Sunday, December 5, 2010

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Sometimes I think I'm the most brilliant person I know. I guess that's because I get to experience all of my own brilliant ideas, and only some of other people's.

I was sitting around this afternoon, watching the Giants crush the Redskins. It was too early to start dinner, but I wanted some kitchen action. I thought about the half-box of strawberries in the fridge. I thought about the chocolate in the cabinet. And then I put them together.

Y. U. M. As we were throwing this baby together, Jeff asked, "Why don't other people do this? All the time?" I was thinking the exact same thing (although I did not join him in some of his other thoughts, like "We should cover our chicken in chocolate!" and "Ghirardelli is my favorite deli"). Melting chocolate is not hard. Dipping strawberries in it is not hard. Who needs a special occasion for something you can throw together in 20 minutes on a Sunday afternoon?

My guess is that people are thrown off by scary terms like "double boiler." I believe they sell double boilers, but it seems like a waste of money to me. All you need is a bowl that fits over your pot. You boil water in the pot, turn off the heat, and put the bowl of whatever you're trying to melt over it. Stir it as it melts. Done. This is not rocket science. The hardest part is waiting for the water to boil while you contemplate the deliciousness you are about to create.

In case you doubt how easy this actually is, let me point out that this was my first time doing it. (Ok, so it's not my first time using a double boiler. I've made recipes involving melted chocolate before. I've just never coated anything in it.) And it was Jeff's first time using a double boiler and he did just fine. In fact, he melted the white chocolate himself while I was dipping strawberries.

The only hiccup in the whole process was that we used a little too much chocolate. After we'd finished dipping and drizzling the strawberries, we started scrambling around for other things to dip. I tried a chocolate peanut butter cookie, but it was a bit too crumbly to put up with that sort of handling. Pretzels, graham crackers or shortbread cookies would work nicely, but we didn't have any of those. We ended up tossing in some clementine wedges . . . and our fingers . . . to finish it off. Which wasn't a bad option either.

So do this. Soon. You owe it to yourself.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
Guided by Food Network.

3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped roughly into small chunks
1 1/2 oz white chocolate, chopped roughly into small chunks
half a box of strawberries (about 9 oz), washed and dried well

Find two small pots and two heatproof (as in, won't melt or be otherwise damaged by the heat) bowls that fit over the tops without falling in. Now you have two double-boilers. (Alternatively, you could use one pot and two bowls, but this will take longer.)

Add a few inches of water to each pot and bring them to a simmer. Put the chocolates into separate heatproof bowls. When the water is simmering, turn off the heat. Place a bowl over the top and stir the chocolate until it melts. Repeat with the other bowl (I staggered them a bit so I didn't have to stir two bowls at once). Bring your melted chocolate over to the counter.

Holding the leaves of the strawberries (or stems - mine had no stems, though), twirl them gently in the bittersweet chocolate (or whichever chocolate you wish - this recipe is designed to cover them in dark chocolate with a white chocolate drizzle, but any combination works) until covered. Then place each one on a parchment-lined baking sheet to dry.

When all the strawberries are coated, use a fork to drizzle white chocolate over them as decoration (hopefully you can do a prettier job than we did - but ugly drizzle won't affect the deliciousness of the final product!). Set the tray aside to harden for about 30 minutes. Enjoy!


  1. Some of those strawberries don't look 80% red. You need a new strawberry-picking robot.

  2. I never said they were prime strawberries! But the ARE covered in chocolate . . . (And I just watched that video this afternoon, actually.)

  3. It's the drying strawberries off completely that's key - because I've made the mistake of attempting this with still wet strawberries. And that ends up as sadness all around.

    Regarding leftover chocolate - I just saw a suggestion (maybe in Cooking Illustrated) that you toss chopped nuts or coconut into the leftover chocolate and just spoon it out as drops. You use the leftover chocolate, and you end up with little candies. It seems so simple I can't believe I never thought of it...

  4. That's a good idea. We didn't think of that either. Actually, we didn't think of nuts at all . . . I definitely have some peanuts I could have coated!