Posts tagged: strawberries

Easy Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate covered strawberries

Chocolate covered strawberries

This simple dessert (or snack) looks like it takes a lot of work, but perfect chocolate covered strawberries can actually be a quick and easy treat. I’d say it took me about 5 minutes or less to make these, and then you should hide them if you will need them later, they are too easy to polish off immediately. The key to saving time is using milk chocolate chips and melting them in a microwave rather than a fancy double boiler.

Ingredients:
strawberries
chocolate chips (milk chocolate is my preference, but use what you like)

Directions:
1. Wash and dry the strawberries. Make sure they are dry as the chocolate will not stick well to them if they are wet.

2. Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 15-30 seconds at a time. In between each cycle, stir with a fork to ensure an even consistency.

3. When the chocolate has melted, hold the strawberries by the leaves and dip in the melted chocolate and slowly rotate. Stirring them around will result in a lumpy chocolate coating, but slowly rotating them once and lifting them out straight up will leave a nice, smooth coating on the strawberries.

4. Place each strawberry on wax paper (or aluminum foil, or a plate that has been greased with butter) to set. The best place for the strawberries to set is in your refrigerator.

5. When the chocolate coating is set, take them somewhere safe and eat them all yourself.

Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar

Strawberries with balsamic vinegar

Strawberries with balsamic vinegar

It may seem odd to add vinegar to berries, but a surprisingly tasty combination is a very simple dish of strawberries with balsamic vinegar. The acidity of the vinegar brings out the sweetness of the berries, and the contrast of flavors allows the intensity of each to come out, enhancing the “berry-ness” of a simple strawberry. This is a great summer dessert when the strawberries are at their peak ripeness, but is a great dish any time of year (and a great way to enjoy so-so strawberries out of season).

There are two ways to make this, the inexpensive way, and the more expensive way. The inexpensive way (relatively speaking) is to add standard balsamic vinegar and sugar to the berries, while the latter method is to use a special type of balsamic vinegar that has been bottled with some of the concentrated must from the wine-making process. Must is what one calls the sweet grape juice prior to fermentation. This particular vinegar is thicker and sweeter than traditional vinegar, and a little goes a long way, but it is an incredible addition to any sweet dessert, and I keep a bottle around always for this very purpose. You will find it in specialty food stores, such as cheese shops and foofy high-end food shops.

Ingredients
1 pint strawberries
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar

If you have the sweetened, reduced balsamic vinegar you can leave out the sugar.

Directions
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve. Really. You don’t need any whipped cream (although you can add it if you wish), this dish is incredible on its own. Also, feel free to increase or reduce the vinegar to your taste. Some people prefer just a hint of vinegar, and some (like me) like soup. In fact, I’m seriously thinking of experimenting with this to make a smoothie, if I can find the proper mix of ingredients (and I will). Expect that post this summer.