Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Moms are so kick ass. For real. Not that I have to tell you that. I know some very kind and generous people out there, but nobody tops my mom. Literally, the most selfless person I know. She would give away everything she owned to me and my siblings if we were in need.
My mom is funny. She is so computer illiterate, that my dad has to show her how to visit this blog. She told me, “I don’t like those colorful eggs you posted. I just don’t like them.” When she sends me emails the letters are all in caps. Not because she is insinuating yelling or excitement, but because she doesn’t realize the caps are on. As a kid, when I did something very bad (like bite my brother or or break something), instead of a spanking (yes people, spanking was considered normal in the early 80′s) or being sent to my room, she would simply take off her 80′s high heel pumps and chuck them at me.
Whenever I come home to visit, 10 am on a Monday morning, she always tries to offer me a drink. During college it was a cosmopolitan. After college it was either a mojito or a beer. Currently, she likes to offer wine. She does this because she likes to entertain. She loves Tupac, and was shocked when I told her that the man who raps “California Love” was dead.
She raised three children while attending culinary school, working as a chef, and even got her Master’s degree. Last year, she took care of her sister in her last days of a 4-year battle with cancer. Her sister, who was also an amazing mother, aunt, grandmother, and woman. She is now taking care of her mother who’s heart is failing.
It makes me wonder why we only celebrate mothers one day a year.
So, with Mother’s Day around the corner, make her something special. May just so happens to be National Strawberry Month as well. I am sharing a recipe that I have kept top-secret for years now.
My favorite part about these delightful treats was listening to people try to figure out how they are made. Once they bite into the surprise of a cupcake-like filling they have to know how it is done. Most assumed I baked it inside of the strawberry. Only one person over the last three years figured it out.
These are better than buying your mom chocolate covered strawberries, or chocolates in a box. They are fresh, sweet, and remind us of spring.
Here is what you need:
-a baked cake (I really suggest baking your own cake from scratch. The less processed, the better, however, box mix or even store-bought if you are really lazy/in a major time crunch works..if you must) *
-frosting (home-made I suggest, but in a can, or the frosting on a store-bought cake works if you are really lazy/in a major time crunch)
Chocolate baking bars are found in the baking aisle of your local grocery store, strawberries in the produce area, sprinkles in baking aisle (or for prettier ones, baking supply and arts & crafts stores), and candy melts are found in arts & craft stores or baking supply stores. If you use white chocolate then make sure to purchase food coloring that is meant for chocolate or candy, meaning, it must be oil (not water) based. The coloring is available online, in baking supply stores, or arts & craft stores. You can always just use regular whiet or dark chocolate too.
* I baked half of a cake recipe which worked for about 10-11 strawberries. It does depend on the size of the strawberries and the type of cake you bake.
First make your cake batter. Turn oven on to the temperature that the cake recipe calls for.
This part is optional, but your mom or friends will think this is especially pretty. Pick out a nice jar of sprinkles. You can buy some at the grocery store (in baking aisle or where the sundae ingredients are), or find nicer ones at baking supply stores and Micheal’s/AC Moore.
If you want your cupcake filling to look like funfetti cake (little dots inside), pour some of your sprinkles into the batter and mix well.
If sprinkles creep you out, then don’t.
Pour cake batter into a pan for cakes. Doesn’t matter the size, unless you chose to use a lot more cake batter than I did. Once it is done, allow to cool, then crumble up inside of the pan (or a bowl if you need more space).
Make your frosting (or grab it from the pantry).
Mix enough frosting into your cake so that it is slightly sticky.
If you have made cake pops before, it should be a less more frosting than that.
This is even a bit too much. You can always add mroe later, but once you add too much it ends up too sweet. Then there is no going back. Doom.
The good news is that if you have one of these strawberries versus a cupcake or slice of cake, there is MUCH less frosting.
Grab a knife and a cutting board. You now need your strawberries. If you can find very large ones, it will be easier for you to stuff.
Cut out a triangle on the bottom tip. Sometimes I even insert my knife inside of the hole and carefully turn it around to make more room inside.
The more space for cupcake goodness, the better.
This part can get a little messy, but it’s worth it.
Use your fingers to push the cake mixture inside of the strawberry, until it is full.
Now take some more of the cake mixture and pat it around the entire bottom of the strawberry. Make sure it sticks firmly.
Place you strawberries on a plate or tray, lined in wax paper (available in grocery store where paper plates and plastic wrap aisle is).
Pop them into the freezer (or fridge) until slightly firm.
When I say firm, I don’t mean hard. Just to firm it up from the softness of molding it with your hand. Freezer for 5 minutes or so, and fridge for about 15 minutes depending on how cold it is. If you ask me, use the fridge.
Strawberries do not sit in the freezer and then thaw out well when cut up and stuffed with cake. Once they are cut, they begin to juice out, so you cannot make these too far in advanced.
Also, do not try to add a ton of cake around the strawberries. It will fall apart when dipped in chocolate.
Now prepare a double boiler for your chocolate or candy melts. You could microwave your chocolate in 20-second spurts, but I prefer a double boiler in this case. It takes longer for the chocolate or candy melts to melt, but it always seems to be easier for me to control the temperature and prevent it from freezing (hardening from being overheated).
A double boiler is when you heat water in a pot on very very low, then place a heat-proof bowl on top. The bowl should touch the water on the bottom, and completely cover the top of the pot. You want the water to be totally covered, because if any steam from the hot water comes in contact with the chocolate you are screwed. Here is what a double boiler looks like. There are also pots sold as double boilers, like these.
Chocolate should be melted but not super hot! I have my heat place on the very lowest setting possible.
Place your chocolate inside of the bowl. I used white chocolate. Wait for it to melt, then remove your strawberries from the freezer.
I use a serving fork to lay the strawberry (bottom down) into the chocolate. I then hold the top of the strawberry, and use a spatula to cover ALL of the cake mixture with the chocolate. Be careful if you try to hold stem part because your strawberry may be too heavy and rip off. Hold the entire top of the strawberry or use a fork to lift it up if it is too heavy to be held by the stem.
Place strawberry on a piece of wax paper to cool.
If you like sprinkles as much as I do, then decorate your strawberry with some before the chocolate hardens.
It is a cupcake-stuffed strawberry, and cupcakes are decorated with sprinkles after all.
That’s it! You’re done, and your mom will love you even more than before (if that is even possible).
Check out the inside. DON’T tell anyone how you made it. It is much more fun to keep them guessing. Soo much fun, that I am contemplating on retracting this post and keeping it a secret forever. Muwhahahahaha (that’s my evil laugh).
Nom, nom, nom…
I would tell you how long they keep, but they never last longer than a day.
UPDATE: I stored a couple in the fridge. They really need to be eaten within a day or so. Moist cake and cut strawberries can’t last that long. The more the chocolate covers all of the cake, and the fresher the strawberries, the longer they should last. Try to cover have the chocolate go up past the cake and completely cover it, to keep as much moisture in as possible.
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Happy Mother’s Day! Happy National Strawberry Month!
Don’t forget to check out my fudge brownie cake and cheesecake stuffed strawberries as well! (click on the underlined text, silly)
Also, my s’more-stuffed strawberries! The best way to celebrate 4th of July. There is a gluten-free option too!