Monday, June 1, 2009
Have you ever seen anything so beautiful? Gorgeous aren't they? Mmm, I love fresh strawberries. (Alright and technically I know that these are May strawberries but June Strawberries just sounds so much better)
My friend Hilary asked me way back at New Years if I would make one of the desserts for her wedding to another friend of ours Shawn. I was so delighted that she would ask. And I have to admit that I hemmed and hawed about what I would make. I wanted it to be good. I wanted it to be light and weddingish. I knew that their wedding was to be relaxed and casual, but special and I wanted to make something that would match that atmosphere. And then I read a post at Cheat Day Cafe in April. It was Melody's strawberries with fat-free cheesecake filling. They looked heavenly and I knew I had found a match. As I was admiring them one day I asked my husband what he thought. He thought they looked great but had I considered chocolate dipped strawberries? Ooohh, no I hadn't, but now I did. As I looked up chocolate covered strawberries I came across white chocolate coconut dipped strawberries too. Now we're talking. Now we are in strawberry heaven. So I made all three.
I changed Melody's recipe only slightly. I couldn't find any cheesecake flavored pudding, so I used vanilla. I also had trouble getting the stiffness I wanted for the filling, so I added about a half cup of icing sugar. It worked and the result was lovely (not as pretty as hers, you have to take a look) but I was pleased.
Making chocolate dipped strawberries was easier than I ever thought. The only tricky part is making sure not to overcook the chocolate. Once you have it melted to the right consistency you have to work fast. I made mine by melting a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave on low heat. Stir every couple of minutes until it's nice and smooth. Then dip the strawberries in and set on wax paper to harden the chocolate shells. Keep at a cool temperature.
The white chocolate coconut ones were similar only I melted a bag of white chocolate chips and then had a bowl of finely flaked coconut ready. Dip in the white chocolate, dip in the coconut and set on wax paper to harden.
There is a trick to making the chocolate look nice. Twist the strawberry as it is in the chocolate to coat it well and continue to twist as you take it out.
I made 2 large trays of the strawberries. I made 30 cream filled, 15 white chocolate coconut and 15 chocolate dipped (these were very large strawberries) - plus a few practice ones for my family. I had a lot of compliments on these. I just couldn't believe that something so pretty and tasty was so easy to make.
Here are the bride and groom at their wedding this past Saturday - don't they look so happy? The wedding was really so perfectly them. Fairly casual and fairly special.