The objective of the recipe is to create little fruit sandwiches
encased in chocolate. This would be easier to achieve if all the fruit were
cylindrical, but only the banana is at all coöperative
in this regard. The variability in size and shape of the fruit makes the
quantities shown above only approximate.
the strawberries into thin slices and place them in a single layer on a tray.
The small ends are not used. Sprinkle the slices lightly with sugar.
the skin from the kiwis. With a sharp paring knife, cut
off the ends of each kiwi. Stand the fruit on one end and cut off strips of
skin from top to bottom. Keep the strips thin to avoid squaring off the fruit. Once the skin is removed, cut the kiwis crosswise into
thin slices. The slices should hold together and can be between
Peel the banana and cut slices crosswise no more than 1/4-inch
Place a tiny dollop of cream cheese on each strawberry slice.
The cream cheese functions less as flavoring than as adhesive, so do not be over
generous. Press a kiwi slice over each strawberry. Repeat this procedure, adding
cream cheese and banana to the stacks of fruit. Trim the stacks around the
banana slices, so that they are approximately cylindrical.
Next, melt the chocolate. This is not as straightforward as it
might seem. For best results, the chocolate should be
tempered. I recommend melting 2/3 of the chocolate in a double boiler over
warm, but certainly not boiling, water. Stir the chocolate constantly, not letting it get
warmer than about 113°F. Remove the top pan, put in the remaining chocolate, and
slowly reduce the temperature to about 87°F. Stir in the shortening and mix
thoroughly. (An instant-reading electronic
thermometer is helpful. My candy thermometer has marks for melting and dipping
chocolate, and, if yours is so marked, this may be even more helpful.) Maintain the chocolate at this temperature,
heating it over warm water as needed. If you are not used to working with
chocolate, the material will seem surprisingly cool to work with. Be sure not to
let any water come into contact with the chocolate. (The top of the double
boiler should be absolutely dry before adding the chocolate chips, for example.)
The vegetable shorting is intended to make the chocolate flow better. It does
seem to help and does not seem to have undesirable side effects. It is not
Follow the procedure below to coat the fruit. Do not even
consider trying to dip the fruit in the chocolate, as chocolate will not adhere
to anything wet. (This is true of your fingers as well, and you are likely to
find yourself spending a lot of time fishing for your fruit in the liquid
chocolate.) Instead, we encapsulate the fruit. Cover two cookie sheets with
waxed paper, baking parchment, or aluminum foil. To coat one of the sandwiches,
drop a small amount of melted chocolate on the cookie sheet. Place one of the
stacks of fruit on top of it, banana side down, pushing gently to distribute the
chocolate under the fruit. (Don't let this chocolate base become too thin,
however.) Then spoon a small amount of chocolate on the fruit
and use a utensil—I use the back of a teaspoon—to ice the fruit as one would a
cake. Be sure that the chocolate completely covers the top and sides of the
fruit stack and connects to the chocolate base.
When all the fruit has been iced, place the cookie sheets in
the refrigerator. Once the chocolate has hardened, carefully peel individual
pieces of candy from the paper or foil. Keep the chocolates in the refrigerator
until shortly before you are ready to serve them.
VARIATION: After icing the fruit with chocolate, sprinkle grated
coconut on top.