Sunday, February 5, 2012

Brownie Returns--Super Bowl Strawberries

So I hope I'm not looking too much like a one-trick pony with the strawberries I did last year and now strawberries again.  I was between these and football shaped devil dogs (whoopie pies for anyone not related to us), and the strawberries seemed like they offered some redeeming health value.

Without further ado, here are your instructions--

1. Dip strawberries in melted chocolate.  I prefer it to be a bit on the darker side, so I use half milk and half semisweet (because I didn't have any actual dark chocolate).  Go for whatever combination you like.  I'd suggest dipping in a deep, narrow-necked vessel to give you maximum coating time (it gets tricky towards the end if you have a shallow chocolate puddle).  My new trick is spearing the berries on a toothpick and then sticking them into styrofoam (that I've covered with foil just in case).  It doesn't really matter for these since they'll be decorated, but it's good for getting a smoother finish.  If you happen to overcrowd your styrofoam and can't insert a berry along the edge, stick a second toothpick in from the opposite side and give it a quick jab.  The toothpick will go into the styrofoam and you can pull the top one out--as long as the chocolate hasn't become tacky it will fill the hole right back in!

The speared strawberries

Resting on a tray that had been in the freezer

Decisions, decisions
2. Decide on your weapon of choice.   On the left, we have a microwaveable decorating bottle.  Convenient for melting, but the tip size isn't adjustable.  Mine worked fine for the lines, but not the laces--too thick a bead for my taste.  On the right, a FREEZER quality plastic bag.  Regular storage bags tend to split.  You'll go through two of them and end up spending the same amount of money with more frustration.  Or you could be classy and use a decorating bag and tip.  That would probably work best.
3. Pipe your first line--go as close to the top as you can.  You want to go a little more than half way around, since the strawberry might be viewed from the side.  It's easiest to start off the berry and finish off the berry.  Repeat with the smaller line 1/4 to 1/3 up from the bottom.
The straightness of my lines left something to be desired...
4. Add the laces line.  By this time your white chocolate may have cooled, leaving you with slight bumps where the cooled chocolate clogs the tip.  You should reheat it so yours look better than mine.  I just soldiered on because I was tired.

They're even somewhat football-shaped!
5.  Add your laces--4 or 5 of them.  Do your top and bottom ones first, and then see if you think you can fit 3 more.  If so, do the middle first.  Here's your comparison shot--the left strawberry laces were done with the bottle (thicker lines) and the right ones were done with a plastic bag.


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