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Holiday Feature

 

Chocolate Drenched Fruit

Serves 12

 

Chocolate Drenched Fruit Ingredients
2-1/2 pounds semisweet chocolate,
   broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
1 pound red seedless grapes,
   stemmed, washed, and dried
3/4 pound dried pineapple slices
3/4 pound dried peach halves
3/4 pound dried pear halves
2 pints strawberries with stems,
   lightly rinsed and dried

 

Equipment
Cook's knife, paper towels, double boiler, plastic wrap, rubber spatula or whisk, instant-read test thermometer, 3-quart stainless steel bowl, fork, 2 baking sheets, parchment paper, large circular serving platter.

Commence the Deluge
Heat 1 inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place 1 pound of semi-sweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top with plastic wrap. Allow to heat for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes before removing the plastic wrap. Use a rubber spatula or whisk to stir the chocolate until smooth, and continue to stir until the temperature of the chocolate is reduced to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the grapes in a stainless steel bowl. Pour the melted chocolate over the grapes. Use a fork to transfer the chocolate-drenched grapes, one at a time, onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate the chocolate-drenched grapes for 10 to 15 minutes, until the chocolate has hardened. Transfer the chocolate-covered grapes to the center of a large serving platter and refrigerate.

Heat 1 inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place 1 pound of semisweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top with plastic wrap. Allow to heat for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes before removing the plastic wrap. Use a rubber spatula or whisk to stir the chocolate until smooth, and continue to stir until the temperature of the chocolate is reduced to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

One at a time, dip 1/4 to 1 inch of each dried fruit into the melted chocolate. Allow excess chocolate to drip into the top half of the double boiler before placing the drenched fruit onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate the chocolate-drenched fruit for 10 to 15 minutes, until the chocolate has hardened. Transfer the chocolate-covered fruit to the large serving platter, arrange the fruit near the outside edge of the platter; and return to the refrigerator.

Heat 1 inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place 1/2 pound of semisweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top with plastic wrap. Allow to heat for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes before removing the plastic wrap. Use a rubber spatula or whisk to stir the chocolate until smooth, and continue to stir until the temperature of the chocolate is reduced to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Holding the strawberries by the stem end, dip 3/4 to 1 inch of each berry, one at a time, into the melted chocolate. Allow excess chocolate to drip into the bowl before placing the drenched strawberries onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate the chocolate-drenched berries for 10 to 15 minutes, until the chocolate has hardened. Transfer the chocolate-covered berries to the serving platter, placing them in between the grapes and the dried fruit, and return to the refrigerator. Keep the drenched fruit refrigerated until 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

 

The Chef's Touch

I suggest that you consider serving the drenched fruit with a variety of dessert sauces as well as fruit purées. The fruit and sauces can be offered family-style, or you may wish to arrange artful presentations of drenched fruit on individual plates that have been flooded with a sauce or purée of your choice.

If the chocolate begins to stiffen during the drenching, place the top half of the double boiler on a warm heating pad or in a pan of hot tap water. Stir the chocolate for a few minutes until the viscosity is correct, and continue to drench the fruit.

White chocolate may also be melted and used for drenching fruit. Depending on the quality, it may melt a bit faster than dark chocolate. I have found that the higher the cocoa butter content, the faster the chocolate will melt; as top-quality white chocolate has a high percentage of cocoa butter, it will melt rather quickly. When melting 1 pound of white chocolate, allow to heat for 9 minutes (rather than the 12 minutes specified for the semisweet chocolate). Remove from the heat and immediately stir until smooth, and continue to stir until the temperature of the chocolate is reduced to 90 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit.

You may wish to double dip the fruit; that is, to initially dip in white chocolate, refrigerate until hard, and then completely or partially dip the fruit in dark chocolate, depending on the effect desired. The dried fruit will keep for several days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. The strawberries and grapes should be enjoyed within twenty-four hours of drenching. If a chocolate bacchanal is not for you, then you probably should skip this recipe. If you are still with me, however, I suggest offering a selection of port wines to complete the indulgence.

 

From:

Desserts To Die For
by Marcel Desaulniers
Photographs by Michael Grand
Copyright (c) 1995 by Kenan Books, Inc.
Text (c) 1995 by Marcel Desaulniers.
Recipe reprinted by permission

 

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Desserts To Die For

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This page created December 1998; modified November 2006


 

 
 

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