Over the years my culinary journey has been filled with roads of adventures and some interesting paths of sweetness. One path I followed for over twenty years was being a Chocolatier and specialty baker. (You could say visions of sugar plums were always dancing in my head!) During that period I dipped enough strawberries, orange peel, fondants, and caramels to last a lifetime. Yet, I was always looking for a new dipping trick up the chef coat sleeve and one day I had luscious thought… green seedless grapes. Pairing the grapes with white chocolate made them magical and an almost guiltless treasure of flavor. They’re something akin to having a glass of your favorite Champagne with a hint of vanilla.
This is an ideal gift to create for a loved one this Valentine’s Day. Or, just make a batch for yourself. You’re pretty sweet too.
White Chocolate Dipped Green Grapes
1 LB. Green seedless grapes, stemmed, rinsed, dried and at room temperature––it is VERY important that the grapes be completely dry
2 LB Real white chocolate, white chocolate chips, or compound coating
1/2 cup Vegetable oil, or 1/4 cup melted cocoa butter
Tools of the trade:
1/2 sheet pan lined with parchment
Double boiler (or a heat-proof bowl placed over a saucepan of water)
Candy thermometer with a range as low as 70 F
Dipping forks (like a fondue fork) or bamboo skewers
Place the double boiler on stove top with the appropriate amount of water; bring the water to a low simmer. Chunk the Chocolate into small pieces (if necessary) and place into the top of the double boiler (reserve 1/3 of the amount if you are using the seeding or microwave method), and stir until melted (Using caution that water does not splash into the chocolate and causing the chocolate to seize).
If using real white chocolate you will have to temper and seed the chocolate to lower its temperature. You can follow the suggested directions from the manufacturer or follow my hints.
Tempering & Seeding: If using real white chocolate, you will want to bring it up to a melting temperature of 100-110 degrees F. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. (Use caution that it does not burn, white chocolate has a higher milk and sugar content.) Remove from heat. Then add the reserved amount of chocolate and stir well, you will be bringing down the temperature to 85 degrees F. Then gradually add the vegetable oil or cocoa butter and stir well.
Alternate tempering: You can tabletop temper on a marble slab, but it takes a bit of practice.
If using chips or a compound coating, just melt away and add the vegetable oil or melted cocoa butter.
Using a dipping fork, or a bamboo skewer dip each grape into the white chocolate, working quickly place on the parchment lined sheet pan, or cookie sheet. Leaving space in-between. And drizzle with remaining chocolate. When finished, transfer to the refrigerator to “set-up”.
Serve in a martini glass and have a sweet celebratory toast with your Valentine.