February 18, 2016

Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

Valentines Day fell on a Sunday this year, so I OF COURSE had to spend ten hours of that day at work. {I wasn't surprised, to say the least.} Before finding out my work schedule for that day, I had BIG plans to watch chick flicks with Jarryd, sip red wine, make chocolate covered strawberries and also eat my weight in chocolate covered strawberries.

Thankfully, the day of love wasn't a total loss as Jarryd and I got to spend the morning at our new-ish church and it was amazing. They started a new series about my favourite topic in the whole world: LOVE!! Do you ever think to yourself: I sure wish I had heard this sermon when I was a teenager? Me too! Oh well, the beautiful thing about love is that it's never too late to love the right way.

ANYWAY, back to the whole reason for this blog post --> {Chocolate Covered Strawberries}!
The whole thought of making chocolate covered strawberries just wouldn't escape my mind--I HAD to do it!

I think the reason I wanted to make them so badly was because I have a really positive memory associated with them. When I was really young {I wanna say seven years old} I went on my very first cruise with my family. I absolutely loathed the fancy gourmet meals/desserts that the dining room served at dinner. They were too...different, too fancy, and too foreign for my young little tastebuds! {I want to kick my 7 year old self right now.}
There was this one night when it was time for dessert and I didn't want anything on the menu. Now, if you have ever been on a cruise you'll know that the staff is absolutely amazing; they are the friendliest people you'll ever meet! Our wonderful waitress sees me in distress and ends up bringing out a GORGEOUS plate of chocolate covered strawberries with whipped cream! These strawberries were HUGE. {As I write that sentence I'm just wondering if they huge because I was just really small...? Oh well.} It was the best dessert a little girl could have ever dreamed of! That is definitely a memory I hope to take with me to the nursing home one day. ;)

So, Jarryd and I took off the to the nearest grocery store and bought the necessary {and delicious} supplies. Seriously, if you're looking for an inexpensive, quick, and easy dessert to conquer, this is the one!

Wash the strawberries! I love how they look after a good, cold rinse; they're so pretty and shiny.

 Lay them out to dry on the cutest kitchen towel you own. ;)
 Strawberries galore! They're all unique in their different shapes and sizes, perfect in their imperfections.
They're definitely not in the most perfect of shape, a bunch of them are bruised here and there, but they still tasted heavenly!

Create a bain-marie and melt your chocolate! A bain-marie is essentially filling a pot with a little bit of water, boiling it {then turning it down to a simmer}, and then placing a bowl on top of the pot making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. The steam created from the hot water bath releases a perfect uniform heat, ensuring that the chocolate melts gently and slowly, and will not burn. {Burnt chocolate is just awful!}
 In the bowl I have Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate chips {I felt like it was a good idea to splurge on some brand-name chocolate chips for this special occasion} along with a tablespoon of shortening. Personally I'm not a huge fan of shortening, but it gives the chocolate a silky smooth texture which makes it perfect for dipping. {I don't think a tablespoon is gonna kill me...right?}
 It's melted!
I really couldn't resist taking another photo of this chocolate. It just looks extra beautiful when it's this shiny!
 How is THIS for a homemade bain-marie, hey?! I ran out of stainless steel bowls that would fit on top of this pot so I had to put my problem-solving skills to the test. I think I did okay. Plus the bowl/mug is freakin' cute!
 The second bain-marie is for my bowl of melted white chocolate. Mmmm! White chocolate tastes amazing with strawberries.
 Melting in progress!

 Gather your toppings and pour into bowls! I chose mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, and thinly sliced almonds. I also had a little dish of sprinkles but no photo.

Stab your strawberries with toothpicks. Is there a more dainty and delicate way to phrase this?
 They've been "toothpicked".
 Have I taken my obsession for food photography a little too far do you think?
 These strawberries are just dyyyiiiing to be dipped in a warm chocolate bath. {Aren't we all, though?} :D
Side note: of course I did this in my slippers. I can't wear my slippers in the kitchen at work, but in MY kitchen the wearing-of-slippers-rule is strongly enforced. ;)

Take hold of the strawberry by it's toothpick, and dip it down into the melted chocolate and twirl it as you bring it up. Place it on your laid out parchment paper {or zip lock bags in my case...I was being creative again...}. If you want to leave it as a literal chocolate covered strawberry {just slightly boring}, then you're done! OR if you want it to be an elegant and fancy chocolate covered strawberry, this is where you need to move quickly!
Take a small ziplock bag, fill it with a chocolate opposite of the one the strawberry was just dipped in {in my case, I filled it with white chocolate}, with the help of your trusty scissors, snip the tiniest of openings into one of the bottom corners. {It's a makeshift pastry bag!} Draw horizontal lines on the strawberry, then with a toothpick QUICKLY make vertical lines in the chocolate going either up or down on the strawberry. I should have taken photos of each step, but alas, I got too caught up in the moment. I was having too much fun!
 This above, was my very first strawberry! Not the worst, right?!
And this, was my second. How does someone go from "OK" to "Horrendous" in one consecutive shot? Isn't practice supposed to make perfect? Anyway, the photo above is an example of why I emphasize a fast pace when designing with a toothpick. The chocolate hardens faster than you think, and it becomes too hard to meld into each other. {Sad, I know.}
But when I FINALLY got the hang of it and perfectly executed the design I was totally screaming and jumping up and down for joy. It was a great moment in my life.
The chocolate covered strawberry aftermath! After indulging in an activity involving melted chocolate it was awesome to see that the kitchen wasn't even that dirty! {Win!!}

If there are three tips I can leave with you, they would be:
1) Always make sure the chocolate stays warm after it's melted. ESPECIALLY when you put chocolate into the ziplock bags, once it's cooled your attempt at the smooth lookin' design is toast.
2) As said before, with the toothpick design, move quick.
3) Make sure every little thing is prepped and in its proper place and condition before you start melting the chocolate. In culinary terms this is called "Mise En Place"--everything put in its proper place. I do this everyday with any cooking/baking activity in both my kitchen at home and the kitchen at work. It makes the execution go incredibly smooth!

Take photos of your beautiful creations because they'll be gone in no time! <3
 As you can see, you can make a pretty vast combination of designs with such limited toppings. Let's remember, all I had were two different toppings and two different types of chocolate and all these strawberries are different from one another!
 I am being so bad and keep picking out all of the imperfections and mistakes I made in the designs. They definitely aren't the most perfect looking chocolate covered strawberries, but I had SO much fun making them, and they look SO delicious.
Obviously I only put the best looking ones on this plate. ;)
 I must eat you...now. :D
 I am drooling over here.
I am in love with this strawberry. And I don't think I can eat it either; it's just too dang cute! I think it's my favourite.
These three I like to call my chocolate covered "duds".
The bunchy-looking one on the left: As stated before, I didn't move the toothpick quick enough so the chocolate hardened.
The sprinkled one: The second I dipped it in the sprinkles I regretted it. Maybe it's just me, but sprinkles just look all wrong.
The marbled one on the right: With this one I remember my brain totally blanking. I was going to do the toothpick design, but changed my mind halfway through...but didn't even know what I was changing my mind to! So I was like "oh what the hey, I'll just swirl you real good and you'll look just that, real good"! Heh...or not.

Jokes. :)
Eat at your very own pace.
Also, I totally forgot to buy ingredients for whipped cream, which would have tasted AH-MAZING with these!
If by some rare chance you have leftovers, place on a tray and stick it in your refrigerator {preferably close to the front for easy-access midnight snacking}. Also, they taste the best after they've been chilled.
Making chocolate covered strawberries is definitely something I'd love to do again! It's easy, very inexpensive, and delicious {it's also not a very heavy dessert, which is great!}. I honestly had so much fun making these little creations. It's very rare that I get lost in a task/activity that I do, but I totally did with this. I completely lost track of time; for a split second I forgot both my name and the current year. :P
If only this was my 9-5 job...
I love you little guys. Let's do this again sometime <3 :)

Sooo what do you think?! Please comment below, because I'd love to hear your input and ideas! Thanks so much for reading!! :)


  1. Hi, Jennifer! I don't know if you remember me, but I'm the brazilian girl that studied in the same school as you did! I gotta tell you, I'm having so much fun reading your blog. I love how you put your heart on everything you write. May God keep on blessing you with this happiness of yours! Sorry about my English, it is a little bit rusty!

    1. Sara! Of course I remember you!!! I am looking at your photos all the time on Facebook! :)
      Your English is GREAT! Seriously! Thank you so much for your kind words!! It really encourages me to keep up the writing! I'm so glad you are reading my blog, it makes me happy!! :) Take care lovely! <3

  2. Replies
    1. Susanna!!! Thank you!!! :) I miss you! Will you be at Sandy Cove this summer? (I will not be, I just said goodbye on Friday!)

  3. I love the duds!!! haha In my opinion they need the most love and deserve to be eaten first.

    But truly, your strawberries are gorgeous!!!!!!

    1. I definitely ate them first. Hee hee :)
      And thank you!! Truthfully they turned out better than I expected!

  4. lovely pictures
    not only are you great in the kitchen you are a wordsmith
    want to see more from you. Joan Rohrer

    1. Thank you so much Joan! I really appreciate you saying that because both culinary and writing are my passions. <3

  5. I made chocolate strawberries the day before Valentines, but mine definitely weren't as pretty as yours! I'll have to use your tips next time. They look amazing.

    1. Awe thank you Candace! I can't wait to try out more designs in the future! The best part about making these is that no matter how badly or messily they turn out, they always taste SO GOOD. :) I say we both make these again soon!

  6. This was wonderful! I loved reading it and looking at/drooling over the pictures! Fabulous job- both entertaining and educational!