The season for strawberries grown here in Santa Barbara seems to get longer and longer each year. But there is no doubt that they are at a peak in the spring. Can you resist eating them right out of the basket after you picked them up at the farmers market or your CSA? If they make it home, here’s an easy and elegant dessert.
2 pounds fresh strawberries (approximately 2 baskets)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 1⁄2 ounces milk chocolate*
3 1⁄2 ounces dark chocolate*
Rinse strawberries and roll on paper towels to dry. (It’s important not to introduce water into your chocolate.)
Melt butter in microwave and set aside. Set aside about 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 of the chocolate. Chop remaining chocolate into approximately 1⁄4-inch pieces.
Melt chocolate in bowl in microwave on 50 percent power, stirring at 30 second intervals until melted. When melted, stir in melted butter.
Chop or break the chocolate you set aside earlier into larger (about 1⁄2 inch) pieces. Stir these into the melted chocolate. When the chunks are melted, your chocolate will be ready for dipping your strawberries.
Put chocolate into shallow bowl and draw strawberries across the surface. Let excess drip off, and put onto waxed paper or parchment-lined pan.
Reheat the chocolate briefly in the microwave at 5 second intervals if it becomes too cool to dip. Stir to distribute the heat. (Your chocolate should feel slightly cool to the touch but not be too thick to coat the strawberries smoothly.)
Put dipped uncovered strawberries into refrigerator for about 5 minutes. After that they can sit at room temperature for several hours, or be eaten immediately.
*You can use all dark or all milk chocolate if you prefer.
You can also drizzle lines of melted white chocolate onto the darker chocolate and draw the strawberries across the surface to get a multicolored effect.