Strawberries au Chocolat

 
What to do when you have a bucket of strawberries and the weather is too warm to bake with them? Dip them in chocolate, of course! (Recipe at the end of this post.)

We were on our way back from breakfast last weekend in some unseasonably hot San Diego weather (which, strangely is back with us this week, too) when we stopped at Carlsbad Strawberry Company, a roadside stand in Carlsbad where you can pick your own berries.
Just take the 5 to Cannon Road and head east. It's right there.
For a mere $20 (!!!) you can fill a relatively small bucket with fresh strawberries that you pick yourself. Naturally, this appealed to our now 4 year old, but Jeremy and I thought this was a brilliant ploy on the owners' parts. Charge people for the strawberries and have them do the fruit picking for you? So smart.
Admittedly, it's amazing to select your own berries. A little tip in case you're fortunate enough to have a strawberry field near you: the best berries are in the middle of the plant. They're unexpectedly tucked into the center where you wouldn't think enough sun would get in, but it surely must. These are the biggest, sweetest, least bug-stricken berries and we could not help but eating a few right there.

At first I thought I would make shortcakes with these beauties, but the thought of turning the oven on when we have no air conditioning and it was 90 degrees outside was not so appealing. A little melting chocolate on the stove top wasn't so bad though. I just poured a bag of chocolate chips into my double boiler and added about 4 tablespoons of butter so that when the chocolate hardened, it was still bite-able.
I'm pretty sure I melted right along with the chocolate.
Is it melted enough, Jeremy?
Dipping.
Sloppy but delectable!
We had such a great time doing this as a family and indulging in the literal fruits of our labor that I'm pretty sure we'll be doing more of this over the summer. Can you say "fondue"?

Chocolate for Dipping
One bag best quality chocolate chips
4 T butter

In a double boiler over 1-1/2" steaming water, melt the butter. Then, stir in the chocolate until thoroughly melted. If the chocolate is not thin enough, add a little more butter. Then, dip!

Place dipped fruit on parchment or another non-stick surface until it hardens. You can chill the dipped fruit, but it's not necessary. As soon as the chocolate hardens, serve.

These do not store well, so, make them the same day you plan to serve them for best presentation.

Note: you can dip pretty much any fruit in this sauce. Again, best served the day they're dipped. 
Someone enjoyed these A LOT!
Try this recipe. It's too easy not to!

xox,

A.

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