Most of us have maybe attempted chocolate covered strawberries at one point or another and probably been somewhat satisfied with them. I mean, really nothing that has to do with a strawberries and chocolate can possibly turn out wrong, right? Well, I just want to give you a few pointers to help you temper your chocolate properly and make your strawberry dipping success even higher. Make it like the professionals with a shiny chocolate coating that has a crisp “crack” when you bit into it. These tips can also apply to dipping homemade truffles, candies, or whatever your little heart desires.
Strawberries – try to find berries that are bruise-free. The bruises tends to weep and make it difficult for the chocolate to stick. (Check out these huge berries I found at my local Winco in FEBRUARY… beautiful!)
Approximately 5 ounces of white chocolate
I unfortunately had to choose milk chocolate and white chocolate because even though dark is my favorite – the purer the chocolate, the bigger the headache, literally, for me. Not so great since chocolate is my biggest weakness. Do not use chocolate chips for melting and dipping. Save them for the cookies. While they will work ok, they have an additive that helps them keep that “chip” shape even when melted so they are not the best for melting and dipping. Instead try to find a good quality chocolate brick or bar. Trust me when I say that the quality of the chocolate makes a huge difference in the taste. However, that being said, I have used Nestle chocolate chips and even though they weren’t tempered properly, they still tasted pretty yummy, so don’t be discouraged if this is your only option.
Double boiler – I do not own a double boiler, never have, most likely never will because I just use a saucepan and a small bowl (see picture). Works just as good. You just want to make sure your bowl fits good and isn’t just floating around. The point of a double-boiler is for the chocolate to avoid the direct heat of your burner.
Chocolate thermometer or an instant read thermometer – It is very important for your thermometer to be digital so you can get an exact instant read. The chocolate heats up very fast and cools fast so you want to be able to get the temp without wasting precious seconds.
Start by washing your strawberries. Lay them on a paper towel to dry. One by one, hold each berry in a separate paper towel and remove any excess water from the leaves or berry. You want your berry to be 100% dry or the chocolate will not stick.
Next, you want to chop your chocolate into small pieces. I like to use a large chef’s knife and make my slices 1/4 inch at a time. The chocolate will sometimes crumble as your knife passes through. Separate out 1/3 of the chocolate and set aside.
Add about an inch or two (depending on size of pan) of water to your sauce pan or double boiler pan. Put it on your burner over medium heat. You do not want your water to boil, only simmer. Insert bowl. Make sure your bowl is not touching the water.
Add 2/3 of your chopped chocolate to your bowl or double boiler. Be ready with your spatula, chocolate thermometer, and hot pad cuz yowza! those metal bowls get hot. Just trust me on this one, don’t test it for yourself 🙂
Heat your chocolate to: dark chocolate 120 degrees, milk chocolate 115 degrees, white chocolate 110 degrees. Remove instantly from heat when your chocolate reaches the proper temp. Transfer your chocolate to a different room temp bowl to help lower the temperature.
Add your remaining chocolate and stir until no chunks remain. Return chocolate to original bowl over your double boiler and heat until your temperature reaches: 88-90 degrees for dark, 86 to 88 for milk and 82-84 for white. Your chocolate is now tempered. Do not let your chocolate reach over 92 degrees for dark or 88 for milk and white at this point or the temper will be lost. (meaning you still get a yummy strawberry but without the shine and crisp outer-shell). You can also cool the chocolate and start over if needed.
Start dipping your berries. Check your temperature often as you are dipping your strawberries as you want to keep it in that proper tempered range. After you dip the berry, while holding the stem shake the strawberry back and forth over your bowl to rid your strawberry of excess chocolate. Lay down flat on a platter, parchment paper, foil or wax paper.
After chocolate is tempered, scoop a little on the end of a butter knife and pass back and forth over strawberry rather quickly. It does not have to be perfect. Mine isn’t, but it still looks pretty. You may also want to practice this a few times on a practice surface (maybe some parchment paper) just to get comfortable with it.
I know these sounds crazy intimidating but IF you have an instant-read thermometer, you will be just fine. AND after you have your shiny, beautiful chocolate covered berries on display, you will swell with pride. Make a few notes about temps and steps on a small piece of paper to keep by your work station so you don’t have to keep referring back to the blog and possibly over-heating your chocolate.
Good luck! I always love to hear of your successes so be sure to let me know how it goes or if you have any questions at all. Thanks! 🙂