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Chocolate covered strawberries-how to and storage


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10 replies to this topic

#1 AnnieWilliams

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:09 PM

I hate them. There, I said it. I am just not a fruit and chocolate person. Thank you for your understanding.

Anyway, I have been asked to do a wedding cake covered in the dang things. By the picture I was provided, I am estimating about 200 berries. I plan on buying the white A'Peels from Guittard (the berries are all covered in white chocolate) to dip.

My question is, what is the best way to dip and store these? There is no way I am going to be able to dip them the day of the wedding. It's going to have to be the day before or earlier, if that's even possible. I'm a one-woman kitchen so I need to do as much in advance as possible. Luckily the cake is simple. It's basically a flat-iced four tier with a simple bead border.

I would really like your advice about the best way to dip these and store them. I have read some conflicting information regarding whether or not to wash or refrigerate, so I appreciate the help.

#2 Beth Wilson

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:03 PM

My experience with chocolate covered strawberries is, they are best dipped and eaten the day of dipping with little refrigeration. I would buy some strawberries and experiment with them to see what they can tolerate.

Once they went into the fridge, the berries started to dry out at the area that was exposed to air and the chocolate sweated leaving streaks through the chocolate.

Here is a link to a company that does chocolate covered strawberries and then ships them. Perhaps they have a technique you can figure out.

http://www.chocolate...redcompany.com/

#3 Edward J

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:20 PM

Strawberries covered in chocolate don't keep well.

I think we've all made the mistake of putting fresh strawberries in a an airtight plastic bag, and we are rewarded with mush in a few hours--refrigerated or not. Alas, chocolate is pretty air-tight

I don't know the ingredients of "a-peels" but real chocolate shrinks as it dries. If you dip the entire berry when the chocolate hardens it will squeeze the berry and will crack. For this reason dipped strawbs are only dipped about 3/4, with some of the skin showing, allowing it to "breathe"

Even so, after about 12 hours, the strawb. will shrink away from it's chocolate shell, the stem will wilt, and if refrigerated and then brought out to room temp, the chocolate will sweat (sorry, "condensation) which will dry eventually, become tacky an then display "sugar bloom" or sugar crystlization on the surface,

IMHO to avoid stress and doing it all over again--plus related costs, dip the strawbs a max of 12 hours in advance.

#4 AnnieWilliams

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 03:49 AM

Thanks for your reply. I think I'm just going to have to do some experimenting to see how they will work.

#5 rajoress

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 11:11 AM

I am making a 60th bithday cake this weekend and it will also have dark chocolate dipped strawberries decorating the edge. I posted this question on another forum and got answers ranging from "don't refrigerate" to "definitely refrigerate"! I am dipping them in Cacao Barry coating chocolate which works great and doesn't have to be temperd and I believe can withstand refrigeration. I can post back and tell you my experience after this weekend. I have heard you can store the dipped berries on a plate inside a container that has been lined with paper towels (to absorb condensation) and baking soda, although that makes me sceptical.... I might try the paper towels.
Ruth

#6 AnnieWilliams

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:02 PM

Sounds good. Please let me know about your results. I explained how much it was going to cost, and they didn't like the price at all. So I think they are going to find another person to do the strawberry part of things, which I am ok with. However, it would be good to know for future reference.

The Guittard A'Peels are the same as the Barry coating.

#7 keychris

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:31 PM

I explained how much it was going to cost, and they didn't like the price at all.


This is a pet peeve of mine - I made a cake a while ago with enough chocolate in and on it that if I had make them pay commercial pricing, would have cost several hundred dollars. When I said this, I was told, "But it's just a cake!"

Grrr :rolleyes:

#8 Beth Wilson

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:20 PM

The sad thing is, people buy the chocolate looking cakes from the grocers that are mass produced for cheap prices.

I have never made decadent chocolate cakes for clients but I have purchased them and I know the work and ingredients that go into them. For truffles, I learned not to feel bad to turn down orders of people trying to get a price match to the local grocer or the horror...a drug store truffle. You just can't compete with the price of the cheap chocolate and I don't want to.

Still, it would be fun to play with some chocolate dipped strawberries...only problem now is finding a strawberry in January in Canada is probably not a good idea.

#9 AnnieWilliams

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 03:20 PM

See, it's not "just a cake." It's dessert to feed however many people are at the event, custom baked and decorated to that client's specifications. People won't think twice about dropping $7 for some crappy pre-frozen dessert from Red Lobster or another restaurant, which never ceases to amaze me when those same people complain about a $3-$4 per serving quote. Luckily the people I am working with now don't feel that way, they were just shocked at the price of the berries. In the past I have had to explain the "it's not just a cake, it's a huge amount of dessert," and that seems to put it in perspective for them.

I wasn't surprised about their dissatisfaction with the price. If I received the quote I gave them I would be shocked too. I estimated $3 per berry, and actually went with 300 berries for the high number to allow for bad ones (my original estimate was 250 total for the cake). They are very young and most people don't know what goes into making any baked good, let alone something of that magnitude. I did find some local people who could do it cheaper so I passed on that info in the hope that it will help them out.

Edited by AnnieWilliams, 09 January 2013 - 03:21 PM.


#10 Edward J

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 04:38 PM

I have heard you can store the dipped berries on a plate inside a container that has been lined with paper towels (to absorb condensation) and baking soda, although that makes me sceptical.... I might try the paper towels.
Ruth


Uhh... you can't fight condensation, just like you can't fight gravity.

Here's an easy experiment to illustrate what I mean:

Take something from your fridge--anything that's been in there longer than 4 hrs and leave it out at room temp. What happens after 10 minutes or so?

Condensation happens.

Condensation is when warm meets cold--warm air having more humidity than cold air. It's why your car's windshield fogs up, or why you get dew on the grass in the mornings--warm meets cold. Not much you can do about this--other than having double glazed windows.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the type or quality of chocolate. However, chocolate with more sugar content (or less cocoa content) will suffer much more "sugar bloom" damage from condensation. Here's what happens:

Moisture is formed on the outside of the item (condensation). This moisture dissolves the sugar in the chocolate. Chocolate contains no water, the sugar is not dissolved, it is only very finely pulverised. When the sugar is dissolved it becomes sticky or tacky, and when the moisture evaporates, it leaves behind a sugar crust, or "sugar bloom" that looks like white mold. It is perfectly fine to eat it just looks nasty.

Hope this helps....

#11 rajoress

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:02 AM

Thanks for the helpful info. For anyone interested, I dipped my strawberries on Saturday night, added them to my cake, and refrigerated the whole thing until Sunday. The cake then sat out at the venue for a couple of hours until eaten and the strawberries were totally fine, no weeping, no shrinkage...!
Ruth