They say the “best things come in small packages.” While I can certainly think of instances when smaller is not better, and hopefully Valentine’s Day is not one of them, the spirit of this maxim is found in such traditional Valentine’s Day gifts as jewelry and diamonds (hint-hint Sous Chef) and chocolate covered strawberries. Since I am a sentimentalist and romantic at heart, I was thrilled when Driscoll’s Berries asked me to create a twist on the classic Chocolate Covered Strawberry. Since I get migraines from regular chocolate, and my sweetheart is indifferent to chocolate anyway, my twists on the classic are a White Chocolate–Hazelnut Covered Strawberry and a White Chocolate & Chambord Covered Strawberry.
The base coating for either rendition is white chocolate. Strawberries dipped in white chocolate are quite stunning and look beautiful on their own or when used as a garnish on a Valentine’s Day cake. But they really take on another dimension in flavor and appearance when the chocolate is infused with nuts or a colorful liqueur. The preparation is simple and easy: melt the white chocolate according to instructions on the wrapper (I used the microwave method), dip the strawberry first in the melted white chocolate and then into chopped nuts of your choice, place on a plate lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate so the ingredients better adhere to the strawberry. For color and some additional flavor, I added a bit of Chambord to the melted white chocolate, swirled the mixture lightly with a toothpick, and then dipped the strawberry. Instead of Chambord, you can use artificial food coloring (if you don’t mind the risk), another colorful liqueur, or the juice from the strawberry or another berry.
Make your Valentine some handmade White Chocolate Covered Strawberries this year. Gifts from the heart are always the best!
- One bar of Ghiradelli White Chocolate, or 1 cup of Valrhona White Chocolate Chips
- chopped hazelnuts (optional)
- Chambord (optional)
- *If using Chambord, add a dash or two to the melted white chocolate mixture and swirl.
- Melt chocolate according to directions. (I used microwave method, which is 50% power for one minute, check and add 30 seconds if not melted.)
- Place sheet of parchment paper or wax paper on a plate.
- Dip strawberry in melted chocolate.
- If desired, place strawberry in chopped nuts and roll to coat. Place on wax paper to set.