d19a3e65-2ce4-4b14-9fde-aa5de2e069c8I feel like so many people are intimidated by chocolate dipped strawberries because they’ve heard the stories about how hard it is to work with chocolate, or they just automatically think – “eek, it’s candy, it’s too complicated” when really none of that is true. Yes, chocolate can be temperamental, but if you go gently with the heat and don’t try to make it fancy, you’ll be just fine.  Honest. So I urge you to try chocolate dipped strawberries on your own sometime.  It’ll be great, it’s fun, and then you’re not paying ridiculous chocolate-store markup for something so easy.

The goods:

1 11.5 oz bag semisweet chocolate morsels (A heck of a lot easier than chopping chocolate.)

canola oil or shortening – 1 tablespoon, TOPS (and this is optional, but I find it gives my chocolate a bit more smoothness once it re-hardens)

2 pounds strawberries

parchment paper

The method:

Okay, so I used to swear by a double boiler for melting chocolate (or just a bowl set on top of a smaller pot with about an inch of water simmering in it, but don’t let the bowl touch the water) but honestly – yesterday I melted the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave and it was still fine.  What you want to do is keep stirring, no matter what heat medium you use.  So that means that if you’re being lazy and using the microwave, stop EVERY MINUTE and stir the tar out of that bowl.  Around minute 2 or so when everything’s actually melted but maybe not totally smooth, you can add in your oil or shortnening.  But remember, go easy on it.  A little goes a long way, and if you add to much your chocolate will never set up right.

So once your chocolate is all nice and velvety and smooth, start dipping your berries.  Here’s the important thing: Make sure your strawberries are DRY before they get anywhere near the chocolate.  Water will cause your chocolate to seize up, and it will ruin everything.  So use a towel or paper towels to blot your strawberries if you have to, but they have GOT TO BE DRY.  Okay, so grab the stem/stem end, gather up all the leaves towards you, and dunk your berry gently into the chocolate.  Shake off the excess as best as you can, and get it onto some parchment paper (parchment paper spread onto a cookie sheet is the best.).  Now go ahead and do that for all your berries.  If your chocolate starts lumping up or generally not behaving the way you want it to, you can reheat your chocolate until it behaves itself again.

Once all your strawberries are dipped, you want them to set.  If you are at all able to, get them into the fridge (still on the pans, so you need a whole lot of flat surface to get them to.)

Give them a few hours, until the chocolate is set again, and plate up and enjoy. =)