Who doesn’t love receiving a gift of something sweet from their sweetheart? This Valentine’s Day make your own chocolate dipped strawberries! It couldn’t be easier: only two ingredients to work with, dip the strawberry in chocolate, allow to set, and they’re ready to serve. Keep an instant-read thermometer like a Thermapen®, ThermoPop®, or RT600C® nearby, and temper some chocolate for your Valentine.
Tempering: The Tabling Method
In our post, Chocolate: Tempering Made Easy, we introduced the concept of tempering chocolate with making peppermint bark. Tempering is a process of melting chocolate and manipulating its temperature to strengthen the cocoa butter so all of the fat crystals evenly reach the stable form 5 stage. The tempering methods we used for the peppermint bark in that post are both effective for this recipe, so use whichever one you are comfortable with.
we’ve included the chocolate tempering temperature table here for your convenience.
Critical Chocolate Temperatures
* Use this table as a reference for landmark temperatures throughout the tempering process
Once you’ve properly tempered your chocolate, get ready for dipping.
Prep the Pan: Line a sheet pan with parchment paper to allow the dipped berries to set.
Prep the Berries: Rinse the strawberries under cool water and pat dry with paper towels. If the berries have moisture on them the chocolate will not adhere properly to their surface, and you could cause your chocolate to seize up.
Dip: Holding the strawberries by the stem, dip into the chocolate to coat 3/4 of the berry. Shake off excess chocolate, slightly sweeping the berry on the side of the bowl, and allow to set on prepared pan. It takes a little practice to get the dipping motion down. The goal is to have a strawberry evenly coated with a thin layer of chocolate, set up with a minimal foot (the area, or “footprint” where the chocolate meets the parchment paper).
Dipped strawberries are beautiful and a delight to receive. Both methods of chocolate tempering achieve the same results. Which one you use is a matter of personal preference. Have fun with your chocolate, and Happy Valentine’s Day!
Cacao Noel chocolate couverture from Paris Gourmet, procured through Muir Copper Canyon Farms/Muir Gourmet
◆Whenever possible, all tools and equipment used in our demo kitchen are purchased on the recommendation of winning product reviews from America’s Test Kitchen.