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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sexy Sweet: Strawberry Dipped in Dark Chocolate with Grand Marnier

A strawberry dipped in chocolate conjures images of champagne and seduction.  A strawberry or two may have played a part in an off the chain night, but the sexy sweet is luscious anytime and easy to make at home.
Stopped by Trader Joe's and picked up a Pound Plus (weighs over 17oz) of Belgium (72% cocoa) Dark  Chocolate, a pint of heavy cream and a quart of untrimmed strawberries (Unfortunately, TJ's  did not have long stemmed in stock).  In the kitchen, I pulled out some unsalted butter to soften and grabbed a dusty bottle of Grand Marnier.  Years ago, Grand Marnier was the bartender's shot of choice poured in the Georgetown enclave of Washington, D.C.  The addition of GM was about adding old school flavor and a reminiscence.
We have all heard the drone of health media going on and on about the benefits of dark chocolate.  Okay, we all get the point.  Dark chocolate has health benefits! BUT come on y'all, chocolate tastes GOOD.  In fact, I think dark chocolate has a more complex flavor than milk chocolate. 
Here's the rundown for Strawberry Dipped in Dark Chocolate with Grand Marnier:
10 oz of Dark Chocolate
1 quart of strawberries with leaves, even better w/ stems.
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 or 2 tbs of unsalted butter
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
The chocolate needs to be melted in a bain-marie or double boiler if you have these useful but fancy items.  I do not, so what I do is use a large stainless steel bowl that fits snuggly in a large sauce pan or small pot.  I fill the pot so that water line is about 1 inch below the bottom of the bowl.  This technique creates low even heat for melting the chocolate.
Add the chocolate to the bowl.  Stir with a fork as it melts.  When 1/2 of the chocolate is soft or melted, stir in a tablespoon of butter.  Continue to stir.  All melted.  Slowly add the cream while stirring.  Add the Grand Marnier while stirring.  You want the chocolate to be velvety. Depending on the chocolate you may want to add a little bit more butter and a bit more cream.  Individually, dip each strawberry into the chocolate; rotating the strawberry to evenly cover.  Sit on a tray lined with wax paper to harden, 30 min - 1 hour.  If you have stemmed strawberries, you can invert the berry and stick the steam in styrofoam to harden.  
Here's an impression of making the sexy sweet shot on a Flip Camera.

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