As may be obvious from the previous post, I recently discovered that, by some miracle, the local stores are stocking fresh strawberries in the middle of February. For those of you that have never lived in a small town in the heart of Norway, the reason for my excessive giddiness may not be overly apparent. You see, when I lived in the US I was used to simply strolling into any old grocery store and finding just about anything I could think of. Unlike here, things like ice cream cones and marshmallows were not seasonal. Fresh cilantro and mint extract were easy to come by. When I asked about meringue powder I wasn’t laughed at and told that meringue comes from egg whites, not powder. And most importantly, I never walked into a grocery store that was out of any of the following items (natural disasters not included): chicken breasts, 2% milk, eggs, all varieties of ground meat, and/or baking soda. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to complain. It’s been an adjustment, but I love it here and, if anything, it’s just made me more creative. But after all of that, to walk into a grocery store in the middle of February and find fresh strawberries… I was surprised, to say the least. So what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a delicious, if not unexpected, treat?
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Yields 12-15 chocolate strawberries
1 bar (100 grams) dark chocolate
1 bar (100 grams) white chocolate
This recipe is so simple I almost feel like I’m cheating by writing this post. However, the simplicity of it leaves a lot of room for creativity! To start, wash your strawberries well in warm soapy water. You can also spray them with a mixture of vinegar and water, which my Mum swears by (seriously, if I had a nickel for every time she’s asked if I’ve started doing this…), and rinse them with warm water to remove any germs. As you’re cleaning your strawberries, be sure to remove any unsightly or dead leaves from the top. Dry the strawberries and set aside. Before you move on to the dipping, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. This will make the strawberries easy to move while the chocolate sets.
In a small, deep bowl, melt the dark chocolate in a microwave using 10 second intervals. Once the chocolate is melted, hold each strawberry by the leaves making sure all are out of the way of the chocolate, and dip them in the chocolate. Set the dipped strawberries on the lined baking sheet, and set aside.
In another small bowl, melt the white chocolate. I used candy melts because I had them on hand, and despite having strawberries the store did NOT have white chocolate. But had the white chocolate been available, that would have been my preference. Once the white chocolate is melted, drizzle it over the chocolate covered strawberries with a small spoon. To make the strawberries extra festive, I add some red food coloring gel to the leftover white chocolate, thinned it with a little oil, and drizzled that over top as well. The possibilities are endless, really. And had I had some red sanding sugar, I would have used that on top of the white chocolate instead! After you’ve finished adding all the embellishments you’d like, set the strawberries into the freezer for 5 minutes to let all the chocolate set.