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Chocolate Covered Strawberries are a delicious sweet treat for your favorite valentine! Learn how to make them at home.There’s something special about the taste of sweet, juicy strawberries coated in rich, smooth chocolate. It’s a match made in heaven, and a wonderfully decadent dessert or edible gift. So, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’re teaching you how to make Chocolate Covered Strawberries today! They are very easy to make and only take a few ingredients. Plus, we’re sharing all of our tips and tricks to ensure that your chocolate covered strawberries come out picture perfect and ready for gift giving.
How do you make Chocolate Covered Strawberries?First of all, you’ll want to select the prettiest, ripe strawberries you can find. Soak them in cool water, gently swirling the berries in the water to remove any debris. Carefully drain your strawberries, then individually dry them off with a paper towel. After that, let them air dry on a dry paper towel at room temperature for about 45 minutes. This drying step is very important. You want the strawberries to be completely dry so the chocolate adheres. Additionally, you want to avoid any drops of water getting into the melted chocolate, because it will seize up if you do – and it won’t be smooth and dippable.
What kind of chocolate should I use?We recommend using a good-quality baking chocolate – milk, dark, white – your choice of flavor. We prefer to use the baking bars (Ghiardelli is a great choice). But you can also use the chips or the wafers – as long as they are 100% chocolate.
How to melt the chocolateWe use a double boiler to melt chocolate. Place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, but careful to avoid having the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Break up your chocolate into pieces and add it to the bowl along with a teaspoon of a neutral oil such as grapeseed or canola. (The oil will give the chocolate covered strawberries a glossy finish once the chocolate hardens, and a silky-smooth texture as you bite into it.) Stir the chocolate with a dry, heatproof spatula until melted and the oil is fully incorporated. (Don’t use a wooden spoon as it may have moisture in it, causing the chocolate to seize.)
Can I use a microwave to melt chocolate?Lots of people use a microwave to melt chocolate – and it is an easy option, but we don’t recommend it for a couple of reasons. First, a microwave doesn’t melt chocolate evenly, so you’ll be constantly stopping to stir the chocolate to ensure that it is fully melted. Second – because of that uneven heating – it’s very easy to over heat your chocolate, which can also cause it to seize.
Coating the strawberriesOnce your chocolate is melted, work quickly to coat your strawberries. Do one last check to make sure the strawberries are fully dry. Then, grab the strawberries by the leaves and dip the fruit into the melted chocolate, swirling to coat all sides. Place each chocolate dipped strawberry on a wax paper lined sheet pan and let the chocolate firm up at room temperature.
Can I decorate my Chocolate Covered Strawberries?Of course! After dipping the strawberries in the melted chocolate, feel free to dip the berries in chopped nuts or coconut. Or, once the chocolate has set, feel free to drizzle on more chocolate in a flavor with a contrasting color.
Do I need to refrigerate my Chocolate Covered Strawberries?While you can put the berries in the refrigerator to speed up the hardening step, the chocolate will get some condensation on the outside. So – it really isn’t necessary or recommended. Chocolate Covered Strawberries can be kept at room temperature for about a day – make them in the morning, and enjoy later in the same day for best results. You may like these other strawberry recipes:
- Strawberries & Cream Scones
- Strawberry Shortcake with Mini Angel Food Cakes
- Strawberry Honey Butter
- Strawberries Juliet
- Strawberry Marlow
12–24 large ripe strawberries*
3 4-ounce blocks good quality milk chocolate (12 ounces) **
2 ounces dark chocolate, 60% cocoa
1 teaspoon neutral oil such as grapeseed or canola
The steps below should all be done the same day. You could prepare and coat the berries in the morning and serve them that evening, leaving them out at room temperature during the day. You do not want to refrigerate them before or after coating them with chocolate. However, any left over after your event, can be stored in the refrigerator. The cold refrigerator temperature will cause moisture to bead up on the chocolate.
Place the strawberries in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Gently clean the strawberries by removing dead leaves, imperfections and debris. Gently drain in a colander then place on paper towels to dry.
At this point, your patience is needed to thoroughly dry each berry. Any residual moisture left on the berries could potentially seize up the melted chocolate so it is imperative that they are completely dry before coating.
After they are on the paper towels, place another layer of paper towels over the top and gently dry as much moisture as possible. Lay them out again on new paper towels and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to dry further. After 45 minutes, pick up and inspect and individually dry each one making sure you catch all moisture hiding under the leaves. During this whole process, keep the berries out of the refrigerator.
This may all sound like a lot, but it is really not that difficult, just a bit tedious. Moisture is your enemy here.
Lay out a sheet tray covered in wax paper (wax paper not parchment paper)
To melt the chocolate, you will need a large glass or metal bowl that is larger than the top opening of a pan that you will heat a few inches of water in. When the bowl sits in the pan, the bowl bottom cannot touch the water.
To melt chocolate properly, it needs to melt slowly. If it melts too quickly, it can seize up and once that happens, it is unusable. For this reason, we do not recommend the microwave method to melt chocolate. Microwaves inconsistently heat foods that leave the food with hot spots. You have a one in five chance of getting parts of the chocolate too hot with an end result of a grainy consistency. Used in a batter, it would probably not be noticed, but coated on strawberries, it would be noticeable. Using a hot water bath is the best and safest approach.
Bring a few inches of water to a boil then lower to the lowest simmer.
Place the bowl over the water and add the milk chocolate broken into pieces, the dark chocolate broken into pieces and the oil.
Use a rubber spatula, not a wooden spoon as a wooden spoon can maintain moisture, and as we stated, moisture is your enemy here.
Stir the chocolate continually. If you feel the bottom of the bowl is too hot, or the chocolate is melting too fast, remove the bowl to a trivet or kitchen towel and continue to stir off heat. You can go back and forth between the water pan until the chocolate is melted. Usually once you pull it off the heat, the residual heat from the bowl will melt all of the chocolate.
Scrape the melted chocolate into a small bowl with high sides such as a cereal bowl. You want it narrow but deep enough to dip the whole strawberry.
Hold the berry by the leaves, making sure you don’t let any leaves fall back on the berry and dip into the chocolate, making sure you cover almost to the top. Leave a little red showing.
Let it hang over the bowl to drip for ten seconds, then gently wipe one side against the bowl without letting the strawberry touch the bowl edge. You want to just take off enough liquid chocolate so it doesn’t drip and pool on the pan. Then place it wiped side down on the wax paper.
Continue for all of your strawberries.
Any leftover chocolate can be poured into a zipped sandwich bag and left at room temperature for the next time you make these.
Let the berries sit for an hour to harden then serve on a platter. They actually can be eaten any time; they are just easier for guests to handle once they are set.
On a side note, there are many ways to decorate these by drizzling melted white chocolate, dipping them in coconut or chopped nuts, etc., but we just like the purity of just chocolate and strawberries.
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*In order to get the amount of strawberries you need, you may need to purchase more and pick out the attractive berries. I bought three quarts to get 18 decent looking strawberries.
**Purchase the bars of milk chocolate in the baking aisle and not the candy aisle. You want a good brand of milk chocolate sold in the 4-ounce bars such as Ghirardelli.