With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching this is the perfect time to share the fact that not only do I love everything Pumpkins & Spice, but I also have a flair for making beautiful chocolate confections.
Ten years ago as my brother & sister-in-law’s wedding was approaching I decided the day of their rehearsal party I was going to make chocolate covered strawberries as brides & grooms. I had seen the bride & groom berries in a magazine ad, but had never actually thought about making them on my own. A couple years prior I had taken cake decorating classes and figured it had to be similar to that process. Since I already had all the tools I needed I figured I’d give it a shot. I winged it and they came out amazingly well! Everyone loved them along with the mix of other festive berries I brought to the party and I’ve been dipping for special occasions ever since. Making chocolate dipped strawberries is super easy and if you add toppings you’ll laugh when people complement how talented you are. Seriously, we’re talking super easy here!
What you will need:
Chocolate – I buy Make-N-Mold or Merckens Chocolate/Candy Making Wafers (White, Milk or Dark)
Toppings – whatever you like (mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, sprinkles, coconut, etc.)
Glass bowl and/or double boiler depending on how you want to melt the chocolate
Mini muffin cup liners (equal to number of strawberries you plan to dip)
1. Wash the berries, dry & refrigerate. For best results you want the berries to be dry & cold when you dip them as this will help the chocolate set faster and avoid running. If you wash the berries just before dipping them and don’t dry them well the chocolate will not set properly.
2. Create your dipping station by lining a large pan or counter top with wax paper, and have all your toppings open and ready to go. Once you dip the berries in the chocolate you will need to work fast so it’s important to have everything ready to go before you start to dip.
3. Melt the chocolate. You can do this by placing the chocolate over a double boiler (water on bottom, chocolate on top) on the stove top, or microwaving in a microwave-safe bowl and stirring often throughout the process. I like the stove top because I feel like I have more control and it’s easier to keep the chocolate warmer longer, but the microwave works well too as long as you keep a constant eye on the chocolate and stir often. The chocolate can burn easily, especially white chocolate, if you do not stir often (I suggest every 20-30 seconds). It’s hard to say how much chocolate you will need depending on the size of the berries you’re using. A good rule of thumb, but not an exact science, is one cup of chocolate wafers for every 10-12 berries.
4. Dip the berries, swirl a bit at the bottom over the bowl with the chocolate to let any excess chocolate drip off and place flat on wax paper. Top with your topping of choice immediately. I recommend dipping no more than a few berries at a time before starting to apply the toppings since the chocolate sets fast and if you wait too long you’ll be unable to apply the toppings. If you want to add a chocolate swirl instead of toppings, just let the chocolate set, melt the swirling chocolate and drizzle over the berries.
5. Let stand at room temp for about 10-15 min, or refrigerate for about 5-10 minutes before removing from wax paper.
6. Arrange as you like and serve on a platter w/liners. Generally I find the berries are only good for a day before the juices start to soak through. They are still sweet & tasty after a few days, but the bottoms will become a little soggy after an overnight in the refrigerator. If anyone finds or has a solution to this, please share with me (firstname.lastname@example.org).