Chocolate-covered strawberries are a delicious, romantic and surprisingly easy treat. You can dip strawberries at home quickly and easily, but the final product may depend upon the chocolate you choose. Different varieties of chocolate work well for strawberries, but good quality chocolate is always important to create a rich and luscious dessert. The best chocolate for your strawberries depends upon the strawberry itself, as well as the tastes and preferences of those eating.
Chocolate-dipped strawberries require a chocolate that melts smoothly, coats thickly and evenly, then dries to a smooth and glossy finish. Melting chocolate with a small amount of shortening may help to easily achieve a smooth finish, or you can properly temper the chocolate by heating it to 110 degrees Fahrenheit then cooling it by rapidly by stirring more chocolate into the melted chocolate (see Resources). Choose a good-quality chocolate for the best result when tempering, dipping and cooling. Lower-quality chocolates may melt unevenly or separate during melting and tempering, producing a lumpy or unattractive chocolate-covered strawberry.
Chocolate Candy Coatings
Chocolate-flavored, candy-coating pieces or candy melts are widely available anywhere cake decorating supplies are sold. These melt quickly and easily, and can be more forgiving than working with actual chocolate. Candy melts can be the best choice if kids want to dip strawberries on their own, or if you don’t have a double boiler on hand to melt chocolate. Various colors are available, but the flavor quality is poor.
Dark chocolate offers an intense flavor contrast to the sweet, cold berry. Choose a rich dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa for the best result when working with especially sweet berries. The contrast between a very sweet berry and slightly bitter chocolate produces an especially delicious dessert. Dark chocolate has a cocoa percentage ranging from 35 percent to 99 percent and includes semi-sweet and bittersweet varieties. Semi-sweet chocolate will be less intensely flavored than bittersweet.
Milk chocolate is lighter, sweeter and milder tasting than darker chocolates. If you are dipping strawberries off season and they are not particularly sweet, this can be the best flavor pairing for a tasty chocolate-covered strawberry. Milk chocolate is also the best choice if you are dipping strawberries for children or anyone who prefers a milder flavor. A better quality milk chocolate may have a cocoa percentage of up to 35 percent to 40 percent for richer cocoa flavor.
White chocolate technically is not chocolate as it has no cacao solids; it is essentially flavored cocoa butter. Use white chocolate as the best contrasting option to decorate chocolate-dipped strawberries. Melt a small amount of white chocolate, then drizzle onto the strawberries or dip once in white chocolate, then again in dark chocolate to achieve a tuxedo look for an especially pretty chocolate-covered strawberry. You can also dip in white chocolate if you want the best choice for someone who loves strawberries but not traditional chocolate. White chocolate is quite sweet, so it will provide the best flavor if paired with a slightly tart strawberry.