This week’s strawberry flavored dessert is a classic: chocolate covered strawberries. These babies are sure to please any sweet tooth with the sweet berry coated in decadent chocolate. The beauty of these berries is they only require a few ingredients and you don’t even have to turn on the stove if you don’t want to. And you can change up the type of chocolate used so they’re always exciting and delicious.
Like most strawberry desserts, it’s really important to thoroughly wash and dry the berries before you dip them in chocolate. If you don’t, you could cause your chocolate to seize when you dip the berries into the melted chocolate. What is seizing? Seizing occurs when moisture is introduced to melted chocolate, which causes the cocoa particles to clump. It makes your beautiful, smooth chocolate lumpy and unpleasant. While you can still eat chocolate like this it’s not very appealing, so try to ensure your strawberries are nice and dry when you start dipping.
Once your strawberries are dry, go ahead and melt your chocolate. I like to use chocolate chips because they’re easy to deal with, but you can also use bars of chocolate if that’s what you have on-hand. There are a lot of different lines of thought on how to best melt chocolate for dipping strawberries, but I’m going to take you through my tried and true method- chocolate chips in the microwave. Why? It only takes a couple minutes and doesn’t create a mess.
For a dozen medium to large strawberries, use about a cup of chocolate chips. Find a microwave safe bowl. Bonus points if it is deeper than it is wide. Why? This will keep the chocolate concentrated in a small area and make dipping the strawberries easier. Dump the chocolate into the bowl with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of vanilla (optional, but I like the flavor) and melt the chips in 30 second increments, stirring in between each. It should take 2 minutes or less, depending on your microwave. Once the chocolate is fully melted (seriously, no lumps!), set the bowl on the counter and start dipping your strawberries. Move quickly here because the chocolate will set and you won’t be able to dip the strawberries easily. If this happens, just reheat the chocolate in 30 second increments and stir until the consistency is good again.
If you want to add some toppings to the chocolate, like sprinkles or nuts, have them ready to go before you start dipping the chocolate so you can dip the strawberries into the toppings right after it goes into the chocolate. Then lay them on a sheet of parchment paper to dry. Once all your strawberries are dipped pop the pan into the refrigerator to let them set. You can also put them in the freezer to help them set faster if you’re in a hurry to eat them.
Once the chocolate is set, serve them up on a pretty plate. The berries will start to get mushy within a day or two, so keep them in the fridge and eat them quickly- which I’m sure won’t be a problem!
If you’re looking for a wine to pair the dipped berries with, you can always go the traditional route with champagne, or you could get crazy and try a slightly chilled shiraz or cabernet franc. I really like these two red wines lightly chilled with the berries because it keeps the whole dessert refreshing and summery. If you prefer a sweeter wine, port is also a good option with strawberries. Try it and let me know what you think!