Making your own chocolate sauce for dipping or for putting on your ice cream is very simple. It only requires a few ingredients: chocolate, cocoa powder, butter, and cream. Because I don't always like doing things the easy way, however, I'm going to give you a recipe that includes one more ingredient: chiles.
As my readers may know by now, I love Mexican food. Chilies with chocolate is one of my favorite combinations from Mexican cuisine. I have made chocolate sauce many times before, but when my cooking partner Alex suggested one time that we make it with chilies I was really excited. The first time we tried it with some roasted ancho chilies. It gave a good flavor, but what we were looking for was a distict bite. To up the ante, the second time we tried it Alex procured some ghost chilies, supposedly the spiciest chile in the world. They looked like dried habaneros. Pick your chile by how you want the end result to come out, and keep in mind that the chile flavor will be somewhat overwhelmed by the other flavors, so a mildly spicy chile will not be spicy at all when the recipe is done.
First, we infused the cream with the chiles. In a small saucepan, put:
1/4 cup cream 2 Tbsp crushed dried chile of your choice
Heat the mixture until it's almost boiling, or between 140 and 160 degrees, for four minutes. Pour the cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and set aside.
In a double boiler, warm up and mix together:
1/3 lb high-quality dark chocolate
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
When the chocolate mixture is smooth and melted, add in about half of the chile-infused cream. Stir until well-combined and smooth. Give the chocolate a taste, and adjust the ingredients to your preference. Notice that I did not include sugar in this recipe - I rarely sweeten chocolate, but you can add some sugar at this time if you desire. Add more cocoa if you want a stronger chocolate flavor, or more cream if the chocolate is too thick.
Pull the bowl off the stove and let it cool for about 20 minutes. The chocolate will be easier to handle if it's halfway cooled - it won't drip so much. Dip your strawberries in the chocolate and place them on a sheet of wax paper to cool completely, or eat right away if you don't mind getting chocolate everywhere. Garnish with whatever strikes your fancy: salt, cinnamon, chile powder....
For more ideas on how to treat your strawberries, see the Friday Foodie Fix blog carnival at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.