Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"Easy" Chocolate Strawberries

I love a nice juicy, sweet, chocolate dipped strawberry! They are SO yummy. But, they can be a mess to make (oh darn, you have to lick chocolate off your fingers). I don't know about the rest of the world, but it seems like here in America we're all about finding easier ways to get things done. Call it efficiency, laziness, ingenuity, weirdness, whatever. With our craze for easy, it was no wonder that this pin took Pinterest by storm:

The Original Pin:
http://www.jcrochoux.com/collection/Temporaire
The caption on this one usually goes something like this: "Easy chocolate dipped strawberries using an ice cube tray!"

Seems easy. Ice cube tray. Add strawberries and chocolate. Freeze/cool. Eat. Repeat. Nechama saw this pin and, even though the site it linked to didn't have written instructions, she figured the pictures explained it well enough:

Here is her run of this project:

So I've been eyeing this pin for a while. I LOVE chocolate covered strawberries. But its always such a pain to dip them, and then they drip...
Anyway, when I saw this pin, I knew I had to try it. There were no instructions, but it seemed easy enough, right? WRONG. I started by washing my strawberries and outing them in the ice cube tray. (I only filled half a tray in case it was a GCT 5)


Then I melted my chocolate in the microwave. 


I then proceeded to dump it on the strawberries and smooth it, as shown.



I stuck them in the freezer and waited for about 15 minutes until I was sure they had hardened. I popped them out and got this:

The Pinstrosity
I'd rate this as a 3 - it didn't do what it was supposed to, but it still tasted great. My tip for anyone attempting this:
Add oil/butter/margarine to the chocolate mixture. Even with smoothing, it did not drip down enough. It needs to be liquidy!


Chocolate. Check. Strawberries. Check. But...just not quite how it was supposed to turn out. I got looking around online for the source of the top photos in the pin Nechama used and found their original web home. Nechama ended up following the instructions on the blog, without actually even seeing the original blog. Good job Nechama!

I have a few suggestions for this project for any of you who want to try it.
1. If you are going to use the method above, definitely add shortening to your melted chocolate. If it is thinner, it will run down into the tray better and cover the strawberries. Just add a fingerfull at a time, it doesn't take a ton of shortening to do the job.
2. Another approach you could take is to fill each compartment of the ice cube tray about 1/3 of the way full of melted chocolate, then add your strawberries, then top with chocolate.
3. Let me pull up the original photo and I'll point out something I noticed with it.
See the groove in the chocolate on the bottom? I think this is a chocolate candy bar. This may be a commercial product and not a DIY project picture, but I think you can still get the same effect. Fill the ice cube tray compartments 1/3 of the way full of melted chocolate. Add strawberries. Add more melted chocolate to just cover the top of the strawberry. Top with a chocolate bar.

To me the photo actually looks more like someone chopped the top off the strawberry to make it flat, dipped it in chocolate (you can stab the top of the strawberry with a fork to make it easy), and then put the dipped berries on a chocolate bar to cool. Why do I think this? Look at the front two strawberries. Their sides are "glued" together with chocolate. That wouldn't happen in an ice cube tray.

Whatever method you choose to make these though...it's chocolate and it's strawberries. Just with those two words it's hard not to have a win!

Don't forget to check back in at noon for today's Use It Up project post!


19 comments:

  1. It is like you are a Pinterest detective. I never would have noticed those clues you pointed out. I think you are spot on with your conclusion. I will try it your way sometime!

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  2. I think you are 100% spot on. I've been noticing this pin and thinking something was off with the picture. I've never seen an ice cube tray like this. I hadn't even noticed the chocolate bar on the bottom.

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  3. It's definitely a commercial product! The original image is from a chocoliter in France. Not sure if I can post links here, but... http://www.jcrochoux.com/collection/Temporaire The page is in french, but google translate and my high school french education says it's a chocolate tablet with fresh fruit.

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  4. I've done some candymaking in 4H, and honestly your only mistake was only adding the chocolate on top. If you coat the sides of the ice cube tray with chocolate (you can do this with a clean paintbrush), let it harden, and THEN add the strawberries and top with chocolate, you should get the covering you want. Whether you want to do one coat or two depends on how thick you want the chocolate to be.

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  5. Oh, and I do this http://www.lilyshop.com/chocolate-filled-strawberries , well the idea anyways, it's not as messy as dipping. I use an ice cube tray instead of an egg carton, and I fill the strawberries with chocolate ganache. It' like a chocolate truffle filled strawberry! Yum!

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  6. Ahem.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/18/chocolate-covered-strawberries_n_1890082.html

    Jean-Charles Rochoux is the creator of the chocolate covered strawberry chocolate bar. So yes, you are correct, it is a commercial product in the original photo.

    A way to do this, using ice cube trays, is to put melted chocolate in the tray, tilt to coat the sides of each cavity completely, allowing a shell to form, dump the excess chocolate, add strawberries, then top with more melted chocolate to cover and add a chocolate bar if desired. It's essentially the same concept as Cherry Cordials, minus the cream.

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  7. I love how the instruction pictures she followed have the strawberries cut up and put in an ice cube tray but the final product picture has the berries whole (minus the top) and in a shape that looks nothing like the ice cube tray...

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  8. You're right- it IS a commercial product.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/18/chocolate-covered-strawberries_n_1890082.html

    Jean-Charles Rochoux's 'Ephemereal Bar'- chocolate covered fresh fruit. And it's only available in Paris.

    You could make similar by doing a version of cherry cordials- coating the ice cube trays with chocolate, placing the strawberries inside and then covering/filling with more chocolate and if desired, placing a chocolate bar on top before letting it set up. That would get nearly the same effect and better coverage.

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  9. It really looks like a commercial product, but fresh fruit inside chocolate doesn´t last long. It seems to me that this is done this way: make a chocolate bar, let it harden. Then, put trimmed strawberries on top of the bar that it´s still in the chocolate mold and then covered all with chocolate. Look at the edges on the back strawberries, the roundness.

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  10. I thought it was either a custom tray, or maybe the strawberries had the flat side in the tray with the chocolate on top, but ice cube trays are still pretty deep.

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. At one point, I think I found the original source for this pin, and it's actually a commercial product. Not that chocolate covered strawberries in ice cube trays wouldn't be tasty, or even attractive in their own way, but they sure won't look like that! I mean, who has perfect strawberry shaped ice cube trays? :)

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  13. I tried to leave this earlier but I guess the link got it filtered out.

    Anyway, you're right that the original picture isn't of a homemade project. They're made and sold by a professional chocolatier from Paris. If you're interested you can google Jean-Charles Rochoux and click on 'Temporary' on his website, there's a picture of it there.

    Even if the homemade version doesn't look great, it's still chocolate and strawberries and it'll still taste fabulous!

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  14. I was startled by the ice cube tray. The shape of the chocolate covered strawberries more makes me think of egg cartons. Maybe one of those plastic ones that eggs sometimes come in.

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  15. I always wondered how the chocolate would totally cover the strawberry without putting some on the bottom. I always assumed it was a fake pin and that it would turn out just like the Pinstrosity lol

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  16. I've never seen an ice cube tray like that either, I was thinking they used a styrofoam egg carton, filled it with melted chocolate, and then stuffed the strawberries down into it. makes sense to take it that one step further by warming the bottom of a chocolate bar and popping it on top...

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  17. You all are super sleuths! Thank you so much for the information on the Jean-Charles Rochoux's 'Ephemereal Bar'. I knew it looked too good to be ice cube tray strawberries!

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  18. This is actually doable. Line a tray or dish with wax paper and pour a layer of chocolate about a 1/4 inch thick. You may need to add a tiny bit of shortening to the chocolate but you don't want it too runny. Cut tops off strawberries, wash and allow to dry. Place strawberries in the layer of chocolate cut side down about 1/4 inch apart. Pour more chocolate over each strawberry and stick in the freezer. Once it is set, remove the "bar" from the dish by lifting up the wax paper and peel the paper off the bottom. You now have the same exact bar. You can break off individual strawberries or give the whole thing as a gift. It works!

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  19. Put hot melted chocolate in plastic? No.

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