail to get the "YUM!" response. Any other questions? ;-p
Get fresh strawberries, whether that involves going out and picking some, or going to the store and buying some.
Individually wash them under cold water, then set apart on layered paper toweling to dry. Completely. Chocolate will not cling good to wet fruit.
Place water in the bottom part of a double boiler, but not so much that when you add the top pan, the water touches the bottom of the top pan while boiling. Put the pan on the stove and turn the heat on to med. high.
Right away add the top pan and dump LOTS of Nestle (TM) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips into the pan. Yes, you want the Nestle(TM) ones!!! Trust me on this!!!
Wait a couple of minutes until you can see by looking that some of the chips are turning darker due to getting warm. Start stirring them, making sure to scrape the bottom of your pan as you do so. No, you do not have to stand there and stir them the whole time.
Once the water in the bottom pan comes to a high boil, turn it w-a-y down. By now, all of the chips will be melting and you'll be able to stir them into a nice smooth sauce like substance.
Place a piece of parchment or waxed paper on a plate, or a cookie sheet.
Gently pick up a strawberry by it's stem. Dip and then roll the fruit in the hot chocolate. Hold above the hot choc. for but a moment to drip, then lay onto the parchment paper.
Go onto the next strawberry (or piece of fruit). Then the next. And the next. Till you have done all that you intend to.
Tip here --> Sometimes it is best to sit on a stool while doing these. And when doing big batches, you oft times have to stop long enough to melt additional chips.
BONUS TIP --> As hard as it is, strive hard not to pop a freshly dipped strawberry into your mouth .... that chocolate is H-O-T!!! (or so I would think.... o;-p)
Once your cookie sheet is full of dipped fruit (you CAN place them quite close together. Preferable not touching like they are here.), place the pan in your fridge for about 10 minutes for them to set up. It is then best for you to do a 'quality control check' on one, or two, or.... ;-b
If you end up with too much left over melted chocolate - scrape it out onto parchment paper and let it set up. You can then eat it by the chunk, or chop it and use it in cookies, or on ice cream, or any other ideas your mind brings to the forefront.
While we served these at Christmas, they are good for lots of occasions. According to my niece Breanna - "any and every occasion!"
Valentines is coming..... these are NOT hard to make! NO THEY ARE NOT!!! Benson made the ones for Christmas! Thanks for your help Benson!!! :-D (He also took all of the pictures in this posting :->)
Couple of other 'details' -
~ Fruits you can use - Strawberries, small bunches of seedless green or red grapes (HUGE hit!), apple slices, orange slices, cherries, to name but a few.
~ chocolate dipped fruit has a very short shelf life, even when kept refrigerated! It is best to schedule them in the day you plan on serving them. Two days before is w-a-y to soon!!!
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I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Market Yourself Monday", are hosted by Sumo, at 'Sumo's Sweet Stuff' (http://sumossweetstuff.blogspot.com/)
~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com).
~ "Tuesdays at the Table", are hosted by Cole, at 'All The Small Stuff' (http://allthesmallstuff-cole.blogspot.com/).
~ "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes' (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).
~ "Tasty Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Jennifer, at "Balancing Beauty and Bedlam" (http://www.beautyandbedlam.com/)
~ "Whatever Goes Wednesday('s), hosted by Michelle, at 'Someday Crafts'
~ "Full Plate Thursday('s), hosted by Miz Helen, at 'Miz Helen's Country Cottage' (http://mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.com/)
~ "(Foodie Friday's)", are hosted by "Gollum" (aka: Michael), at 'Designs by Gollum' (http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/)