Show the special people in your life that you love them berry much with these strawberry patch baskets filled with strawberry-shaped strawberries and cream fudge.
Many of my edible craft recipe ideas come about because of questions from readers, and today's Strawberries and Cream Berries are one such project. I created this recipe after many readers from around the world have asked how to make modeling chocolate if they can't buy corn syrup in their country. I am finding quite a few alternatives.
Modeling chocolate just requires a thick liquid to be added to melted chocolate making it pliable so you can sculpt it into shapes. In the past few years, I've shared modeling chocolate recipes that have used honey to make Edible Books, peanut butter to model Thanksgiving Turkeys, and dulce de leche to make Fudgy Bears, Caramel Pumpkins, and Inside Out Caramel Apples.
I've even used Root Beer Ice Cream Topper to make book covers for Rice Krispies Treat School Books.
I recently discovered that jelly mixed with white chocolate works perfectly to create a nice pliable modeling chocolate with a sweet fruity flavor. Unless you use a clear jelly, your modeling chocolate will also have a slight hue.
While experimenting I chose to use strawberry jelly which made light pink modeling chocolate. I added more coloring and decided to sculpt actual strawberries which I arranged in a basket.
Each basket of berries is accompanied by a card printed with sweet phrases like, "Mom, I love you berry much," "Teacher, thanks for being so sweet," and "I couldn't have picked a better friend." If you want to give the gift to a group of volunteers, nurses, or workers, you can even tell them that you "couldn't have picked a better bunch of _________" and fill in the blank.
I couldn't have picked a better bunch of readers!
You can get a printable version of these tags, here - I couldn't have picked a better mom tags.
Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there. My mom just moved back from Florida, so we'll be celebrating together this year. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Strawberries and Cream Berry Baskets (makes about 24 strawberries)
16 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped or white confectionery coating/candy melts
⅓ cup strawberry jelly, plus more, if needed
green and red paste or gel food coloring
corn syrup, golden syrup, or water to attach the leaves to the strawberries
optional, fine mesh strainer
gallon size zip top bag
rose calyx cutter or a small daisy cutter
gumpaste veining tool or wooden skewer
Before you begin, if you have never made modeling chocolate and you want to read a detailed explanation about it, read my Chocolate Making Tips Page. This will help you if you have any problems with greasy or dry modeling chocolate too.
Melt white chocolate or confectionery coating and allow it to cool to between 88 and 91 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring the bowl often as it cools. Stir in the strawberry jelly. It will get thick fast. If there is any hardened chocolate on the sides of your bowl, don't mix it in as it will just create hard clumps in your modeling chocolate.
Note: I made this recipe twice and the second time I pressed the jelly through a fine mesh strainer to make it smoother which made it easier to incorporate. You'll definitely want to do this if you use jelly that has seeds in it.
If your modeling chocolate is dry, add a bit more jelly, about ½ tablespoon at a time. Mix it well until smooth and pliable, but not too soft. If you end up with greasy modeling chocolate, see my Chocolate Making Tips Page for instructions on correcting that problem.
Remove ¼ - ⅓ cup of the modeling chocolate. Color that small amount with green food coloring. Color the rest with red food coloring.
Wrap both the green and red modeling chocolate in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for about an hour.
Remove the green modeling chocolate from the plastic wrap and knead for a few seconds, just to make it more pliable.
Cut through two sides and the top of a zip-top bag, so the bag is only attached on one side. Roll the green modeling chocolate in between the bag until it is about 1/16th inch thick. Use a rose calyx cutter or a daisy cutter to cut the green leaves for your strawberries.
Pinch off pieces of the strawberries and cream modeling chocolate, roll them into balls, then shape them into strawberries of varying sizes.
Use a veining tool or wooden skewer to create holes to represent the strawberry seeds in all the strawberries.
Fill baskets with strawberries and give them as gifts to special people. Teacher appreciation week is over, but these would also make great gifts to use at the end of the year.
The berries should stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature or wrap them up in the basket with plastic wrap or clear cellophane.
If you are looking for more fun Back to School or Teacher Appreciation Gift ideas be sure to check out all these other amazing food craft and recipe ideas on my School & Teacher Treats Page.