Who wouldn’t want to sit on the beach and munch on chocolate-covered strawberries and marshmallows all while sipping a glass of champagne in the Bahamas? No one. However, if the weather’s not exactly warm (say, you’re Canadian), and you’re not near a beach (which is probably true if you’re reading this), all that you have left is delicious juicy berries in rich chocolate. You know what? I’ll settle. Gladly.
Chocolate-covered strawberries are one of my favourite desserts, when made correctly. The key to making them correctly is tempered chocolate, and that the strawberries are completely dry. There is no way around this! Chocolate-covered strawberries can be found in almost all buffets and range from good to bad, but you’re about to learn how to do it right.
Chocolate’s a funny thing. It seizes (that’s when it comes in contact with even a drop of water or is overheated and ruined – there are ways to “fix it” but it’s best to avoid this completely) and then mocks you. It’s quite important to be very careful when working with chocolate so that it doesn’t seize, and so after you wash the strawberries dry them with a paper towel and leave them out to dry. I had some marshmallows lying around so I decided to make chocolate-dipped marshmallows as well.
To dip your dry strawberries in tempered chocolate (click here for complete instructions on how to temper chocolate) you can either hold onto them by the leaves or, if you decide to take off the leaves or want to keep your hands chocolate-free, you can use a wooden skewer to hold the strawberry under its leaves. Dip the strawberry or marshmallow in the chocolate, raise it, lower it to the chocolate, and repeat until the stream of chocolate stops. Then, place your creation on parchment paper for the chocolate to harden. If your dipping-chocolate hardens, you must re-temper it. Once it hardens you can store it in the fridge (the chocolate is fine at room temperature because it is tempered, but the strawberries aren’t). You can also drizzle tempered chocolate on them by tempering chocolate, placing it in a Ziploc bag, cutting off the tip, and drizzling it on the berries. Or, if you prefer coconut or maybe sprinkles, you can dip the strawberries in chocolate and then roll them in toppings.
How to dip the fruit and candy into tempered chocolate, decorate, and finally set the chocolate.
2 standard chocolate bars (milk, white, or dark)
1 standard chocolate bar, optional for drizzling (milk, white, or dark)
Prepare the dessert:
Wash and dry strawberries with a paper towel, and leave them out to dry completely. Melt ⅔ of milk/white chocolate over a bain-marie at medium-low heat stirring constantly until it reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit or dark chocolate until 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the chocolate off the bain-marie and stir in the other third of the melting chocolate, and let it cool until it reaches 83 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the bowl on the pot for ten seconds, take it off, stir. Repeat until the chocolate reaches 87 degrees Fahrenheit, then dip strawberries and marshmallows and place on parchment paper to harden, and later in the fridge to store.