Chocolate Covered Strawberries: Going beyond the basics

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, the most utilized add on package, and staple for romantic packages at a B&B. Here are a few tips and tricks (and variations) for getting those strawberries lathered in chocolate absolutely perfect.

A few variations on top of the plain dipped strawberry, best dipped or rolled when the chocolate has been applied for about 10-15 seconds but not yet “set”:

  • Fine chopped toasted nuts, pecans, almonds (peeled and unpeeled) walnuts, pistachios, cashews and peanuts. Salted nuts actually taste better than unsalted on a chocolate dipped strawberry.
  • Fine chopped spiced nuts, smoked paprika spiced walnuts are incredible for example.
  • A sprinkling of coarse sea salt, there are also variations, pink sea salt, smoked sea salt, etc.
  • Coarse sugar mixed with cinnamon
  • Demerara sugar
  • Crushed Oreos
  • Crushed Candy Canes
  • Coconut Flakes
  • Cocoa Powder (after chocolate is totally set)
  • Edible Metallic dust (available online and in stores like Michaels)
  • Edible Glitter
  • Colored sanding sugar
  • Sprinkles/Jimmies, mini sugar stars and sugar pearls, available in just about every color
  • Themed ones for the Holidays using Sprinkles/Jimmies, Orange for Halloween, Red for Valentine’s Day, Red, Green and Gold or Silver for Christmas, White and Gold for New Years.
  • There are also food decorating pens that can be used to draw designs on the chocolate dipped berries.

A few variations on top of the chocolate dipped strawberry itself:

  • Ganache filled strawberries. Hollow the berries out first, dip with a toothpick or soft tongs, let chocolate set and pipe in ganache.
  • Liquor, or fruit, or flavor infused syrup injected strawberry. Dip strawberries first and then inject.
  • Mousse filled strawberries. Follow the same procedure as ganache filled.
  • Dried fruit like papaya, mango, dried banana chips dipped in chocolate. Dried banana chips dipped in chopped pecans are fabulous.
  • Other berries, raspberries and blueberries are lovely alternated on toothpicks and dipped, end the tip with a fat blueberry to prevent slippage.

A few dipping tricks:

  • White candy melts are easier to use, then melting and tempering chocolate as well as much easier to manage then white chocolate if used for a further garnish on top of dark or milk chocolate. Melts are available on Amazon and some retailers like Target carry them. Candy melts are made to emulate white chocolate, which is then tinted. …Chocolate candy melts add cocoa powder, but still use vegetable oil. Also referred to as confectionery coating or summer coating. They also hold up better in hot weather.
  • Make sure your strawberries are room temperate before dipping, the chocolate will set better.
  • After you dip your berry into the melted chocolate as far as you can, give it a little shake to shake off extra chocolate and cover any missed spots. Then tip the berry upside down to cover more of the berry closer to the leaves, as well as tucking under the “tail” of the chocolate.
  • Use wax paper or very fine screening after dipping strawberries and letting them set.
  • Chocolate will start to pull away from a strawberry after more than 24 hours, so try not to do them too far ahead of time.
  • If you must refrigerate your chocolate dipped strawberries (not recommended if you can avoid, moisture from the refrigerator can cause a sheen or white coloration on the chocolate.) Store in an airtight dry container with several paper towels folded in the corners.
  • While Farmer’s Markets have the tastiest strawberries, there is so much residual sugar in them they don’t hold up as well to being dipped in chocolate, and mold more quickly then store bought.
  • The best temperature in which to dip strawberries is going to vary by brand and by fat content. The best way to gauge whether your chocolate is “perfect” for dipping is insert a teaspoon into the mix, if it coats it evenly, and doesn’t clot or drip off the bowl of the spoon to fast, you are at the perfect temperate for dipping.

About Chef Forfeng

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