Chocolate-Covered Strawberries Are the Ultimate Valentine's Day Dessert—Here's How to Make Them at Home
Fresh strawberries covered in rich chocolate are one of the most impressive-looking yet fundamentally simple desserts you can make, and the result is a harmonious combination that brings together sweet, tart, and bitter flavors. Whether you keep things straightforward (oh, the joy of a two-ingredient recipe!) or add toppings that suit your fancy, your final creations are sure to delight. As you prepare for your Valentine's Day dinner at home, consider adding these sweet bites to the dessert menu.
First, be sure to choose the right strawberries for the job. We suggest steering clear of giant-sized berries when shopping. They may seem enticing (after all, more strawberry means more chocolate), but smaller ones are usually tastier—they're sweeter, with a more intense strawberry flavor. Depending on the time of year, you may not have many options, but look for fruits that are deep red (no white shoulders) that are all roughly the same size. An added bonus is berries with decent-sized stems you can hold onto when dipping.
To prepare the berries for dipping, gently rinse them in water and then let them dry fully on towels (any moisture will prevent the chocolate from adhering).
You can use chopped dark, semisweet, or white chocolate; about eight ounces of chocolate should cover one pound of berries. Avoid using chocolate chips, since they usually have added ingredients that help them to maintain their shape when heated and won't melt down smoothly. To achieve a snappy chocolate shell over the strawberry and a glossy shine, your best bet is to temper the chocolate. To do this, bring a saucepan filled with two inches of water to a simmer. Place a metal bowl containing two-thirds of the chocolate over the saucepan, and stir until the chocolate melts. Remove the bowl from the saucepan, add the remaining chocolate, and stir vigorously. Reheat the chocolate briefly by placing the bowl back over the saucepan (ideal temp is 89°F). Now you're ready to dip.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper to catch drips of chocolate and prevent the strawberries from sticking to the baking sheet. One at a time, dip each strawberry in chocolate, twirling to coat. Let any excess drip back into the bowl, then place on the paper to set.
Of course, chocolate alone is delicious enough, but why not take things up a notch? If you're using white chocolate and want to tint it before dipping, use powdered or oil-based dye. For powdered dye, add it as soon as the chocolate starts to melt; for oil-based dye, stir it in after the chocolate melts.
Toppings can also be fun and add interesting flavors and textures to these treats. Almost anything goes: crushed toasted almonds, peanuts, pecans, or pistachios; grated coconut; sprinkles; cookie crumbs; or freeze-dried berries are just a few of our favorite ideas. Very small pieces work best, so be sure to finely chop any nuts or dried fruits first. Place the topping on a plate or shallow bowl and carefully roll the freshly-dipped strawberry in it, pressing gently to help the topping adhere, before laying it on the paper.
How Long Do Chocolate-Covered Strawberries Last?
While you can make chocolate-covered strawberries ahead of time, they are ideally enjoyed shortly after dipping. If you make them on the day they will be eaten, don't refrigerate them. Drops of condensation may collect on the chocolate if they are stored in the refrigerator for more than an hour. If you do need to make them ahead they may, let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.