Say it’s strawberry season and the berries are full of sun: really delicious at last. Say you are having a dinner party and you want a special dessert in no time. Say it’s been a hard day and you want a guaranteed treat and can’t be bothered to do anything complicated?
Well, unwrap a bar of white chocolate and break it up into a pouring jug. Microwave it gently for 30 seconds, stir, give it another 10-30 seconds, and stir again until it’s completely smooth. Pour the liquid chocolate into a small dish or wide mouthed glass and serve with a few of those gorgeous berries. Dip the berries into the chocolate and pop them in. There you have it.
White chocolate has a particular affinity with strawberries. Dark chocolate is great too, of course, but white chocolate doesn’t overpower the berries. It’s also a good dessert for evening if dark chocolate keeps you awake, as white chocolate doesn’t have caffeine. Caffeine is found in cocoa solids, and white chocolate has cocoa butter without the cocoa solids.
- Do be gentle melting the chocolate. It will melt further on stirring, so don’t look for it to be completely melted from the heat of the microwave.
- If you’re melting a quantity of chocolate, it will take longer, but not much, as the greater amount of chocolate will hold more heat. Don’t overheat it.
- You can of course melt the chocolate in a bowl set over hot, not boiling, water if you don’t like the microwave. Still be gentle.
- Melt it just before you want to serve, so the chocolate is lusciously liquid.
- Don’t get any water near the chocolate or it will seize (if it does, add more until it relaxes again).
- Allow about 5-7 large strawbs per person, or more if the berries are small.
- Allow one 100g (3.5 ounce) bar of white chocolate for 2 people with good self-restraint. This is barely enough, but more might make you wish you hadn’t. If you’re sceptical, melt two bars between three people, or 1½ bars for two (I can’t do that because I wouldn’t be able to resist using all of the second bar).
- One bar of chocolate melts down into what looks like a small amount, so don’t expect a bowl to look full. One and a half bars per person may look more generous in a dish if you’re afraid your friends will think you mean.
- Strawberries with longer stems are ideal for this, but that’s hardly a concern if the berries have really good flavour. Fingers are part of the fun.