Thursday, November 15, 2007

like crisco for chocolate

“Many recipes have added fats and shortenings, including Crisco,” said the recipe for Easy Chocolate- Covered Strawberries. “There is no need to add any extra calories to the chocolate-covered strawberries.”

The food theme of this month’s book group was aphrodisiacs, since we’d been reading The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. Sea kelp and tiger penis sounded unappetizing and oysters sounded expensive, so I decided to dip one aphrodisiac in another, refrigerate overnight and presto, love-inducing dessert.

The recipe assured me that all I needed to do was microwave a bunch of chocolate chips and dunk the strawberries. But I’m actually not very good at microwaving, maybe because my micro is on top my fridge and standing on my tiptoes every time I need to stir or check on done-ness usually ends up being just as much work as heating things on my stovetop.

I decided that chocolate chips could certainly be heated on a burner. Except instead of a bubbling fondue, I quickly found myself with a fudgy mass that looked like…well, let’s just say it didn’t look like anything that would be an aphrodisiac to anyone but Dan Savage’s most out-there readers.

As the chocolate threatened to burn, I panicked. How to make it liquid and dip-friendly? I consulted my recipe for clues.

That’s it! I thought. I’ll add some fats and shortenings!

But I had no Crisco (sorry, lovers of the trans fat), so I added canola oil and butter—except it wasn’t real butter but some organic low fat Trader Joe’s product called “Earth Balance.” I was now a good six degrees removed from any real recipe for chocolate-covered strawberries. For good measure, I poured in some milk.

Miraculously, the chocolate began to look beautiful, like something Augustus Gloop would want to swim in. And it tasted only a little tampered-with.

I dipped all my strawberries. Then, with much chocolate left over, I dipped a banana. Then I dipped two apples worth of Granny Smith slices. I don’t recommend the latter. Red Delicious, maybe. Not Granny Smith.

Now my fridge is full of chocolaty fruit, and I’m hoping the chocolate part will harden. It occurred to me that the things I added to make the chocolate more melty may also prevent it from being anything but melty.

So I may have to make a last minute dash to the store for tiger penis. Don’t tell anyone it’s not homemade, okay?


jenny said...

I just had fondue recently, and the absolute best were the bananas - hands down! Hope yours turned out!

And on a totally unrelated note, I just read that your homegirl Nadia Comaneci is going to be a contestant on "Celebrity Apprentice," competing against Gene Simmons and Marilu Henner (among others).

I'm so scared.

Cheryl said...

Oh no. I strongly believe that once you score a perfect 10 by hurling yourself through the air in defiance of gravity, you really shouldn't have to be anyone's apprentice.

Ms. Q said...

I did this recently with chocolate chips in a failed attempt to improvise hot fudge. The secret is the double-boiler or, in a pinch, stick a big bowl on top of a little pot with some water in it.

Cheryl said...

I think the real secret is: Call Ms. Q before attempting new cooking projects.