Sunday, May 2, 2010

Potluck and Chocolate covered strawberries-A Happy combination.

We have a Father’s Day tradition of visiting a nearby farm to pick strawberries as it is the perfect time for harvest. We have also picked sweet peas for the last few years. It’s a great experience and gives a perspective to your child about how fruits and vegetables are grown. We wake up early on that Sunday, have a sumptuous breakfast (preferable choices are pancakes or an omlette with toast J ). The drive is about 20 -30 minutes. They give us a few cardboard trays to use, and give us directions to the right location in the farm. The next couple of hours are sheer fun searching for the most juicy and clean strawberry and picking it.

I have tried many recipes with freshly picked strawberries in the past. I have made jams and sent them to my Mom and MIL. Last few years I have made strawberry cakes for my summer parties mostly using this recipe. I have added a strawberry and whipped cream frosting on the top. I freeze the rest of them to make smoothies and milkshakes all throughout the year. Last summer , as I was home and watched many recipes on Food Network, I decided to try making chocolate covered strawberries. The trick is to find the right chocolate. Chocolate chips do not melt as smoothly as Lindt which are expensive. Hence a bakers chocolate bar is a happy middle. You can choose the type of chocolate you want- dark, semi sweet or white. The texture is very different when you melt these chocolates. The dark is very thick as it’s the most pure form of chocolate with the least amount of milk in it. The white is very dilute as it does not contain cocoa at all. I use the semi sweet variety as children do not like the bitter taste of dark chocolate.
1 bar of semi sweet bakers chocolate
Two pound of strawberries with stems

  • Take a serving dish and cover it with was paper.
  • Wash the strawberries and let them dry on a kitchen towel.
  • Bring half a saucepan of water to boil and let it simmer.
  • Place a glass bowl on top of the pot to create a double boiler.
  • Break the chocolate bar into pieces in the glass bowl.
  • Stir it with a fork to melt it.
  • When it reaches a thick consistency with all the chocolate melted , dip the
    strawberry in it holding it by the stem.
  • Swirl the strawberry in the chocolate so that 2/3 rds of the strawberry is coated with
  • Place the strawberry on the wax paper covered plate.
  • If the chocolate gets a little thick add a tablespoon of milk to it.
  • Let the strawberries cool and refrigerate them for 24 hours before serving them.
As many foodies know, you cannot melt the chocolate on top of a stove. It results in burnt chocolate which cannot be used. Either use a double boiler or a microwave. I prefer the double boiler as the chocolate tends to harden if there is not a constant source of heat. Kids love it as a dessert and so do the adults. I have taken them to summer parties and made this as a dessert when I hosted potlucks, including the one tonight.

0 have added some spice: