Chocolate Dipped Strawberries with Liqueur
This is not a new concept. For that matter, neither is apple pie, and yet there are reasons why some desserts become classics and this is a great example. Juicy strawberries enhanced with an injection – yes, an injection! – of a liqueur and then a dip in chocolate. I like my strawberries with semisweet chocolate so I use liqueurs that complement those flavors.
For this example I used Grand Marnier in some of the berries, Amaretto in others and even tried some St. Germaine, which is an elderberry liqueur. The alcohol is introduced into the fruit with a syringe and needle. These kits are sold as marinating and flavoring aids and I even found one in our local supermarket! They make it very easy to inject the liqueur into the fruit using the Tips described below. These are always a hit. Very easy to make. The one caveat is that they do not hold very well. Make them the day you intend to serve them. Watch Dédé make these at Better.tv. You can also try some other “LOVE”ly recipes with aphrodisiac properties: Spiced Hot Chocolate (aka Love Brew) and Pomegranate Meringues with Honey.
- 1 pound basket of medium sized strawberries
- ½ cup liqueur of choice (you might have some leftover), such as Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Amaretto, St. Germaine or a few different ones
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, such as Ghirardelli or Callebaut
- The berries should be washed and patted dry; it is very important for them to be dry to accept their chocolate coating effectively.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil smoothed free of wrinkles.
- Melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave and stir until smooth. (We like the melt the chocolate, or transfer the melted chocolate, into a deep, narrow container such as a measuring cup, which facilitates the dipping process).
- While chocolate is melting you will be filling (injecting) the berries. Every berry is a different size and will accept varying amounts of liqueur. In our experience it is somewhere between ½ teaspoon and 1 teaspoon. Draw the liqueur up into the syringe. Insert the syringe in the top of the berry (we push aside the leaves) and slowly inject alcohol. You will know when you have added enough because it might start to backsplash a little through the insertion (read our Tips below for more information on this technique). If there is any alcohol on the outside of the berry pat dry with a clean paper towel.
- Dip berries one at a time in the chocolate, allowing the chocolate to come up almost to the berry’s shoulders (the top curved part). If there is a stem you can hold it to facilitate dipping, or simply gasp the shoulders. Allow excess chocolate drip back in the container then lay berry down on the prepared pan. Repeat with remaining berries. Chill to firm up the chocolate. Berries are ready to serve. We like them slightly chilled or at room temperature. Best served the day they are made.
- If you have a choice, medium sized berries work best for ratio of fruit to liqueur to chocolate. Also, nice red ones will just look prettiest.
- When injecting the berries make sure not to go through the berry and pierce the other side! It is easy to do and then the alcohol will flow through and not stay inside. Take a good look at the injector system you have. In ours, the needle part has two holes – one on the end and one a tiny bit up the shaft of the needle. Both holes have to be submerged in the liqueur when you are drawing it up into the syringe and also both have to be embedded in the center of the berry while injecting.
- We like to inject half the berries with one kind of liqueur and other berries with a secondary choice. If you want to “mark” the berries you could drizzle white chocolate over the dark chocolate to “label” the Grand Marnier berries. Or do what we do and leave them simple and let the liqueur flavor be a surprise. It is also fun to try and guess what the alcohol is. Some are obvious – but some are not!