Perfect for Valentine's Day treats or to lend color and flavor to wedding cakes and other baked goods, strawberry are an ideal fruit to use for decoration due to their heart-like natural shapes and their sweet, tart flavor. While special skills and techniques may be required to turn other fruits into ornamental treats, turning strawberries into decorative garnishes requires little more than a paring knife and little creativity.
Strawberry Fans or “Flowers”
Place the strawberry on a serving tray or cutting board stem side down.
Cut into the strawberry, starting at the berry's point and moving down into the berry stopping just before you reach the cap. Do not cut through the berry or the "petals" will fall off. Move from left to right, making four to five cuts.
Push the slices apart with the fingers, gently, fanning out the slices into a fan or "flower."
Remove the stem and cap from the berry using the paring knife to make a flat surface for the "cup" and place the berry flat side down on a serving tray.
Cut into the berry, starting at the berry's point and working your way down through the berry, stopping just before you reach the cap.
Work around the center, cutting the berry into four wedges. Be careful not to cut through the berry, keeping the sections intact and stopping just before you reach the cap.
Push the wedges apart with you fingers carefully so as not to separate the wedges.
Fill the resulting cups with small dabs of strawberry cream cheese or strawberry flavored yogurt.
Hold the strawberry point side up.
Remove the stem from the berry by placing the knife as close to the stem as possible and cutting into the berry slightly from both sides, forming a "V." Retain as much of the cap as possible as the rounded edges of the cap will form the heart shape.
Slice the berry from right to left, with the "V" perpendicular to your knife. This will leave you with four to five slices with small notches in the top that closely resemble hearts. You may then trim the notches to make the tops as round as possible.