Thursday, June 12, 2008

Father's Day Bouquet

For my birthday this year, my wonderful husband sent me this lovely bouquet of chocolate strawberries via It was delicious and hit the spot. I was turning 30, and needed some chocolate to help me mourn the loss of my 20's. The thought I had after we devoured this creation-and was dismantling it- was, "hey, I could do this!" So, immediately the wheels started turning: Fathers Day 2008 would include a homemade edible arrangement hack. For any of you who would like to follow along, here are some step-by-step instructions.

Gather your supplies. You will need:
  • Vase of some sort. I used the same vase my edible arrangement showed up in.
  • Bamboo BBQ Skewers. I used 6 inch skewers (ordered from Fresh Direct) if you can't find 6 inch, you could just use 12 inch like Edible Arrangements did, and break them in half.
  • Strawberries. As many as you would like. I used 16.
  • Chocolate. Expensive Chocolate is better, of course. But, I know most of you are paying $4 a gallon for gas, and need a break somewhere- you can make it with chocolate chips if you want- here is a recipe for chocolate chip dipping. I used 10 oz of german dark chocolate, but had some left over- you could probably use 8 oz.
  • Nuts. Optional of course. I used chopped almonds.
  • Coconut. Again, optional. I didn't use this because I couldn't make it to Whole Foods this week. Edible Arrangements uses the finely minced dry coconut flakes- not the sweetened coconut you would buy in a bag in the grocery store.
  • Lettuce (washed). Edible Arrangements uses a fresh head of lettuce as the "frog" to hold the strawberries in place. I think that is a great idea.
  • Kale. This is used to hide the head of lettuce. Wash the Kale thoroughly- I tend to find little caterpillars hanging out in the leaves (esp. if you buy organic).
First step is to wash the strawberries and let them dry. They need to dry COMPLETELY. This is important. The chocolate will not adhere to wet spots on the strawberries. Keep the stems on, for now at least- and it will make dipping easier.

Prepare your double boiler. If you have a double boiler you can just pull it out and you are ready to go. If you are double boiler-less like me, you can Macgyver your own. Just take a glass, heat resistant bowl (think Pyrex) and fit it over the top of one of your pots that has been filled 1/3 full of water. Break your chocolate up into little squares, and place them in the glass bowl. Place on a burner on Low and let the chocolate melting begin.

Here is what your chocolate should look like when it is ready. Do not let it get too hot. If it has a few lumps left it is OK, the chocolate will continue melting while you are dipping your strawberries.
Dip your strawberries in the chocolate. You can either use a toothpick, or one of your wooden skewers for this. Or, you could just hold onto the green end of your strawberry while you dip. I actually think that holding onto the green end is the easiest (but only have a picture of me using the skewer :) After the strawberries are dipped they need to be placed on a flat surface (or cooling rack) and then chilled in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

While the strawberries are chilling, create your base. You need to remove a substantial amount of the outer leaves of the head of lettuce. Add a few to the inside of the vase, the rest can go in your dinner salad tonight. You will keep the small ball that is left over.

Take that ball- and press it firmly into the vase. It should fit very snug. This will be the base of your arrangement.

Add a skewer with a piece of kale attached. Push the skewer in until just an inch is poking out. Then, press your strawberry on. When you are done placing all of your strawberries, you may want to add additional kale to the arrangement, to cover up any iceberg lettuce poking through. I used toothpicks for the touch-ups.

Here she is, in all of her glory. Next time I would use the coconut too. I like the color variation it provides in the arrangements. I am sure that Edible Arrangements would agree that their creation is prettier than mine turned out- but I am still proud of the result. And, I think my husband will have no complaints.

add to kirtsy


Hiatt Family said...

What a great idea!

mimi said...

you are kidding - you made that?!?! incredible!

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the directions! Awesome! Yours looks so great...

Ricki said...

I'm so impressed Theresa! This is giving me ideas for birthdays coming up. :)

Alaandris said...

Wow… Good work.. Really a lovely bouquet of chocolate strawberries.