The New Bakers Dozen
Chocolate dipped Strawberries?

The The Bakers Dozen: Chocolate dipped Strawberries?
By MarkG on Sunday, March 25, 2001 - 09:32 pm: Edit

I've been asked to provide 500 large strawberries dipped in white and "dark" chocolate for a party Saturday. Can someone answer a few questions or offer tips?
1. What glazes do you recommend for white and bittersweet?

2. What temperature should I keep the strawberries at before and after dipping?

3. How long can they be held before being served?

Many thanks.


By Yankee on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 02:15 am: Edit

For what it's worth:

1. We use a lower grade chocolate (Pastis France 51% dark chocolate) for dipping strawberries. It's easier to temper and less of a fuss than higher grades.

2. A little bit colder than room temp to help set the chocolate, then hold in a cool place, but not the walk-in. If you put them in the fridge they will start to "sweat." Treat them as you would any product that you were dipping and finishing.

3. At room temp, I would think they would hold for quite a while, at least until the berries go bad. But, I've always made them same day, so I don't know. You may end up losing more to theft than spoilage!

I always try to call in the produce order two or three days ahead for the stemed strawberries. That way I can send them back if they suck, and/or avoid playing chicken with any unexpected rain showers. We also put berries out on sheet trays for storage in the walk-in. This method helps keep them dry.

Best of Luck

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 04:33 pm: Edit

Hey Mark,
If I had 500 to do I would use Cocoabarry Pate d Glacier coating. If I remember correctly you are in my area. If you choose this way call me and I can direct you to the product. This is fool proof and very easy to work with. We have some on Take a look and let me know.

By d. on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 07:13 pm: Edit

We makes hundreds and hundreds of tuxedo dipped strawberries and I just use our regular semisweet Callebaut chocolate and white Callebaut, both melted(we don't temper), then we keep the berries in our walk-in. I use the strawberries straight out of the walk-in, so the chill in the beiires helps set the chocolate faster. We have a very hot kitchen, but we never have a problem. If you use a chocoloate coating, it will set-up faster and remain firmer even at room temp.

Hey Yankee, good tip about the berries spread out on sheet pans. Do you do this with raspberries too. They get moldy after 3-4 days in the baskets.

By Yankee on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 09:44 pm: Edit

Well, in a perfect world...

I try to get my guys to pull out all the produce check it, and then restock it in a manner that will keep it alive as long as possible. But, usually it's me picking through stuff.

(Oops. I don't want this to turn into one of those bitter "labor these days just sucks" threads, so I'm off to get some dinner.)


By Joal on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 10:09 pm: Edit

Dear d--

I was intrigued by your answer, but have two questions.

1) How do you avoid fat bloom when you use simply melted Callebaut. I realize it's supposed to be more or less in temper if you melt carefully, but I find that Callebaut wanders out of temper pretty fast if one isn't careful. How do you melt it (e.g., short shots in a microwave, in a bain de marie?)

2) Do you have problems with sweating while you store the strawberries in your walk-in? For how many days do you keep them before they start to deterioriate?



By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 01:29 am: Edit

I work in Oxnard CA. next to Santa Maria CA. the largest grower of strawberries in the U. S. My boss has me doing tuxedo strwaberries as a signature item. 150 tommorow for a dinner.

We use berries out of the walk-in. I use Callebaut white chocolate and Callebaut bitter sweet. But we add a small amout of melted vegetable shortning other wise the chocolate is to thick. It also avoids the tempering question. It also softens the chocolate and they are are better to the tooth, less cracking chocolate more sinking in of the teeth. (does that make sence?)

After the berries are dipped they don't go back in the walk-in because of the sweating problem. I only make enough for that day if I have any left I give them away as garnishes of to make freinds. I always find it surprizing what chocloate will do.

By momoreg on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 06:38 am: Edit

I store choc. strawberries in the refrigerator, wrapped airtight in plastic. They rarely sweat this way. A couple of hours before I plan to unwrap them, I bring them to room temp. The sweat ends up on the outside of the plastic, and not the berries.

By d. on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 08:04 am: Edit

Joal, we melt the chocolate both ways,small batches in the micro. I heat just enough to melt the chocolate. Cheftim and momoreg have very good advice. Try adding a bit of vegetable shortening to the chocolate to thin out and avoid the tempering problem. I notice that Callebaut callets are much more viscous than their bar counterparts, so maybe that's why your chocolate is too thick? Keep the berries well-covered once they go in the walk-in, that usually solves our sweating problem. I always make them a day before service or the same day, but if making a huge batch I have done them 2 days ahead(just keep covered).

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 08:18 am: Edit

Joel, you'll find dipping 500 s.b. goes very quickly! I'd never make them the day before, why? Produce doesn't last for-ever. In the mid-west I can't bet on the quality. Schedule your dipping into your service day.

I'll open this can of you guys wash them or not? I don't, too much water kills them quickly...I only wipe. Washing also increases the sweating factor...which I think is accelerated by the water content in the berries them-selfs regardless of any other factors. Yes you can decrease your risks of sweating (by not washing)but in really juicy berries I don't think anything will prevent sweat and moisture leakage given a several hours of sitting. Which is why I'd only dip on the party date.

Don't melt good chocolate in the micro. they can have hot spots. I finely grind my pellets in the cuisinart and they melt very quickly, with low heat over a water bath. Tempering is for items that are never my opinion.

By Panini (Panini) on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 05:31 pm: Edit

kill somebody that way. You know how sticky I am about health regulations!
On this one I have to agree with you DeBord. I can't bring myself to wash a strawberry. We use this method of de-sanding. Take a holiday inn type towel, lay it in a sheet pan, pour cold berries on and roll them around on the pan. You will be pleasantly suprized. Try putting a pint in a side towel, fold the to ends up to craddle the berries and shake left to right.
The skin of a strawberry is so fragile! People don't realize that even the skin on your fingers will burn them. They will even burn each other.
Yankee is right when he spreads them on o sheetpan. A plastic sheetpan is even better.
my 2 cents

By d. on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 06:11 pm: Edit

We don't wash them either(unless they are very dirty, which hardly is the case), just wipe them off.

By vbean on Saturday, April 14, 2001 - 08:17 am: Edit

I never temper chocolate for strawberries. The berry is cool enough for the chocolate. You also do not want to bite into crisp chocolate with a soft berry- the chocolate is too hard. I do not wash the berries, I dip them the same day.

By Panini (Panini) on Saturday, April 14, 2001 - 09:33 pm: Edit

I actually prefer to have the contrast. I like the crispness of the chocolate. The trick is to have your chocolate thin enough. I also only pass the berries in a sweeping motionto coat one side and when placed on the sheetpan the chocolate coates to the bottom getting the chocolate even thiner. 2 cents

By W.DeBord on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 08:35 am: Edit

This relates back to the discusion on tempering (last week) where I was saying it's a waste of time for most pastry chefs. As I recall in another previous thread (last year)the one thing some pros objected to with the non-tempering techinque is that it creates more of a snap to the chocolate. Unlike tempered chocolate which remains softer to the touch.

This is one thing to consider Panini if you try my techinque. Actually your already doing it on your the same when you pipe out any garnishes. Over all, it's certainly worth the time saved, in my opinion.

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 02:30 pm: Edit

I will try it, but I still think I will get a bloom since I have to chill them in a regular reach-in. Then when I have used them the will go into a dry showcase. I'll let you know. You know most of my tempering is simple tempering. Melt chocolate as you do and stir in small buttons.

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 02:36 pm: Edit

Hey,I had a very well known Food Chef sneer at me in an interview we were doing when I remarked that I thought the best tempered chocolate was probably a Hershey bar. I understand that this is not a true chocolate, but I was refering to the duability. Was I a total fool?

By Yankee on Tuesday, April 17, 2001 - 03:02 am: Edit

No. There are lot's of snooty folks out there who can't cook their way out of box if put on the spot. Who was this guy?

I temper my chocolate by seeding. With lower grade (51%), it comes to working temp quite easily. "Room temp" cold berries and it's a snap.

Sorry, but "walk-in" cold berries will help it set faster, but you will have to keep them in the fridge, otherwise as it comes up to room temp, you'll get bloom.

If you want "soft" chocolate, why not just use hard ganache? Why not flavor it with orange liquour or brandy for a little extra?

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, April 17, 2001 - 09:36 am: Edit

I temper by seeding too...less mess. I always melt using this method even when I'm using the cooler to set my items. I also always put my choc. thru the cusinart, I like how fast it melts this way.

Last year I had a tasting for chocolate souffle. This lady drove me crazy...she didn't like my brand of chocolate. Then she didn't like the chocolate liqiour which I was using in a pastry cream like base. Then she insisted on using Valrhona (which I used in a mousse like recipe just melted choc. and whites, no pastry cream base) which she didn't like. Finally the souffle she chose was made with HERSHEYS cocoa powder (which we didn't tell her)!

We still laugh about that... . I think too often people are pretentious and pros can be the most pretentious of all!

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