Make Ahead Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Everyone always oohs and ahhs over Chocolate Covered Strawberries, but they aren’t difficult to make. The trick is to keep all water way from the melting chocolate, as even a single drop will make it :seize” and turn into a grainy mess. Likewise, wash then dry your strawberries well with paper towels before dipping.
6 ounces dark or milk chocolate
2 ounces white chocolate (optional)
about 12 large strawberries
How To Melt Chocolate
Take care when melting chocolate or you can easily end up with a grainy mess. The lighter the chocolate, the higher the chances of this happening. The most important thing to remember is that chocolate melts better and faster at lower temperatures. Never let your chocolate get above 115° F.
The best method is using a double boiler (one pot that holds the chocolate that fits over another which contains about an inch or two of simmering water). If you don’t have a double boiler, you can use a heat proof bowl which is large enough to be suspended over a pot without its bottom touching the simmering water. Stir the melting chocolate often. Remove from the heat as soon as the chocolate is melted and stir until smooth.
Be extremely careful not to get any water (not even a drop) into the chocolate. Water will turn the chocolate into a grainy, lumpy mess. (FYI For other recipes, if the liquid is mixed with the chocolate from the beginning of the melting process, it won’t get grainy on you, but adding even a drop in mid-melting will cause this problem.
Alternatively, you can melt chocolate in a dry oven. Place grated chocolate in a metal bowl and place it in an oven set at 110° F (if your oven doesn’t go that low, use the lowest temperature and keep the door ajar). Your chocolate will melt in about an hour.
You can also use your microwave, but it takes some getting used to. Different ovens cook at different increments, so experiment with yours, checking the chocolate and stirring frequently — every 10 seconds or less.
Once the chocolate has melted, dip dry strawberries in the chocolate, using a spoon to help cover the berries. Place coated berries on waxed paper to set. (If you want to speed the process, set in the freezer for a minute.)
If you want to add decorative white chocolate, as in the photo above, melt the white chocolate using the dry oven or double boiler method (avoid microwave melting of white chocolate as it’s super tricky and with certain brands, impossible). Once melted, dip a fork into the white chocolate and move it back and forth over the set chocolate dipped berries, letting the white chocolate drip as you go. Let set.
While you can make these up to a day in advance, several hours is best. The riper your berries, the less time they will keep, however, less ripe berries don’t taste as good, so it’s a Catch-22. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.