With Valentines Day now on the horizon, chocolate covered strawberries are always a lovely treat that scream sensuality. Nothing like sharing a few chocolate dipped strawberries and a glass of wine with your love on a cold winter’s night in front of a roaring fire. Food is one of our pleasures in life and we should enjoy a little indulgence on occasion. Instead of the standard dark chocolate I like to change things up by dipping the berries into white chocolate then crystallized decorative sugar. This gives the berries the appearance that they have been dipped in snow and the sugar glistens in the glow of the firelight. Now if you don’t have that romantic hideaway with a roaring fire that’s alright these berries look and taste equally delicious no matter what the setting.
The strawberry is native to North America and parts of Europe. The name “strawberry”, may have derived from it’s growing conditions as the plant was often found strewn among fallen leaves along the edges of a wooded area. Hence, the two words, “strewn” and “berries”.
In England, children used to pick strawberries scattered in the wild and sell them in local markets. In order to handle them properly, the strawberries were tied to pieces of straws where the name may also have developed. Varieties of strawberries are also found in Europe and have been traced as far back as 234 BC, in Italy.
In ancient Rome, the fruit was grown for the formulation of different types of medicines. In France the berries were used for medicinal purposes also. The strawberries that grew in the Alpines were used to treat digestive problems and skin diseases. Roots and leaves of the strawberry plant along with fruits were used in these treatments.
Farmers began to cultivate strawberries in North America and many new varieties were developed in the 1700s. The varieties that developed from the cross breeding of American and European strawberries were known for their sweet taste and the perfect size.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
1 pint of large strawberries with stems
1/2 lb white chocolate
crystallized decorating sugar
Wash and pat dry strawberries and set aside. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Once creamy and smooth remove from heat. You will have to work fast as the chocolate will start to solidify when cooling down. Dip the strawberries into chocolate and roll into decorating sugar. Place onto wax paper to dry.
Yields 12 chocolate dipped berries
FOOTNOTE: Dark Chocolate may also be used. Try chili chocolate for a spicy, sweet lovely Valentine’s Day treat and dust with gold powder for extra decadence.