Preparing the strawberries –
- Once you have rinsed the strawberries you will want to make sure that they are properly dried, otherwise the chocolate will not stick to them nicely. I like to lay the strawberries out on a clean dishcloth and use paper towel to gently pat them dry. Go over them a couple of times if necessary.
Melting the chocolate –
- Most recipes will advise that you place the chocolate in a dry bowl, and then balance the bowl over a pot containing a small amount of hot (not boiling) water. (The base of the bowl should not touch the water.) Stir occasionally until the chocolate has almost melted, then remove the bowl from the pot and whisk the chocolate to incorporate the last few bit of chocolate. Nothing wrong.
- Personally I prefer to use my microwave as I find it more convenient, and I know the low setting will not nuke the chocolate. I always use the lowest setting and zap the chocolate in short bursts, whisking the chocolate between each burst. I usually start with 20-30 seconds at a time, then as the chocolate begins to melt I stop and give it a whisk every 15-20 seconds, and then 5-10 seconds at the end.
- Remember that you do not need to heat the chocolate until it has completely melted. Once you are down to the last few unmelted pieces you can give it a good whisk and they will melt into the mixture.
- I love this part! My tip for easy drizzling is to scrape the melted chocolate into a small plastic sandwich bag. Push the chocolate into one of the corners and then snip the end off with some sharp scissors. I try to snip quite close to the end for a smaller hole and therefore a finer drizzle. Move the piping bag from left to right and back again fairly quickly and confidently to get a stunning stripy effect.
- For a more rustic effect simply drizzle the chocolate over the strawberries using a fork or a spoon.
- In terms of which chocolate you want to use you can really take your pick. I like to dip my strawberries in dark chocolate, and then drizzle them with dark and white chocolate, but it is really up to you as to how you want to do it. You could even throw on a few sprinkles if you are feeling sassy!
- It is best to let the chocolate set at room temperature. If you are in a hurry you can also pop them in the fridge, but bear in mind that the chocolate will lose its glossy appearance.
- My final tip is that you try and make the strawberries as close to serving time as possible. In the past I have gotten away with storing chocolate strawberries in the fridge overnight, but if you do this chances are that the chocolate will start to look lacklustre and the strawberries may start sweating. Dull and sweaty strawberries are not very romantic. These little beauties look and taste their best when they are fresh!
PERFECT CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES
- 250g fresh strawberries
- 100g chocolate for dipping (dark, milk or white)
- 40g chocolate for drizzling (dark, milk or white)
- red food colouring (optional)
1.) Rinse the strawberries and dry thoroughly with paper towel. (The stalks can be left on.) Set aside.
2.) Line a small baking tray with baking paper.
3.) Melt the dipping chocolate in a small bowl, either in the microwave or in a bowl set over simmering water (see tips above).
4.) Hold a strawberry gently at the stalk and dip into the smooth chocolate. Give the strawberry a twist to ensure that it is properly coated. Lift it out of the chocolate and give it a gently shake to allow any excess chocolate to drip off. Place the strawberry onto the baking paper. Repeat with the remaining strawberries. Allow to set before decorating.
5.) Melt the drizzling chocolate. If you are using white chocolate add a drop of red food colouring to the melted chocolate to make it pink. Use a small piping bag or a spoon (see tips above) to drizzle the chocolate over the strawberries. Leave to set.
6.) Enjoy on the same day, preferably immediately.