When Valentine’s Day comes around, I always want to do something special for my beloved, but I am always conscious that she is, for the most part, into healthy eating. Lots of vegetables and fruit, though she does allow herself the occasional indulgence, and out of respect for that viewpoint, I thought the best way to marry those two practices would be to take a fruit she really loves and dip it into some chocolate, then present this to her as a treat on that Romantic day. Of course, the heart-shaped strawberry was the obvious choice.
One dozen large strawberries, which still have pre stems and leaves attached
Four ounces melted milk chocolate
Two ounces melted white chocolate
Pat of Butter
The chocolate use is optional between milk and plain, depending how sweet you want the end result to be.
I always give the fruits a thorough rinsing, taking care that to ensure that stems and leaves remain attached.
The fruits then need to be completely dried, for which I employ paper towels, placed onto a rack and left half an hour to dry completely. Whilst this is happening, I line a large dish with greaseproof paper, over which I have rubbed the pat of butter.
I them proceed to melt the two kinds of chocolate – in separate small pyrex bowls, which sit in almost boiling water over a very low heat burner. I stir both lots of chocolate until melted thoroughly, and smoothly fluid.
I then take a wooden kebab skewer, and gently slide the Strawberries onto it – one at a time, through the stem end – and when the temperature of the chocolate reaches 84 degrees Fahrenheit ( according to the thermometer I keep handy) I
dip about two thirds of each fruit into the milk chocolate, before gently shaking it until the excess drips back into the bowl.
I place each fruit carefully down on the buttered greaseproof paper, and when all have been dipped, I place the tray in the fridge until they have hardened off and set.
Perhaps 40 minutes later, I take the tray out again, gently prying the fruits loose, and then once again skewer each one, using a teaspoon to slowly drizzle the melted white chocolate over each fruit as I slowly rotate it.
I am not aiming for perfection in this action, because the very fact ot the fruits being imperfectly decorated adds a personal touch to the finished fruits that my beloved tells me is very romantic and appealing.
As before, set the fruits down on the grease-proof paper, and when all done, refrigerate for thirty minutes or so, after which you can present them to the intended recipient, in any way you see fit, being sure that they will always be well received.
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