CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY TOWER
(30-40 dessert servings or 70-80 servings to go with coffee)
This is splendid served for New Years Day drinks, for a dessert party on Christmas Eve or for a Wedding Celebration Cake. For the quantity of chocolate and strawberries in this recipe, you will need a 44cm high croquembouche mould with a base diameter of 23.5cm.
1.8kg (11 1/4 cups) dark chocolate buttons (or slab chocolate chopped into small pieces)
5.5 - 6kg (155-180) long stemmed strawberries
- Melt chocolate preferably using double boiler method. Be careful not to get water in the pot underneath the chocolate pot too hot, or to allow steam to fall back into chocolate. (If using a microwave, heat chocolate for 1 minute on medium, remove and stir. Repeat until chocolate is melted).
- Dip half to three-quarters of each strawberry in chocolate and place on baking trays lined with aluminium foil.
- Place trays preferably in freezer, or in refrigerator, for 2 - 3 minutes or until chocolate is firm.
- Place a 44cm high croquembouche mould with a base diameter of 23.5cm onto a presentation tray. I like to use an upturned round antique silver tray with a slightly larger diameter than the diameter of base of croquembouche mould.
- Take each dipped strawberry one at a time and using a small palette knife (long, thin, flexible metal spatula) dab a little of the remaining melted chocolate onto the lower side edge of the strawberry. Place the strawberries to sit glued both onto the tray and the croquembouche mould. Continue with dipped strawberries to make a single layer around base of mould.
- Continue up the mould sitting strawberries on top of each other and filling in the gaps between strawberries with smaller strawberries ensuring you cover all the mould.
- Once you reach the top choose 3 - 5 very good looking strawberries to sit on the flat top of the mould to make a glamorous finish to your Chocolate Strawberry Tower.
- Serve as soon as possible.
- If you have to store it for a few hours, leave in a cool, dark place. If the weather is hot or humid leave it in a draught.
Note: Strawberries must be picked dry and dipped when very fresh. If strawberries are at all damp, the liquid will seep through the chocolate. They must be first grade large strawberries.