Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

I once had a devoted young man in my life who did it ALL on Valentine's Day - flowers, candy, meticulously planned out lavish dinner and you know what? It was kind of annoying.

Fast forward to today and H...As with many things in life, I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum now. What to do? Just enough to make him feel guilty AND whatever I want...with or without his knowledge. (There is NOTHING wrong with buying yourself a new pair of shoes or even a refrigerator - that's another story - for Valentine's Day.)

I'll report on dinner tomorrow, but as for dessert...

Sometimes the standard things are just right and that's how I feel about chocolate dipped strawberries. The most important thing is NOT TO REFRIGERATE THEM. Okay, if you're a bit over zealous and you've made 20 for the 2 of you, go ahead and refrigerate the five you have left, but they will in no way resemble the ones you've tasted at room temperature. They will hold up fine for a day or two.

Melt 4 oz. dark chocolate (mix your favorites, if you wish) with 1 tablespoon of Crisco. (Please don't tell anyone I told you that and deny it if someone asks.) There is simply no other way to get a perfectly smooth dippable consistency that hardens nicely. Cream won't harden as well and you'll have an issue with the room temperature part. For a dual chocolate coating, melt 4 oz white chocolate with you know what. Actually, you may want to start with the white and then move on to the dark, but either way works.

Melt the chocolate with the...shhhhhh...Crisco in the microwave - about a minute and a half, stir and then microwave another 10 to 15 seconds until not quite melted. Stir well and just before you're ready to dip, put the bowl back in the microwave for 10 seconds. Lean the bowl on the edge of a coaster to give you a deeper pool of chocolate in which to dip. Let sit for a half hour or so and then dip the strawberries in your contrasting chocolate or use the same one and drizzle on a different chocolate. Whatever floats your boat..

I dip the first side of the strawberry at an angle, the second in a different chocolate at an opposite angle, and then drizzle a little extra chocolate over. Enjoy!


Sue said...

Let me know if the video is freezing for you, or is it just me?

Catherine Wilkinson said...

Lovely! And Crisco gets a bad rap! There is NO other way to get the chocolate to behave without it! And, for some pie pastries, I HAVE to use it. Even lard!
I figure all that oil and fat just makes my hair shiny!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I'd rather have Crisco than wax.

Don't worry, I've used it too. I use it in piecrusts too. I won't tell if you won't.

Sue said...

Hi Catherine,
Welcome! I used lard when I was first starting out and that's what we used at the Cordon Bleu, but now I do use Crisco for pastry (with butter).

Hey Rach,
You're right. And actually I think I'd prefer my apples shined up with a little Crisco than all that wax.

Your secret is safe with me.

Emiline said...

I use Crisco also. Not often, because it really does freak me out. Just in pie crust. I tried using lard for awhile, but I didn't like it.

I love chocolate strawberries! I almost always microwave my chocolate. I've probably had more bad experiences with a double boiler.

If you let the video load before you play it, it doesn't freeze.