Amaretto Cream Cheese-Stuffed Chocolate Strawberries
8 large, fresh strawberries, washed and thoroughly dried
4 ounces cream cheese, brought to room temperature
2 tablespoons amaretto (1-oz)
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
6 ounces semisweet Ghirardelli chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons heavy cream, or more as needed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
cocoa powder, confectioners sugar, decorative sugar, or your favorite topping as garnish
1. Slice off the stem end of the strawberry to create a flat surface. Using a small, sharp paring knife, cut a circle around the white hull; remove and discard the inside flesh. Leave at least a ¼ inch shell or the strawberry will fall apart! Place the hollowed out strawberries back in the refrigerator while mixing the stuffing.
2. In an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese with the confectioners sugar and amaretto until completely combined. Transfer the stuffing mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a small, plain tip. Pipe an even amount of stuffing into each strawberry, then use a small, offset spatula to smooth and level off the stuffing. Place the stuffed strawberries back in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the cream cheese to become firm.
3. Place the chocolate, cream and butter in the top portion of a double boiler. Fill thee lower portion one-fourth full with hot water; place it over the heat, and bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils, remove the pot from the heat; place the upper portion containing the chocolate on top of the lower portion. Stir occasional while the chocolate melts.
4. Cool the chocolate mixture to 100 degrees. Holding the strawberry by the tip, dip the stuffed end into the chocolate mixture in one fluid motion. Dunk it at a slight angle, turning your wrist clockwise; if you hesitate, the cream cheese will ooze out into the chocolate. Coat the dipped strawerry with your choice of topping, then transfer to a Silpat-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all of the strawberries are stuffed, dipped and topped.
5. Allow the chocolate to cool, then place the strawberries in the refrigerator until the chocolate is completely set, about 30 minutes.
More at Midday, 12 April 07 WSMV TV, Nashville, TN