The person who came up with the idea of marrying the juicy slightly tart sweetness of a berry with a crisp chocolate shell was either a genius or someone who loved doing laundry. They are messy to eat and one is likely to drip strawberry juice on one’s shirt with the first bite. So, why make them?
When it comes to formal family dinners, every cook had his or her own specialty to contribute. Mine is usually dessert. There is something liberating about being able to focus on one dish for a shared event. It means you are free to choose something a bit more complicated and more caloric than usual. So, while I would not normally make a full size dessert for home consumption for fear of eating it all, creating a Linzer Torte for sixteen people to enjoy makes sense.
Over the years I have made jelly rolls, tunnel cakes and even meringue mushrooms which looked so much like the real thing folks thought I had forgotten to make dessert. But of all the fancy dishes I’ve had the pleasure of making the one my family asked for again and again was the simplest: Chocolate Dipped Strawberries.
There’s a lesson there for writers and readers, I think.
What makes food inviting is the same thing that makes a good contemporary romance addictive – contrast. Chocolate Dipped Strawberries are simultaneously crisp and soft, sweet and tart, creamy and a bit sharp. That is the measure of a good story too. What make us want to keep reading is the contrast between two characters, the way they conflict and the way their differences enhance their individualism.
Of course, books have a lot less calories than dessert. So if you read Waiting For You while eating a Chocolate Covered Strawberry, it’s like having two desserts for half the calories! Try this recipe and tell me what you think.
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
About 20 large Strawberries
6 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate
First, wash the strawberries and pat them dry. This step is important because the chocolate won’t stick as well to wet fruit.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper.
Melt the chocolate in a microwave by cooking for one minute at half power. Stir it and put it in for another minute or until completely liquid. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn, and be careful taking it out of the microwave too since it will be quite hot.
Dip each strawberry into the chocolate, twisting as you lift it out so that it doesn’t drip. Set it on the parchment paper and repeat with the rest of the strawberries.
When you have dipped them all, let them cool at room temperature until the chocolate is solid again.
At this point you have a choice.
You can refrigerate them or you can eat them. I leave it to your discretion. Just remember that chocolate dipped strawberries taste best when you eat them while reading a contemporary romance novel.
Rose Grey is hard at work on her sixth contemporary romance novel. Visit the rest of the blog at www.rosegreybooks.com. The Closer You Get, All Of Me, Waiting For You, Hot Pursuit and Not As Advertised are available as ebooks and as paperbacks online.