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chocolate covered strawberries

February 24, 2010

“Did you make these?!”
“Oh, YUM!”

These are the cries of delight and glee that I hear every time I bring chocolate covered strawberries to a party and every time I serve them at my house. I  wanted chocolate covered strawberries to be the first post featured at Mrs. Smith Cooks for a few reasons.

  • They are delicious, romantic, classic, and beautiful
  • They are simple to make (as long as one abides by the ten commandments below)
  • They are a signature delight of a wonderful and amazing Mrs. Smith, my mother, who taught me everything  there is to know about chocolate covered strawberries.

Chocolate covered strawberries are not so much of a recipe, but a technique. Get some chocolate, melt it down, dunk the strawberries, let them cool. Easy, right? It really is that simple. There are, however, a few things that can go wrong, (trust me) and so I want to make sure you know everything there is to know so your chocolate strawberries come out perfectly on the first attempt.

The 10 commandments of perfect chocolate covered strawberries.

1. Thou shall choose excellent chocolate and excellent strawberries – It should go without saying that a recipe with only two ingredients requires the highest possible quality for those ingredients. Make sure the berries are perfectly ripe. Not under ripe, not mushy. Choose excellent quality chocolate as well. (Note: chocolate bars from the check-out line at the grocery store and/or chocolate chips are not a good idea. Not only does the chocolate in these products taste waxy, but they leave an ugly white film on the chocolate as it cools. Ew.) I used Belgian dark chocolate, but you high quality milk chocolate could be used as well.

2. Thou shall let the strawberries dry completely after washing – Water is the enemy of chocolate dipped strawberries, as I will explain later, so the strawberries should be, dried as thoroughly as possible after washing.

3. Thou shall not scorch the chocolate – There are two ways to avoid this. First, cut the chocolate in to smaller chunks before melting. Second, stir, stir, stir. If melting in a microwave (to me this is the most efficient way) place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval. The work of the stirring do most of the melting of the chocolate.  If the chocolate pools and melts in the microwave without being stirred, it will be scorched (and taste burnt). Alternatively, the chocolate can be melted in a double boiler.

4. Thou shall make sure that no water, not even a drop, touches the chocolate– Water, even one tiny drop of it, will cause the chocolate to get separated and nasty, so everything that gets close to the chocolate (hands, bowl, spoon, etc.) should be absolutely dry.

5. Thou shall dip thy strawberries with care I grab the strawberry by the green part, dip it in the chocolate, twist it, and then hold the strawberry over the bowl for a second to let the excess drip off. Too thick a coating can look clunky and start to separate from the berry. In my opinion, it’s better to have a light, elegant coating than a clunky disastrous chunk of chocolate hanging on there. But either way, it’ll taste good. 🙂

6. Thou shall let thy strawberries dry fully on an appropriate surface – The strawberries need to dry on something that will allow them to be picked up and plated later. Do not dry them on the plate from which they will be served because they will get stuck. Wax paper works nicely, as does a Silpat mat, which is what I use.

7. Thou shalt not refrigerate thy chocolate covered strawberries – This is one of the most common errors people make when they make chocolate covered strawberries. If you refrigerate them, they will start to “sweat,” and they will look, and taste bad. These will be fine at room temperature for a few hours if they are made in advance. They just need to be covered with plastic wrap and kept away from direct sun or heat.

8. Thou shall make thy strawberries and serve them on the same day – As mentioned above, these need to be kept at room temperature. They don’t keep well.

9.Thou shall add thy own personal touch to thy strawberries, if desired. – I am somewhat of a minimalist in many things, and so for me, the simplicity of these chocolate covered strawberries is what makes them so perfect. However, it is quite pretty and fun to drizzle white chocolate over them for a different look. Maybe they would be tasty rolled nuts or coconut or something else (dry, of course), too! I’ve never done it, but I’m curious if others have. Leave a comment with suggestions for your perfect chocolate covered strawberries!

10. Thou shall enjoy thy chocolate covered strawberries and share them with everyone!


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