Freshly-Dipped Chocolate-Coated Fruit and Nuts

Adapted from Still Life with Menu
Preparation time: 30 to 40 minutes
Yield: At least 6 servings (You can always make more!)

Hand-dipping chocolates sounds complicated, but it's a surprisingly straightforward operation that is only a little bit messy. Just be sure you do this on a day that is not too hot or humid. (I think this is why they decided to have Valentine's Day in February.)

The idea is very simple. Melt plain semisweet chocolate, and then select an assortment of delicious little morsels to dip into it. (I used to melt some butter in with the chocolate, but in recent years I have discovered this to be unnecessary.) After the morsels are dipped, place them on a plate that has been coated with nonstick spray, and refrigerate until the chocolate hardens. The only equipment required is a double boiler (can be make-shift), a plate, a spoon, and possibly a fork.

My own favorite dipping items include whole unhulled strawberries, dried apricots and mangos, various nuts, and raisins. I'm sure there are many other possibilities that you can dream up for your own customized chocolate-dipping adventures. With fresh fruit, of course, much depends upon the season. And the amounts below are highly flexible and subjective. Go by feel and by visuals. You can do it–it's easy!

NOTE: To make a large quantity, it's best to melt the chocolate in serial batches than to do a large amount at once.

12 ounces semisweet chocolate
Nonstick spray

Suggested Dippees:
Fresh strawberries ( up to a pint)
1 cup dried apricots (the whole, plump kind)
1 cup dried mango
1 cup nuts (whole almonds or cashews, halved pecans and walnuts)
1/2 cup raisins
  1. Break or chop the chocolate into small pieces approxiimately the size of chocolate chips. (Or use semisweet chocolate chips altogether.) Place the pieces in the top of a double boiler, or in a heat-proof bowl. Place over hot or simmering (not boiling) water until the chocolate melts. Try not to stir it, and don't accidentally splash any water into it, or it will seize up. Chocolate melted this way, over low heat and left unagitated, will melt smoothly and nicely, and retain a glossy shine.
  2. While the chocolate is melting, spray a few dinner plates with nonstick spray.
  3. When the chocolate is melted, remove it from the heat. Stab the various pieces of fruit with a fork, and carefully dip them, one by one, in the chocolate, cloaking them completely or just partially. For nuts or raisins, use a spoon (spray it with nonstick spray first). When the tidbits are coated to your liking, transfer them to the prepared plates. Try to work relatively quickly, so the chocolate won't have time to harden.
  4. Let the coated morsels solidify on the plates, then transfer to a lovely, doily-lined platter for serving. If the weather is warm or your kitchen is hot from the oven being on, try to find a cool place to let them sit. The refrigerator is OK, if they're not in there too long, and they are covered with plastic wrap.
About Mollie Recipes Books Press Kit Contact Us