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.
*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.
Keywords: chocolate covered strawberries