Dipping strawberries in chocolate is so last season — serving the dipped strawberries as pops is so this season! And now is the season for strawberries, which makes this recipe hot, like the weather outside.
These neat treats are great for any summer party. Decorated with heart-shaped sugar-free marzipan, they are especially great for weddings. You can also add your preferred seasonings or sweeteners to the chocolate dip: for example rum, vanilla stevia — or both!
Tips for making the pops
As sticks you can use anything which you can use with food: skewers, cocktail sticks or even toothpicks. I have used paper sticks meant for cake pops. I sharpened both ends so that one end is easier to insert in the strawberry and the other end in the cardboard box which I used as a stand.
When coating with chocolate, it’s essential to temper the chocolate first. Sounds complicated, but don’t worry. If you follow the directions to the letter, you actually temper the chocolate. Well, it’s not professional way, but okay for everyday coating at home.
The most important thing is not to heat the chocolate too much. If it’s too hot, the result will be uneven in color and in texture. In the worst case the chocolate also tastes burned.
When I melt and temper chocolate, I like to place the chopped chocolate in a small, heatproof bowl. Then I boil some water in a kettle. I pour the boiling hot water in a small saucepan. Then I place carefully the bowl with the chopped chocolate in the saucepan. I don’t stir very often, just every few minutes to see whether the chocolate is melted completely.
When the chocolate is melted, I pour the hot water away and add the rest of the chopped chocolate. Again I stir every few minutes to see if all the chocolate is melted. Usually I still wait for a couple of minutes that the chocolate cools down to the right temperature.
That’s about melting and tempering. Add the possible seasonings, sweeteners or flavorings at this point. If you add alcohol, the consistency might get thick. This shouldn’t matter. The chocolate should anyway set and get solid after the strawberry is dipped in it. Actually, personally I prefer thicker dip, it forms irresistible, thick coating with just one dipping.
If the tempering fails anyway for some reason and the color of the chocolate coating is uneven, don’t worry, just dip the strawberries second time in the chocolate and decorate the freshly-dipped strawberries with an ample amount of shredded coconut — nobody will realize that the tempering has failed.
In any case, if you decorate the dipped strawberries you should do the decorating immediately after dipping when the chocolate hasn’t set yet. If the chocolate has set and is solid, no decoration will stick and hold.
The chocolate will set faster if the strawberries are cold. So, if you want to be ready faster, use fridge-cold strawberries. If you would like to have more time for decorating, let the strawberries stay an hour or two at room temperature before dipping.
Cardboard boxes and empty egg cartons are very handy for placing the dipped and decorated pops. It’s a good idea to pierce the box first so that you don’t have to use too much power when placing the pops in the box.
My experiments with the pops
Most probably somebody has invented this idea before, it’s simply so simple and brilliant. If you know that somebody has served chocolate-dipped strawberries as pops, please let me know. I have to confess that I don’t have time for following what is happening around… This blogging hobby and my lively son make that sure.
Anyway, serving dipped strawberries as pops popped into my mind the other night, actually it was quite a sleepless night. I often write down a bunch of ideas during nights. Those ideas appear in my mind just like that. I often see them as “visions”. Actually, it’s not really seeing, but sensing. Usually these “visions” are very graphic and they come and go before I manage to write them down or draw them.
But I don’t want to confuse you more. So, that other night I saw a vision of chocolate-dipped strawberries served as pops. I saw simple pops and pops with detailed decorations. There I got the idea to develop a recipe for these simple but delicious pops.
Actually, I really didn’t have to trouble myself too much. I already had learned a simple method how to melt and temper chocolate. Well, the amounts of chocolate and strawberries needed some pondering. And I guess the most difficult part was to think how to insert a stick in a strawberry and also where to put it the dipped strawberry pops to stand. I was also using quite much time for planning how to serve the beautiful pops so that they would stand out. From these photos you see the result of my planning 🙂
As chocolate I wanted to use very dark chocolate because it has the lowest amount of carbs and it’s healthy. Since the combination of just chocolate and strawberries would have been a bit boring though simple and tasty, I wanted to have a small twist on the pops. I was pondering different options how to make the chocolate dip more interesting. Vanilla or some other flavor, different spices, alcohol… For decoration shredded coconut would look great on dark chocolate and it would also give crunchy texture and nice flavor. After a few experiments I was satisfied.
Tips for variation
You can flavor and season the chocolate dip in your preferred way. Be experimental! My personal favorite is 2 teaspoons rum and 10 drops liquid vanilla stevia for adults’ treats. You can also use unflavored liquid stevia or other stevia flavors, like toffee or chocolate raspberry.
Spices and seasonings are also worth trying. Ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, even rose pepper… Yes, and chili is one good old favorite with chocolate.
Next I would like to try how different flavorings, like orange or almond, go with the chocolate dip.
For decorations you can use for example sugar-free marzipan, shredded coconut, crushed nuts or almonds as well as chocolate shavings. If you find decent sugar-free white chocolate, that makes a great contrast to dark chocolate either as shavings or melted and striped. You can also make chocolate decorations from melted chocolate using chocolate molds.
You can also serve the dip and the decorations separately so that everybody can dip her own strawberry and decorate it as desired. This makes a great summer party routine!
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