How to achieve the best chocolate covered strawberries, temper chocolate and storing!
This is a quick guide on how to achieve the best chocolate covered strawberries with tempered chocolate in less than 15 minutes!
Why vinegar solution?
Letting strawberries soak in a water vinegar mixture it helps extracting mold and fungus. If strawberries are not washed they will get bad after a couple of days in the fridge due to their high water portion. To wash strawberries correctly fill a bowl with water, add vinegar and carefully strawberries. Let them soak for 10 minutes. Then take them out and let them dry at room temperature until fully dry. You can gently pad the strawberries with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel to help them dry quicker. I recommend to wash the strawberries a couple of hours or up to 1 day before needed and store them in the fridge. Cold strawberries make the chocolate set faster when covering the strawberries with chocolate.
How to temper chocolate?
To avoid overheating the chocolate while melting you can either use a thermometer or you can temper the chocolate. To temper chocolate you can either warm the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals or you can use heat a bowl and a pot with a bit of water on the stove top as a double boiler. Chop all of the chocolate in fine pieces. Melt 2/3 of it with one of the described methods. When the chocolate is melted add the rest of the chopped chocolate and stir it until everything is melted. Then the chocolate is tempered and ready to use!
High quality chocolate like Lindt, Callebaut, Guittard or Ghirardelli have the best chocolate flavor and work best for melting and dipping purposes. Personally I love to use Belgium, German or Swiss chocolate from Trader Joes or Aldi.
Do I cut the stems or leave it?
Some people cut the stems and leaves of the strawberries prior to covering them with chocolate but I would not recommend that. Cutting a hole in the strawberries makes it easier for the strawberry juice to leak and reduces their durability. Also it is easier to dip them and they look way prettier with their leaves!
How to get smooth chocolate covered strawberries without a chocolate pool?
The key of getting the prettiest chocolate covered strawberries is the amount of chocolate used and its fluidity. To get a nice layer of chocolate around your strawberry without it building a pool while setting you need to follow these steps. I prefer using cold strawberries which makes the chocolate set faster. That way I can move on to add decoration like lines faster. When dipping the strawberries make sure to let the excess chocolate drip back into the container. Before transferring the strawberry onto a parchment paper scrape the bottom of the berry on the glass rim to remove excess chocolate. After a few seconds of setting move the strawberry onto a clean spot on the parchment to reduce the chocolate pool and make sure to have a smooth look.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Ingredients: for 15 medium sized strawberries
15 medium sized strawberries
5 oz (150 g) quality milk chocolate
2 oz (60 g) dark or white chocolate (for the drizzle)
1 quart (1 l) water
1/2 cup (120 ml) white vinegar
To make the chocolate covered strawberries the first step is to wash the strawberries in a big bowl with water and white vinegar. It is important to not wash strawberries under running water since they can loose their flavor. Always fill a bowl with water, add white vinegar and strawberries. Let them sit for about 10 minutes then take them out and place them on paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Let them dry completely. You can do this step already up to 1 day in advance and keep the strawberries in the fridge.
Let's talk about chocolate. To temper the chocolate chop it and place 2/3 of it in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave it in 30 second intervals until melted. Stir it in between to make sure everything is melting evenly. Add the rest of the chopped chocolate and mix it in. When the chocolate is completely melted it is tempered and ready to use. Fill it in a small tall glass or bowl and dip in the dry and clean strawberries. Take out the excess chocolate from underneath with a spatula or the rim of the glass and place them on a flat parchment paper covered surface and let them set. The chocolate sets faster when the strawberries were kept in the fridge and are cold. If needed reposition the strawberry on the parchment paper when it has a lot of excess chocolate.
Decorate the strawberries with lines of white or dark chocolate. Simply melt the chocolate the same way as before and place it in a small piping bag or freezer bag and cut off the very tip of the bag to make a small hole. To make the lines move the bag fast from one side to another making sure to go out of the strawberry every time.
Keep the strawberries uncovered (!) in the fridge for about 2 days to make sure the air can circulate and no water is setting on the strawberries.
Washing the strawberries kills all bacteria and fungus spores and keeps the strawberries fresh in the fridge for about 1 week if stored correctly.
If you want. to add sprinkles to the strawberries do it while the chocolate has not set yet. If you want your sprinkles to only stick on chocolate lines wait until the chocolate is set, pipe chocolate lines and then add the sprinkles.