Monday, February 10, 2014

Champagne Soaked Chocolate Covered Heart-Shaped Strawberries

Though I don't currently have a special someone (accepting applications!), I still love making festive holiday treats, and Valentine's Day is no exception.
My sister came over for a little baking extravaganza - best soux chef ever!! - so I could have some fabulous company, and send her home with some treats to share with her boyfriend.

We combined two different recipes, HERE and HERE, soaking strawberries in champagne, and then forming them into adorable heart shapes, and dipping in chocolate. And they were yum!

The heart shape doesn't fully come through until you cover them in chocolate, so hold out hope until then! Although, I'm not going to lie, some of them turn out butt-shaped. Those ones you can keep for yourself ;)
They all taste the same. Amazing!

What you'll need:
(Quantities based on how many you'd like to make)
Strawberries (smaller ones with only a single point at the bottom work best)
Bottle of Champagne (your choice. Prosecco would work fine, too!)
Toothpicks (1 wooden toothpick for each strawberry)
Chocolate (milk, white, or dark)
Couple tablespoons of oil (vegetable, coconut)

Start by rinsing strawberries well, and cutting straight across the tops, trimming off just the stems.

Toss in a bowl filled with champagne, making sure all the strawberries are covered, and let soak for a couple hours. 

They pick up plenty of champagne flavor-flav in that amount of time. The recipe above recommended overnight, but I think they would get too soggy by then, especially since we are cutting them in half afterwards; you need them to hold their shape still.  
We also decided soaking them whole, instead of already cut in half, worked much better.

Remove from liquid, and pat dry with paper towels.

Cut berries in half, from top to bottom, and keeping the halves paired with each other, lay side by side, and stick a toothpick through the sides to hold them together in a heart shape.

 Some strawberries will look much more heart shaped than others, just depending on their natural shape. You can carve a rounded edge on the outer corners if they need some work. If a strawberry is more oval shaped looking at it from the top, instead of a circle, try cutting it the short way, instead of left to right, to get a better heart shape result.
If that made no sense...use trial and error. You'll figure it out!

Once all the strawberries are strung up on toothpicks, melt some chocolate with a couple tablespoons of vegetable or coconut oil in a double boiler pan (or a heat-proof bowl, over a pot of simmering water, if you don't have a double boiler. I use mine only like 3x a year, but it is worth investing in one!) until smooth and melted.

Dip the berries in the chocolate, using two forks, evenly coating all sides. Tap on the side of the pan to remove excess chocolate, then lay on wax paper to set.
Tip: Put a big sheet of wax, or parchment paper on a cookie sheet, or two, so when you are done dipping, you can easily transport them all directly into the fridge to set up.
Once the chocolate is set, they are ready to eat!

You can also melt some white chocolate, dying pink or red, if you'd like, and drizzle it over the tops of the strawberries.

Or you can get crazy, and pretend you are 5, and draw ladybugs and butterflies and hearts on some.
Like I said: no significant other to impress. Haha. So, doodle on these as much as your lil' heart desires. They all still taste the same!

These are best enjoyed within 24 hours or so. After that, the berries get a bit soggy, and the champagne leaks out.  
I still used the 2-3 day old leftovers, chopped up, on top of pancakes, with peanut butter, this morning!

Anyway, these make such a fun treat for your Valentine, friends and family, or just for yourself!
We made quite a few, but you can make a few or as many as you'd like. Just adjust the amount of chocolate melted accordingly. And drink the leftover champagne you didn't use to soak the berries.
Actually, we drank the strawberry essence-ed leftover post-soaking champagne, too. We fancy like that.