You haven't celebrated Spring fully until you've made these adorable Chocolate Covered Strawberry Carrots.
- 1 Cup sugar
- 4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 Tsp. salt
- 2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 Ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 4 Cups whole milk, divided
- 6 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 Cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about 40 cookies)
- 1 Package (16 ounces) Driscoll's Strawberries, select the 8 largest from the package for dipping
- 11 Ounces white chocolate (chips, wafers, chunks or chopped bar )
- Gel food coloring (red and yellow)
In double boiler melt bittersweet chocolate. Set aside.
Whisk together 1 cup milk and cornstarch.
Bring remaining 3 cups milk, sugar, cocoa and salt just to a simmer over medium heat. Stir cornstarch mixture then add to milk mixture in saucepot and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in melted chocolate and vanilla. Divide pudding between 8 food safe 6 oz stainless steel mini pail buckets or small 6 - 8 oz jars or glasses. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. Chill.
Rinse and dry the strawberries. Make sure you dry them well with a soft cloth or paper towel. You do not want water on the berries when you dip them in chocolate. For best results berries should be at room temperature for dipping to ensure that the chocolate will adhere to the berry.
Melting the Chocolate
Melting chocolate is a delicate but simple task that requires constant attention. Chocolate can burn quite easily, so it's important to melt at a low temperature, be patient and follow the right steps to ensure a bowl of smooth melted chocolate for dipping.
There are two methods for melting chocolate: stovetop and microwave. The method you choose depends on your preference and comfort level, but you'll end up with the same result.
To melt chocolate on the stovetop, place the white chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. If you do not have a double boiler, place a glass or metal bowl of chocolate over a pot of barely simmering water. The gentle steam from the hot water will slowly melt the chocolate while you stir constantly to help the chocolate melt evenly. Don't let any water from the pot get into the chocolate as the water will cause it to clump and "seize", thus prevent it from melting properly.
Place the white chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave at medium (50%) power for 1 minute then stir and continue to microwave at medium (50%) power in 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until melted and smooth. The total time will depend on how much chocolate you are melting but should only be a couple minutes.
Dipping and Decorating
Line a baking sheet with wax paper, parchment paper or aluminum foil. Once the chocolate has melted add 4 drops of yellow gel food color and 4 drops of red food gel color and stir well until thoroughly blended into the chocolate. Add more yellow gel and/or red gel color if you desire a more vibrant color.
Holding the strawberry by the green leaves (Calyx) dip it into the chocolate swirling the strawberry until coated. Suggest coating about ¾ of the way up the strawberry leaving some strawberry showing. Gently shake off excess chocolate and place on prepared baking sheet to set.
After dipping the strawberries, take the remaining chocolate and gently reheat until fully melted again. Prepare a pastry bag fitted with a piping tip and fill the bag with remaining chocolate. With the berries lying on the baking sheet, start at the tip of each berry and pipe lines half way across the strawberry, alternating starting from the left, then the right until up to the chocolate line below the calyx. Repeat with the remaining berries. If you do not have a pastry bag, you can dip a fork into the melted chocolate and drizzle the lines on. It won’t be as precise but it still looks and tastes delicious.
Place the decorated strawberries in a cool place until the chocolate is firm.
Before serving, remove plastic wrap from pudding and sprinkle tops of each pudding with cookie crumbs. Once finished add the chocolate covered strawberry to the center. Serve immediately.