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Tuesday, December 23, 2014


The Ingredients (for 20 servings):

  • 20 medium size strawberries, weighing approximately 450 g (or 1 lb)
  • 170 g (or 6 oz) of stevia-sweetened dark (preferably 70% cacao) chocolate
  • 20 g (or 1 tablespoon) of unsalted butter


  • floral foam or similar material, at least 4 cm (or 1½ in) thick
  • wax paper
  • 20 toothpicks, pointed at both ends
  • small tweezers

The Method:

  1. Wash and hull the strawberries, then drain and pat them dry.
  2. Place the strawberries on a paper towel in a colander and refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Cover a piece of stiff foam such as floral foam with a sheet of wax paper and secure it. I do this by taping it together on the underside. This will hold the strawberries in place after they are dipped in chocolate.
  4. Place the foam on a flat tray to give it some rigidity.
  5. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place it into a small saucepan.
  6. Add the butter.
  7. Place the saucepan over very low heat, e.g. either a larger pan containing hot water or a warming area of the stove top.
  8. Stir as the chocolate and butter melt. On the warming element of my stove, the chocolate takes about 20 minutes to melt completely and I like to stir it every 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. When the chocolate mixture is smooth and shiny, and its viscosity is similar to that of honey, remove it from the heat source.
  10. Bring the chilled strawberries out of the refrigerator. 
  11. Pick up a strawberry and insert a toothpick into it through the stem area, leaving at least 3 cm (or 1¼ in) sticking out.
  12. Holding it by the toothpick, dip the strawberry in the melted chocolate or use a spoon to ladle the chocolate over the strawberry, leaving a small area free.
  13. Allow excess chocolate to drain back into the pan.
  14. Use tweezers to grasp the toothpick just below the base of the strawberry.
  15. Press the toothpick through the wax paper and down into the foam base, using the index finger of your free hand to keep it vertical.
  16. Repeat steps 10 through 14 for all of the strawberries.
  17. Place the strawberries, foam, and supporting tray into the refrigerator for at least an hour (and up to 12 hours) before serving.

    The Story:

    When the strawberries are fresh and crisp, when the chocolate is dark and rich, this is one of the most delectable dessert items I know. Back in the day, I tried to make them a few times using mediocre cooking chocolate, with little success. Then when my husband had to cut out most sugar and carbs, fruit and chocolate became obvious no-nos. It wasn't until I discovered CocoPolo chocolate that I tried again.
    Now, the technique was the problem. How to get those slippery little pyramids to stand upright on their lumpy bottoms? I read many recipes that said merely to stand them or lay them on wax paper. I wanted them to be upright, not touching anything, for at least an hour to let the chocolate set hard. Something made me think of the foam that florists use for some arrangements. Perfect! In fact, my son-in-law had some thick packaging foam that he was about to throw away and suggested I try to use it.  It worked beautifully. 
    Another piece of synthetic material saved from the island's landfill!

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