Recipe of the Week: Chocolate-dipped Strawberries

Green SouthwestHere’s a simple yet romantic dessert for Valentine’s Day, from The Green Southwest Cookbook, by Janet Taylor.

Chocolate-dipped Strawberries

Note: Select fragrant, bright red berries with fresh green leaves. Since water will cause chocolate to become chunky—and if the strawberries are wet, the chocolate won’t stick—make sure that the strawberries are completely dry prior to dipping.

1 pound ripe strawberries, washed and dried (leave stems intact)

6 ounces 73 percent super-dark chocolate (or dark chocolate with a least 70 percent dry cocoa solids, not chocolate chips)

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Melting the chocolate, microwave method (you can also use a double boiler): Select a bowl that will not get hot in the microwave (or the chocolate will scorch). place the chocolate in the bowl, melt for 20 seconds on high, then remove and stir. Repeat. Then repeat in 15-second intervals, stirring thoroughly each time, until the chocolate is about 80 percent melted. When stirred, it will completely melt. Careful—if the chocolate gets too hot, it will be ruined. During dipping, stir the chocolate a few times. If the chocolate cools too much to dip, put it back in the microwave and heat for about 10 seconds; then stir.

To dip the berries, tilt the pot or bowl to pool the chocolate in one area. Holding the stem or leaves, dip about half of the berry into the chocolate. With a twisting motion, bring it out of the chocolate. allow the excess chocolate to drip off. Place the dipped strawberry on the parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the strawberries. Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes; then remove and serve. The chocolate will harden and stay firm for hours in a comfortable temperature away from direct sunlight.

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