Chocolate Dipped Fruit How-To
What a delicious treat! Mark came up with this great idea for our Valentine's Day dessert. We had chocolate dipped strawberries at my wedding and they were a big hit! We got a big bar of milk chocolate, and I added the last bit of a bag of 60% cacao chocolate chips, as well as a square of unsweetened baker's chocolate to bitter it all up a little.
We originally decided on just the strawberries, but the blueberries were on sale, so we decided to do those as well. Last minute, I remembered we had marshmallows in our cupboard, so I did 6 of those as a bonus sweet treat. Plus, my cake holder has 3 platforms, so it worked out perfectly!
I lined the cake plates with parchment paper that I cut to fit using scalloped scissors and by folding the paper in quarters, then folding that quarter in thirds. Place the point of the paper in the center of the cake plate, then cut at desired length for plate. Unfold, and place on plate.
To dip the fruit, you're going to need a double boiler (I use a stainless steel mixing bowl that fits hovering over a small pan of water) to heat your chocolate without burning it. You're going to want to keep your chocolate's temperature between 88 and 93 degrees F when it's melted in order to get that snap when you bite into it. This process is called tempering.
Use a candy thermometer without touching the side of the bowl when you take the temperature. If the temperature of the chocolate gets close to 93 degrees, lift the bowl off the pan using a pot holder - the bowl will be hot! If the temperature begins to drop below 88, return the bowl to the pan to warm the chocolate back up.
When the chocolate is at the correct temperature, dip your fruit! I use one hand to put the fruit in the chocolate, and one hand to remove it. This way, my clean fruit tops don't get covered in chocolate residue. I also rinse my chocolate hand often.
Removing the berries from the chocolate can be made easier by tipping the chocolate-covered end straight up and swirling the fruit in the air until the chocolate begins to set up a little. Place fruit in a pretty pattern on your parchment paper. With remaining chocolate and a small spoon, drizzle a little chocolate around the paper for decoration. Scatter any remaining uncovered blueberries between the other plates for color and interest.
Let chocolate cool completely before enjoying. I served my desserts on my small china plates. It turned out beautiful and tasted delicious!