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Learning how to make Valentine Chocolate Covered Strawberries at home is easy….if you know a couple of tips and tricks. So let’s get into this!
I don’t know when it started or why, but for some reason we decided that sharing Chocolate Covered Strawberries with our Valentines on February 14th is pretty much mandatory. To be honest, I make these all year long as a special treat, but they seem to be most popular in the dead of winter when strawberries are completely out of season. But no worries because the grocery store has a lovely supply of beautiful ripe strawberries, and in this recipe I will show you how to transform your berries from plain Jane supermarket produce to glamor girl delicacies.
To be honest, a plump red strawberry is perfectly lovely on its own. But something magical happens when we dip our fruit in chocolate. To have successful results, it’s important to plan ahead and follow a couple of steps. Allow me to explain.
How to Make Perfect Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Carefully wash the strawberries under cool running water and then allow them to dry completely.
It’s important to also wash the leaves on the strawberries as they will remain on the finished berry. Where a lot of people have trouble is they don’t allow the berries time to dry COMPLETELY. Also the berries need to be room temperature and not cold from the fridge.
I line a sheet pan with a clean kitchen towel and put the freshly washed berries there to dry. Rinse them and leave them sit for a couple of hours. Placing the strawberries on a kitchen towel works well, because the towel will absorb the excess water on the under side of the berry as the exposed side air dries.
So allow enough time for your strawberries to dry completely and come to room temperature.
Using the proper chocolate is important.
Personally, I love the Ghirardelli brand of chocolate melts. I prefer the taste to candy melts, though candy melts can be used. But they are not my favorite from a taste perspective. So I do suggest using this specific brand for best results.
Also, I recommend you use a chocolate pot to melt chocolate because it does a nice job and the chocolate will never seize from being over heated. You can use whatever method you prefer such as double boiler or microwave, but I suggest investing in a chocolate pot. (affiliate link) I’ve had mine for 20 years or so and use it several times a year.
Pure melted chocolate is very thick, so getting the consistency right is important in order to have beautiful chocolate dipped strawberries.
Once the chocolate is melted, you’ll find it’s pretty thick. If you are doing a drizzle that’s great. It means the drizzle will better hold its shape. But because we are dipping, if the chocolate is too thick then it’s not ideal.
At the beginning of the melting process, add some non flavored vegetable oil to thin the chocolate a little. I use grapeseed oil in all my baking whenever oil is used, and I use it in my chocolate dipping escapades as well. You can also use coconut oil. So you add a little and stir it in. If the chocolate is still too thick, add a touch more and stir well. Don’t over do it. We want the chocolate thinned out enough that the dipping is easier, but not so thin it runs right off the berry. The picture is a pretty good representation of what we’re aiming for.
When the chocolate is ready, it’s time to dip the prepared strawberries.
Grasp the strawberry by the leaves and dip them one by one in the chocolate. Do your best to keep the leaves out of the chocolate. Rock the strawberry back and forth to enrobe it adequately in the chocolate. Some people like to completely encase the strawberry in chocolate, but I like to see a little of the natural berry peeking out along the top.
Once the strawberry is dipped, allow some excess to drip back into the bowl of melted chocolate.
When you first lift your freshly dipped strawberry out of the chocolate, it’s going to be pretty thick and excess will want to run off. So allow excess to run off for 15 to 20 seconds. Better to let the extra go back into the chocolate pot than run out everywhere as the strawberry is allowed to set up in the next step.
Once the strawberries are dipped in a coating of chocolate place them on a parchment lined pan to harden.
Have a prepared pan lined with parchment is key. The wet chocolate will dry, and once it’s dry, you can easily remove the chocolate dipped strawberries from the sheet pan and place them on your serving tray with no sticking.
Parchment paper is a magical thing in baking. (affiliate link) I don’t know how it works or why, but it does. Nothing sticks to it. Ever. So be sure to have plenty in your pantry. I prefer the individual flat sheets because they work so well, but use whatever kind you like best.
Let the chocolate dipped berries sit on the parchment lined pan AT ROOM TEMPERATURE for at least an hour to give the chocolate time to set up.
At this stage, you might be done making your chocolate covered strawberries. Or you might want to keep going.
Options you have at this point:
- Serve your chocolate dipped berries as they are. It’s a beautiful minimalist presentation.
- While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle on sanding sugar or sprinkles for added decoration.
- Allow the chocolate to harden and dry completely and then dip a second time in a different chocolate. Different chocolates have different colors so dipping in a different chocolate is a pretty way to add more interest. You could also add the sprinkles or sugar on the second coat while it’s still wet.
- Drizzle on a top coat of chocolate for a fancy presentation. This is what we’re doing in this recipe. I think putting white chocolate on top of dark chocolate looks extra fancy, but it’s not as difficult to do as you might think. Let me show you how to do it.
Adding the drizzle of white chocolate on the dark chocolate dipped strawberry is quite elegant, don’t you think?
It looks amazing, it’s fun to do and it looks incredibly professional. So how do we do it?
In a clean bowl or chocolate pot, melt your white chocolate.
Once the white chocolate is melted, (affiliate link) spoon it into a small piping bag fitted with a #2 nozzle. Don’t add any oil to thin the chocolate as we did in the first step. We want the white chocolate to be thick and hold its shape as we pipe.
Once the chocolate is in the bag, twist the top to keep air out of the bag and let it cool for 5-10 minutes. The chocolate will be cooler to the touch and will also thicken as it cools.
You can simply cut a small hole in the corner of the bag if you don’t have a tip and if you don’t have the small piping bags, then putting the chocolate into a ziplock style bag and then snipping a small hole is a corner works, too.
But the small nozzle with the small piping bag will definitely yield the best result.
To put the white chocolate squiggles onto the strawberries, simply go back and forth across the dipped strawberry until you achieve the result you like.
Consider a little practice on a part of the parchment paper or on a small plate to get the hang of piping the chocolate.
There is no right or wrong way to do this. It’s a matter of adding as much or as little chocolate to your strawberries as you like.
I liked the look of going back and forth and I liked a lot of white chocolate on my strawberries. I simply had fun with this and piped each strawberry one at a time.
If you look carefully, you will see a couple of strawberries in the back where I drizzled dark chocolate onto the dark chocolate dip. It’s a tone on tone drizzle and another option. But I find the white chocolate combined with the dark is a dramatic look.
Once the second coat of chocolate is on the strawberries, leave them out at room temperature for a couple of hours to finish setting up.
Where I live, it’s quite cool this time of year, so I put the tray of strawberries on top of my chest freezer in the garage to sit over night. They can go into the refrigerator after having time to rest in a cool but not cold environment.
If you try to rush the cooling and setting up phase by putting your freshly dipped or piped strawberries into the fridge, or worse the freezer, you are setting yourself up for something called bloom. This is a spotty look to your chocolate and while it’s perfectly fine to eat, it ruins the elegant look of your beautifully decorated strawberries. So allow plenty of time for the chocolate to set up on it’s own.
To serve your decorated strawberries, place them on a pretty serving tray.
The chocolate will dry and harden to a crisp crunch and lift right off the the parchment paper. Simply grasp them by the leaves and arrange a lovely tray.
Commonly asked questions about making Chocolate Dipped Strawberries for Valentine’s Day:
- How do you get chocolate to stick to strawberries? If chocolate won’t stick to the strawberries, it’s because they are wet. You have to allow them a good long time to dry completely before you can dip them in melted chocolate. Melted chocolate and water do not cooperate, so make sure your berries are totally dry and room temperature.
- Do you add butter when melting chocolate? I wouldn’t do that. We are not making brownies. I would use the chocolate melts as suggested and your dipping will be so much easier.
- Why is my chocolate not sticking to my strawberries? Refer back to the first question. But in a nutshell, your berries must be completely dry.
- How do you make chocolate covered strawberries not stick to the plate? If you place freshly dipped strawberries on any surface except something lined with parchment paper, it’s going to stick. This is the reality of the situation. So invest in parchment paper. (affiliate link) Also parchment paper is quite different from wax paper and you do not use them interchangeably.
- Do you need parchment paper for chocolate covered strawberries? YES
- What can I use instead of parchment paper for chocolate? Nothing works as well as parchment. It’s the only thing I’m going to recommend.
- Can I use Hershey Kisses as melting chocolate? I would not recommend it. Chocolate in chips or kisses contain an additive that allows them keep their shape. They are not designed for melting. Just use the Ghirardelli melts. You can snack on the wafers just like you can snack on kisses.
- How do you keep chocolate covered strawberries from sweating? Don’t put the freshly dipped strawberries into the fridge or freezer with warm chocolate. It is normal for the strawberries to “leak” a little juice by the second day, so for best results dip and decorate you strawberries the morning of the afternoon or evening where they will be served.
Enjoy delicious chocolate covered strawberries any time of the year, but definitely make them for your family or loved ones for Valentine’s Day. I know the Valentine’s Day is considered a romantic holiday, but anyone you love can be your Valentine.
Learn to make perfect chocolate dipped strawberries at home for Valentine’s Day (or any other day). Easy and beautiful and beginner friendly
- One Pint of Fresh Strawberries
- 8 oz Ghirardelli Dark and 4 oz White chocolate melts
- Valentine Assorted Sprinkles or sanding sugar if desired
- Non flavored vegetable oil. My favorite is Grapeseed but you can use coconut oil.
- Rinse and dry strawberries
- Melt the Dark Chocolate according to package directions. I recommend the simplicity of a chocolate melting pot but you can use a double boiler or microwave.
- Add splash of vegetable oil to the chocolate as it melts, and stir in thoroughly. Only add a little at a time to thin the chocolate enough to better behave when dipping the strawberries.
- Dip each strawberry into the dark chocolate and place on the prepared sheet pan with parchment paper to dry for at least an hour.
- When strawberries are dry from the first dip, melt the white chocolate. Put melted white chocolate into a small piping bag fitted with a #2 tip. In a smooth motion, move the tip left and right over the top of the strawberry and gently squeeze from the top of the bag to release white chocolate.
- Allow berries a couple of hours to dry once the second coat has been added.
Special tools and equipment:
You will definitely want to line a heavy half sheet pan with parchment paper. The wet chocolate will not stick to the parchment as it dries. Parchment paper is sold in rolls and in flat precut sheets. I prefer the precut sheets because they lay perfectly flat. (affiliate link)
Anytime I share a recipe that uses melted chocolate (which is frequently) I melt my chocolate in something called a chocolate pot. (affiliate link) It’s pretty much set it and forget it. I purchased mine pretty close to 20 years ago, and while they don’t have that version anymore, there are other models available. They are sold as pots to melt candy melts but they work great with the chocolate wafers I use.
I used a light weight piping bag (affiliate link) with a #2 piping tip to pip the white chocolate “lace” onto the dipped strawberries. You can do this however you prefer, but I think this method gives the nicest result. The bags and tip can be used with royal icing for decorated cookies, so they won’t go to waste.
For the chocolate coating, you can use candy melts, but I don’t care for the flavor of them on my fresh fruit. I strongly recommend Ghirardelli chocolate melts, because they work so well. Chocolate chips are not designed to melt, though we’ve all done it. It’s not the best result, however. The wafers are made for melting and they give beautiful results and rich, chocolate flavor. You can use what you like, but the Ghirardelli are honestly the only thing I use when I make anything that uses melted chocolate.
Keywords: Valentine Chocolate Dipped Strawberries