Chocolate covered strawberries can get a corny reputation- often synonymous with really only one holiday - Valentine's Day. That seems such a sad and unfortunate missed opportunity to indulge in one of the easiest, tastiest and even somewhat healthy sweet treats! For one- February is not even peak strawberry season so while you're feeding perfectly red, large stemmed berries to your Valentine, they are surely some hothouse grown specimen purchased from a restaurant dessert cart at a premium. I say, right now is best time to dip and enjoy those berries.
So it was no wonder then that I recommended a strawberry bar when asked to create a dessert station for a recent engagement party.
Our grocery had just received their first shipments of local berries plucked right from the field- many of which were giant sized and perfect for dipping. I set out to make 4 dozen dipped and rolled in various toppings to give the guests variety and the presentation some visual variation. This could not have been easier friends (nor more fun!). I presented them on tiered platters and a bed of shiso leaves which kept things looking bright and fresh.
Looking to do the same (and you should!)- here's my hot tip: Use your microwave to melt your chocolate. The trick is to heat it at 50% power for 90 seconds. The chips won't look like they are melted at first, but stir them up. If you still find you need a little more melting time - again heat at 50% power for 10 second intervals. Full power will surely burn the chocolate. I also found that Ghiradelli now makes "melting chips" akin to those little fondue fountain disks you see. They work great and offer a low risk option to your dipping chocolate.
I also added a little flair to the adjoining coffee station. Remember these mineral decanters I made for our home bar? I used them to create a flavored creamer presentation. Sometimes you have to sell the coffee- especially at a celebration where signature his/hers cocktails were flowing until the wee hours of the next morning.