Chocolate covered strawberries are romantic and fun. Two easy methods, plus all my tips and tricks to get your strawberries to come out perfect!
I love this month for all the Valentines’ inspired recipes floating around, all the chocolate in stores, all the extra emphasis on dessert.
Honestly, I don’t make homemade desserts very often because I’d rather spend my time and energy on cooking the main meal. I can spend an hour making a chicken recipe, and then we can just eat some dark chocolate for dessert. But if I spend an hour baking a cake, I still need to make or get something for dinner. I also tend to do pretty well making up my own recipes for dinners, but when baking, I normally follow an established recipe. So that’s why I haven’t shared any dessert recipes until now.
You don’t really need a recipe for chocolate covered strawberries. Dip strawberries in chocolate and done.
But I do have some tips and suggestions to make sure your strawberries come out perfectly, and that’s what today’s post is all about!
Ingredients for Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Let’s talk about our two main ingredients.
Strawberries: You don’t want your strawberries to be too unripe. No one likes biting through a chocolate shell into a completely white sour strawberry. On the other hand, if they’re too ripe, they tend to get soft and mushy. This will ruin your chocolate. This time of year, you’re not going to get those super-red, juicy, sweet ripe farmers market strawberries anyway. It’s the big, flavorless-in-comparison, never really completely ripe strawberries you find in the supermarket, the kind that are bred for shelf-life rather than flavor. That’s okay though, because they’re going to get covered in chocolate. If you can’t buy the strawberries the day you’re going to dip them, try to get them at earliest one or two days before.
Washing the strawberries: Rinse the strawberries under cold water, then put them on a dish towel on the counter. Carefully dry them with a paper towel. As you dry them, you can also pull back the leaves a little bit, so they’ll stay out of the chocolate. This is the most tedious part of the entire process, but do a good job here! If you get water in your chocolate, it will get lumpy and grainy. You don’t want this to happen. Water is the enemy of chocolate. (I wouldn’t be surprised if those mall stores that sell chocolate covered strawberries don’t even wash the strawberries at all.) If there’s a bad spot on your strawberry, eat it naked or toss it. You don’t want to risk it getting moisture in your chocolate.
What Type of Chocolate to Use for Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate: I know some people like using candy melts. They are very popular, for a reason. If you like to use them, that’s great. They do make it easier to get the perfect-looking Instagram-worthy chocolate covered strawberry, and you get to choose from a wide variety of colors. If the decoration is very important to you, go for it!
Personally I love the rich intense flavor of chocolate, and I only use real chocolate for dipping strawberries or other candy-making. I used 70% cacao baking bars for these strawberries. Use the kind of chocolate you like to eat.
I find four ounces of chocolate per one pound of strawberries to be a good ratio, but I recommend having some extra chocolate on hand in case you get water in some, you’ll have extra chocolate to work with. If you don’t need it, I’m sure you can find something to do with the extra chocolate! It doesn’t go bad : ) Four ounces is about 2/3 cup of chocolate chips.
That said, if you really want to have a certain number of strawberries, you should also buy extra strawberries. There’s always going to be one or two bad mushy ones in the middle of the container that you have to throw away.
If you’re using a bar (as opposed to chips), chop the chocolate into chunks.
Melting the chocolate: I don’t have a double-broiler. I’ve always melted my chocolate in the microwave. Even if I’m making a lot of strawberries, I don’t melt more than four ounces of chocolate at a time. That way if something happens and water gets in the batch and the chocolate gets grainy, I haven’t wasted too much. I put the chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for one minute. Then stir until melted and smooth. If your chocolate is not even close to melted, put it back in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring completely after each one.
Decorations for Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Decorations: Sprinkles or a colored coarse sugar are easy ways to decorate your strawberries. And (I am really giving away all my secrets now), if you end up with some slightly grainy chocolate toward the end of dipping, sprinkles will help you hide any imperfections in the chocolate. (I am not recommending using seized chocolate for your dipping, just talking about if it gets a little bit lumpy toward the very end, you can kind of cover it up with sprinkles.)
I don’t recommend dipping the chocolate strawberry into a bowl of sprinkles because if you haven’t let the chocolate harden enough, it’s going to fall off into the sprinkles, and if it’s too hard, the sprinkles won’t stick. Instead just use your hands or a shaker to sprinkle some on right after you dip the strawberry.
Also, let me tell you about the sprinkle incident. For my first batch of strawberries, I bought some white and red nonpareil type sprinkles (not seen in the photos here) to use as decoration. I am notoriously clumsy. Almost every time I cook, I drop or spill something. I knew it would be a nightmare if I spilled a whole bowl of these tiny sprinkles, and I was super careful while I was using them. I was all done and cleaning up the kitchen, and I went to throw the nonpareil sprinkles into the garbage to wash the bowl, and somehow it slipped out of my hand and the sprinkles flew all over.
These sprinkles bounce. They ended up in the far corner of our living room, like 30 feet away from where I dropped them. I spent an hour sweeping and vacuuming sprinkles up. Then Jonathan got home and moved the fridge and the stove and spent another hour vacuuming sprinkles that got behind the appliances. Then we even found some in our bedroom that probably stuck to our shoes or something. Two weeks later we are still finding an occasional sprinkle on the floor somewhere. Jonathan will never eat sprinkles again.
Be careful and don’t drop your bowl of sprinkles.
For my second batch of strawberries, which you see in these photos, I used the heart sprinkles and only poured a little bit at a time into the bowl. I think these look better than the nonpareil sprinkles.
How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries
On to the dipping…
Method One: Hand Dipped Chocolate Covered Strawberries
This is the easiest way to dip your strawberries and requires no extra equipment.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pick up a strawberry by the leaves and swirl it in chocolate until all sides are covered.
Place the strawberry on the parchment paper. Sprinkle your decoration on.
Keep going until you have the number of strawberries you want. You can put these in the fridge for a half hour to help the chocolate harden quicker.
Method Two: Dipping Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Skewers
With the first method, the bottom of your strawberries will be flat from where the chocolate was resting on the pan.
Just to be perfectly clear: If someone brought me homemade chocolate covered strawberries, I would be awed and amazed and not nit-picking that they have flat bottoms.
But if you want to take your chocolate-covered-strawberry game up a notch, use skewers. You get an even coating of chocolate around the whole strawberry, and no flat side. It’s also perfect if you want to make your own Edible Arrangements type bouquet, or if you have another creative presentation in mind for a gift.
You’ll also need a piece of Styrofoam. I bought this cake form at Michaels. It cost more than I would have thought (something like $11 or $12), so make sure you get a coupon from the website if you go there or to a similar craft store. Remember, this project still costs a lot less than buying chocolate covered strawberries from a chocolatier.
First pull back the leaves, then stick the pointy end of the skewer into the strawberry close to the base of the leaves.
Hold the skewer and dip the strawberry. You’ll need to tilt the bowl a little to get the edge of the strawberry on the side closer to the skewer.
Hold the strawberry over the bowl of chocolate and let the excess chocolate drip off. Then push the other end of the skewer a couple inches into the Styrofoam. Sprinkle on decorations.
Get the skewers as close to each other as you can without the strawberries touching.
Carefully transfer to the fridge for a half hour to let chocolate harden, or just leave out and wait. Then remove skewers from the Styrofoam. You can gently pull the skewers out of the strawberries, or leave them in to make a strawberry bouquet. There are so many cute ways to gift these.
How Long do Chocolate Covered Strawberries Last?
Storage: Ok, that was a trick question. You really have to eat the strawberries the same day you dip them. Once you wash berries, they start to decompose immediately. You could maybe leave some in the fridge and eat them the next day, if you don’t mind that there will be some strawberry juice coming out under the chocolate.
I used six pounds of strawberries for photographs (two separate occasions, three pounds each), and even I can’t eat six pounds of chocolate covered strawberries. So I put them in the freezer. When I want to eat some, I take them out like a half hour before and then eat them basically frozen. They’re not getting defrosted, just defrosted enough so I don’t hurt my teeth biting into them. They are not at all like what they’re like fresh. They are so much better fresh.
But… yeah, they’re good frozen. Just understand it’s like eating a piece of frozen fruit with chocolate, and make sure that’s what you’re expecting. Also, the sprinkles that are crunchy and a nice texture contrast when they’re fresh turn soggy when they’re frozen. So I seriously only recommend eating them fresh the day you make them.
What to Cook for Valentine’s Day Dinner
Are you still thinking about what to serve for your main course on Valentine’s Day?
I wanted to get my Valentine’s post up early because I know people like to plan in advance, and it takes a while to get a blog post around the internet, but I will be sharing an easy chicken recipe next week that’s great for date night.
In the meantime, you might also want to consider:
Get the recipe here.
Get the recipe here.
Get the recipe here.
Get the recipe here.
Get the recipe here.
Get the recipe here. (The others are all recipes for two. This one makes six servings. You can reduce it down or enjoy leftovers.)
Get the recipe here.
And the easiest one, but still so elegant… Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Fried Rice
Get the recipe here.
If you’re going out for Valentine’s Day, make these strawberries the weekend before or after, or for dessert at home. I’d eat them any time of year!
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- 1 pound strawberries
- 4 ounces chocolate, chopped
- optional: sprinkles for decoration
- Wash strawberries and dry well with paper towels. Gently pull back leaves as you dry them.
- Microwave chocolate on high for 1 minute and stir until smooth. If it’s not melted yet, microwave for additional 30 second increments, stirring each time.
- If hand-dipping: Line a tray with parchment paper. Hold each strawberry by the leaves, dip in chocolate, and place on the tray. Sprinkle with decorations immediately after each strawberry is dipped.
- If skewer-dipping: Skewer each strawberry near the base. Hold by the skewer, dip in chocolate, and stand the skewer up in a piece of foam. Sprinkle with decorations immediately after each strawberry is dipped.
- Transfer strawberries to fridge for 30 minutes to help chocolate harden.
- Eat the same day you make them!
Please read the full post for this recipe for additional tips. Enjoy!
(Calories are per strawberry. You will get about 15 strawberries in 1 pound.)