The combination of sweet, fragrant strawberries and rich chocolate is a classic treat that brings all the flavor without all the sugar and calories of other desserts. You will find that it's easy to make chocolate-covered strawberries look as good as they taste; the finished result is simply beautiful. This recipe is fast and versatile, making it a top choice for a quick, easy homemade treat.
Making chocolate-covered strawberries requires supplies you likely already have handy. Use either a double boiler or a small heatproof bowl and saucepan to melt the chocolate and, for optimal results, have a cooking thermometer on standby to make sure your melted chocolate hits the right temperature. Other supplies include:
For the ingredients, use 6 oz of good-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (or other chocolate of choice - the next section covers chocolate choices), and about a pound of ripe, bright red strawberries. One of the best parts about this simple dessert is the minimal amount of prep required; apart from washing the strawberries, there's no need to prep them by cutting the green tops off.
There can seem to be a baffling array of different kinds of chocolate available, and choosing one to cook with is a matter of personal taste as much as practicality. Generally, semisweet and bittersweet chocolate respond the best to melting, which makes them the best option for making chocolate-covered strawberries. Bittersweet chocolate also has the lowest sugar content and generally the highest ratio of cocoa solids—usually above 70%—giving it the highest amount of essential nutrients like iron and B vitamins. However, those with an extra sweet tooth can use milk or white chocolate as either a drizzle or as the main chocolate for their strawberries.
Wash the strawberries and pat them dry. You can leave the stalks and leaves on as they are both attractive and a handy way to pick the fruit up. Alternatively, you can hull the strawberries if you prefer. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set it and the strawberries aside while you temper the chocolate.
Tempering your chocolate will keep it glossy and prevent it from having a dull grey bloom once set. Break the chocolate into small chunks and place two-thirds of it in the upper pot of your double boiler. Set aside the remaining chocolate for later. Fill the bottom pot of your double boiler with a couple of inches of water, ensuring that the water does not touch the upper pot and that no water reaches the chocolate as this will affect the texture.
If you don't have a double boiler, you can substitute any small heatproof bowl that sits neatly in a saucepan without the bottom of the bowl touching the water. Stir the chocolate over a gentle heat until smooth and the thermometer reads 118 degrees. You want it to melt from the heat of the steam below, rather than the heat of the water itself. Carefully remove the upper pot from the heat and stir in the reserved pieces of chocolate. Cool the chocolate to 90 degrees before using it.
Using a cocktail stick or your fingers, pick up one strawberry at a time and dip 3/4 of each fruit into the chocolate, making sure the end with the stalk is left chocolate-free. Give the strawberry a couple of turns in the chocolate to ensure it is evenly coated. Place the strawberry onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment to make it easier to lift off once cool. Repeat for each strawberry, leaving a gap between them to stop them from sticking together.
You can leave these beautiful treats just as they are or, dip them in your favorite dry toppings before the chocolate sets so that the toppings stick to the chocolate. Dust sparingly with ground almonds, cocoa powder, desiccated coconut, caster sugar, or anything else you feel like adding, and leave to cool for thirty minutes at room temperature. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before serving.
If you’re using melted white or milk chocolate to decorate, leave the coated strawberries to cool for around half an hour beforehand, then chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Repeat the tempering method above to melt your chocolate of choice. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the strawberries in a zigzag design and leave to cool.
Chocolate-covered strawberries taste best when eaten the same day. However, they will keep for up to two days in the fridge, or up to three months in the freezer if transferred to an airtight container. Place a layer of baking parchment between each layer of strawberries to prevent them from sticking together.
Let's face it, chocolate tastes great with most things, so next time why not experiment with other types of fruit? Orange segments, banana chips, and cherries work particularly well. You could also try using white or milk chocolate as a coating, or mixing in puffed rice or finely chopped peanuts for an added crunch.
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