“Tale As Old As Time”
Disney ventured into the world of Broadway in the early 1990s with a stage adaptation of their recent animated film, “Beauty and the Beast.” The show featured the now famous songs from the film, plus countless new tunes, and some slight changes to the story (but nothing major). The show also did it’s best to bring the look of the film and the characters to life on the stage. The show was so successful that Disney has since mounted stage versions of countless other classic films, including “The Lion King,” “Mary Poppins,” “Tarzan,” “The Little Mermaid,” Newsies,” “Aladin,” and “Frozen.” The show also launched what has sinced been refered to as the Disnification of Broadway – a move to making shows big budget, family friendly, and based off of familiar pop culture entities.
“Beauty and the Beast” was the third show I saw on Broadway. I was young, and I loved every moment of the show. Since it closed on Broadway, it has been one of the most popular shows produced for school and community theatre groups. Though I have never been in a production, I have seen more productions than I can count. Though no production has quite matched the magic of the Broadway production for me (and honestly, no one has the budget to do that but Disney on Broadway), but what’s truly magical is how much the cast of each production just loves being a part of the Disney magic. That’s the real treat of being an audience member of this show. Most recently, I got to see my future sister-in-law play her dream role of Belle. She truly exemplified that magic of getting to play your favorite Disney princess and live her story onstage.
I purposefully didn’t spend too much time talking about the show’s plot before because I’m going to assume most people know the story. Part of the curse on the Beast involves an enchanted rose, and if the last petal falls before he can learn to love and be loved in return, he’ll remain a beast forever.
Since “Beauty and the Beast” is a classic fairy tale love story, and it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I wanted to take a favorite Valentine’s Day dessert and amp it up to go with the show. My favorite Valentine’s Day dessert is chocolate covered strawberries. So I’ve taken the time to turn the strawberries in to roses and then cover them in chocolate. It’s a rather simple dessert, it only has two ingredients, and it’s no bake! Doesn’t get much easier and tastier than this.
- Wash the strawberries, and pat them dry with paper towels. Make sure the strawberries and completely dry before you dip them in the chocolate. A good tip is to put some paper towels in the bottom of a bowl and place the dried strawberries in the bowl (this will help absorb any left over water).
- Break up the chocolate and melt it in a double boiler.
- While the chocolate melts, take your first strawberry, and pull the leaves down away from the berry (but don’t cut them off, you’ll want them for part of the decoration). Make a small slice in side of the berry towards to bottom, only a few millimeters deep, and pull back the top of the sliced area to make it look like a petal. Make another incision that slightly overlaps the first. Continue making these incisions around and up the berry until you’ve formed your rose (see the video above for demonstration).
- Insert the wooden skewer into the bottom center of the berry (like a stem). Check that the petals are still pulling away from the berry (you may need to use your knife to pull them back out). Dip the berry into the chocolate, making sure to cover it as much as possible. Then shake off any excess chocolate. Place in a glass to rest and harden.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the berries one at a time.
- OPTIONAL – As the berries begin to harden, you can add sprinkles, or colored sugar to add to the look (I used red sugar). If you add this type of decor, wait a few minutes before adding it to the berries after dipping. If you add the sugar or other decor too soon, the warm chocolate will absorb it and you’ll lose the decorative effect.
- Once your glass is full but the berries aren’t touching, place them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes or the fridge for 20-25 minutes to harden.
- Once the chocolate shells have hardened, take them out of the fridge or freezer. Beginning at the top of the skewer stem, wrap the skewer in green florist tape and cover the entire skewer. This product is double sided sticky, and will self close if you wrap a little excess tape at the bottom of the skewer (see video above for demonstration).
- Display/Serve in a vase or mason jar. Berries should be stored in the fridge if not consumed immediately.
Yields approximately 20 roses. Approximately 66 calories per rose.