Tag Archives: strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries: Valentine’s Day Special!

One of my first jobs was working at a minor league baseball stadium making gourmet desserts.

I must have made thousands of chocolate covered strawberries in one summer! While that doesn’t mean I’m a “pro” I would certainly say it means I have a bit of experience.

To start, I wash and let the strawberries dry thoroughly. I do NOT hull them. Neither do I cut off any soft spots. The chocolate will cover any blemish!

The strawberries need to be completely dry. Chocolate will not stick to damp strawberries.

While the strawberries are drying, I melt 1/2 a bag of bittersweet chocolate chips in a double boiler.

Sometimes (when I’m too lazy to get my double boiler out) I just fill a pot with 2″ of water and put a glass bowl on top. I put the heat on LOW and let the chocolate chips melt together, stirring occasionally. Within 10 minutes your chips should be melting. I leave the heat on low. I don’t like to microwave my chocolate or heat it up quickly – the chocolate can turn quickly.

Next, I line a cookie sheet with wax paper.

To begin dipping, I stick a toothpick through the stem of the strawberry. This is where the tightest hold is on the berry and it will help stop the berry from falling off into the chocolate. This is why I prefer not to hull my strawberries. I think they are easier to dip, as well as easier to eat.

There are two ways to dip.

1. Kerplunk her down right in the center leaving about 1/8″ of red. (I like to see a little bit of red color.)

2. Flying V – Sweep the berry through on it’s side, and then the other side, leaving a little “v” in the middle.

Let it the excess chocolate drip off. I will also spin it around by the toothpick to help wick away excess chocolate. Then I put the berry down on the wax paper and pull the toothpick out. Once all your berries are dipped, put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator.

To decorate my strawberries, I ended up using some frosting (I didn’t have any white chocolate left in my pantry – what I usually use).

I put two heaping spoonfuls of frosting in a ziploc bag with a few drops of red food coloring.

Then I gently smooshed it (yep, that’s a fancy culinary term right there) around in my hand until the frosting was all pink. I put the bag into the fridge and let it firm-up for a few minutes.

When the chocolate on the strawberries has hardened in the fridge, I take the cookie sheet and the frosting out. I snip off a teeny-tiny corner of the bag and go at it.

I decided to frosting a few plain strawberries too!

After I’ve finished frosting I put it all back in the fridge until I’m (erm… I mean we’re) ready to eat them!

NOM NOM NOM!

Meet George Jetson…’s Strawberry Patch

While I was visiting my family in the Finger Lake last week I went hydroponic strawberry picking… Hydroponiwhat?

Hydroponic. As in hydra (water) and ponein (labor).

Still not making sense? Wikipedia defines hydroponics as “a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil.”

Still not making sense?

THIS is their strawberry patch looks like.

No muddy sneakers. No squished strawberry stain on your bum. No bugs. No kneeling/squatting and moving over with your little red flag every 18 inches.

My hands didn’t even get dirty! They make you cut the strawberries with a pair of scissors. And you have to use anti-bacterial soap before you can go in.

You are supposed to cut as long a stem as possible, because the longer the stem is the more energy the fruit has. Thus, lasting longer.

Why hydroponic farming? Well, we spoke to the owner for a little while. Basically, the method he uses requires a LOT less water and he can better protect the fruit from diseases and pesticides.

Oddly enough, I thought we were at the tail-end of their season’s pickings. But then the owners told us they just opened last week. While most strawberry patches are in-season in June, the hydroponic farm is in season from June through Halloween!!

They are smaller than normal strawberries, but delicious! A pop of sweet, fresh flavor.

(P.S. Jellies (as in shoes, not strawberry jam) are coming back. My friend Abs saw them and got them for me. Woot! Thanks Abs!)

My official review: It was lovely. While the slaving under the sun in the dust and accidentally sitting on old strawberries is nostalgic (and still a good time), this was quick, clean and easy! If old-school berry pickin’ is the Goodwill clearance rack, hydroponic berry picking is Macy’s.

Have you heard of hydroponic farming before? Have you ever picked hydroponic strawberries?