Beyond the Chocolate-Covered Strawberries for Summer
Chocolate covered strawberries are a staple in any chocolate recipe collection. But with summer coming up, more fruits are going to be in season and more fruits can be covered with dark chocolate for a refreshing and healthy dessert. Here at Sulpice Chocolat, we encourage you to mix the flavors of our dark chocolates with the best summer fruits for summer backyard parties or just an evening with the family.
Normally, fruits are dipped in milk chocolate but dark chocolate will add a deeper tone to the dessert’s taste. Its subtle bitterness plays well with the sweet and tart fruits that are in season for summer such as strawberries, blueberries, and apricots. Milk chocolate also have the potential of overpowering the sweetness ripe fruits already have. Using dark chocolate to coat fruits also keeps the health factor up by cutting out the milk that may hinder the absorption of antioxidants found in dark chocolate. Aesthetically, the rich color of dark chocolate also makes for a beautiful contrast with bright yellows, reds, and purples of the fruits in season this summer.
Here are some fruits you can substitute for strawberries this summer:
They are sweet with a hint of tart, a perfect match to a subtly bitter dark chocolate. Apricots are rich in Vitamin A and fiber so they’re not only good for the eyesight but they’re great for the digestive system as well. To pick the best apricots for dark chocolate dipping, pick fruits that are bright yellow and slightly soft, which means they weren’t picked from the tree before they ripened.
Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries work well with dark chocolate because of the sweet and tart combination packed in every small bite. Every small bite of berries also delivers a healthy dose of antioxidants to the body as well as flavonoids (also found in dark chocolate!) that can help combat some forms of cancers. Dark chocolate covered berries are great snacks during the summer because not only do they contain impressive amounts of vitamins, but they also contain little calories.
Perhaps you’re looking for an equally romantic alternative to the strawberry. Tart cherries also have the rich red color of strawberries and pack a lot of tartness in a small bite. They’re a good source of Vitamin C and have pain relief properties—helping reduce inflammation—that could heighten the relaxing effect of dark chocolate. For the best cherries, choose bright colored ones that are firm and preferably still have their stems on. Since cherries go bad very easily, refrigerate them soon after picking them up from the store.
For a unique and exotic dark chocolate covered fruit, figs offer sweetness, chewiness, smoothness, and crunch all in one bite. Although dried figs are available throughout the year, summer is the best time to try some fresh ones. A good alternative to bananas, figs are rich in potassium that help lower blood pressure. Figs are also diet-friendly as they are excellent sources of fiber. These fruits are very delicate and rare so plan to purchase them only a day or two before eating them. The best way to judge if a fig is ripe enough to enjoy is to smell it. Ripe figs should be mildly sweet and tender as well.
Experiment with different fruits this summer and enjoy them with a generous coating of dark chocolate for that luscious and healthy dessert. For the dark chocolate coating, simply follow this recipe for any fruit of your choice:
Dark Chocolate Coating Recipe
6 ounces of dark chocolate (chopped or in chips)
Any fruit of your choice, wash and thoroughly dried
Parchment or waxed paper
a saucepan with enough water so that when a heatproof bowl is placed on top,
the bottom does not touch the water. Heat the water until simmering then turn
off the heat. (Don't forget to read one of our previous posts for a step by step walk through of an easy chocolate tempering method)
2. Place a heat proof bowl with the dark chocolate on top of the saucepan and stir until smooth. Be patient.
3. You can also melt dark chocolate in the microwave by setting it on half power for 1 one minute, stirring it, and setting it for another minute until it melts completely.
4. Remove the dark chocolate from the heat when it’s smooth. Take your fruits, sliced or whole, and dip in the melted dark chocolate until you get the coverage you like. Twist the fruit or strain it with a slotted ladle (if you’re using small portions of fruits) to get rid of excess dark chocolate. Set the dark chocolate coated in parchment or wax paper.
5. Set aside for at least 30 minutes and enjoy a healthy, luscious summer snack!