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How to Make Perfect Chocolate Covered Strawberries

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Homemade chocolate-covered strawberries make a fantastic gift for any occasion, whether it's Valentine's Day, anniversaries, birthdays, or just because. But not just any chocolate dipped strawberries – we're talking about ones that look like they came straight from a fancy chocolate shop! 

This blog will take you through every step, from choosing the perfect strawberries to melting and decorating. We'll also cover packaging and storing the strawberries and some handy tips and tricks to make them extra special.

So if you want to impress your loved ones with a thoughtful and mouth-watering gift, stick around and let us show you how to become a pro at making chocolate-covered strawberries.
pink marbled chocolate strawberries in cake box with marshmallow filler

How to Choose the Perfect Strawberries

red ripe strawberries on a tray
When it comes to choosing the perfect strawberries, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, aim for fresh strawberries that are bright red with green leaves. Although there may be some white or green patches, they should be minimal. Green or white specks often indicate that the berries were picked too early and may not be as sweet as fully ripe strawberries.

Additionally, give the strawberries a gentle squeeze to check for firmness. They should have a slight give, but not be too soft or mushy. Inspect for bruising and other imperfections.

Size also matters when it comes to strawberries. Look for berries that are plump and uniform in size. Avoid any that are overly small or misshapen, as they may not have the best flavor. 

The fragrance of strawberries can be a clue to their ripeness as well. If they have a sweet and slightly floral scent, it's a good sign that they will be delicious. Finally, it's always a good idea to taste-test a strawberry before purchasing a larger quantity. This will allow you to ensure that they are as flavorful as they appear.

How to Prepare Your Strawberries

So, first things first, you have to wash your strawberries. Washing them properly has the added benefit of extending their shelf-life. While researching we came across two different methods that will keep strawberries fresh for a week. According to Serious Eats, either washing your strawberries in hot water (110ºF to 130ºF) or a vinegar wash is best. These two methods kill bacteria and mold spores. 

Once washed, you will want to make sure your strawberries are completely dry. You can place them on layers of paper towels or for a quicker method use your salad spinner (lined with paper towels). Once dry, it is time to prep them for dipping. Get yourself some toothpicks or small skewers and stick one (or two) into the stem end of each strawberry. This will make it easier to dip them in the chocolate and also help keep the leaves out of the chocolate. Oh, and speaking of the leaves, you wanna pull them up so they're not in the way when you dip the strawberries. That way you can get more chocolate coating on the fruit.

You will want to prepare all of your strawberries before you begin dipping.

The Best Chocolate for Strawberries

If you're looking for the best type of chocolate to dip your strawberries in, you might be debating between using real chocolate or chocolate wafers. Real chocolate needs to be tempered, which means it has to go through a specific heating and cooling process to get that smooth and shiny finish. It can be a bit tricky to get right, but the taste is worth it for many. Your options are milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate.

On the other hand, chocolate wafers (also known as candy melts and chocolate bark), are super simple to use because they don't need to be tempered. You just melt them down and you're good to go. You can add colors to white chocolate wafers to match any theme or special occasion.

So, if you're all about that taste, real chocolate is the way to go. But if you're all about convenience and ease, then the chocolate wafers might be more your jam. Ultimately, it all comes down to what you prioritize more – flavor or ease of use.

How to Melt Chocolate for Dipping Strawberries

Our preferred method of melting chocolate at Country Kitchen SweetArt is using the microwave. You can also use a double-boiler, an electric skillet, or an electric chocolate melting pot. To learn more about the different methods and their directions see our blog all about melting chocolate.

How to Color Chocolate

Colored chocolate is a great way to make your dipped berries special. When coloring chocolate, it is necessary to use oil-based colors. Regular water-based food coloring (like gel colors or grocery store food colors) will cause your chocolate to seize up and make it thick and clumpy. Country Kitchen SweetArt carries many beautiful oil-based colors to match any theme or occasion. 

First, add a few drops of the oil-based colors to your melted white chocolate and stir it in well. Remember, a little bit of color goes a long way, so start with just a few drops and then add more if you want it darker. Sometimes adding colors will cause melted chocolate to thicken slightly. We suggest to always have some paramount crystals on hand to thin your chocolate. Paramount crystals are our preferred choice for thinning chocolate because it does not affect the texture or flavor like coconut oil and shortening do.

You can mix and match different colors to create new shades, just like you would with regular paint. 

How to Dip Strawberries in Chocolate

This step may seem intimidating, but it couldn't be any easier! We have created a quick video to show you step-by-step directions.

Tips for Dipping Strawberries

  • First and foremost, prep everything before you begin dipping your strawberries. Have your station prepped with a piece of parchment paper, any toppings you will be using, damp washcloths for keeping your hands clean, etc. 
  • Make sure your strawberries are thoroughly washed and completely dry before dipping them in chocolate. Any water on the strawberries can cause the chocolate to seize up and become grainy. 
  • Only use room-temperature strawberries for dipping. When you put cold strawberries in melted chocolate, it causes the chocolate to cool and thicken, so you have to melt it again. Additionally, it becomes more difficult to achieve a flawlessly coated strawberry as the chocolate thickens and hardens too rapidly.
  • Make sure your chocolate is the correct consistency before you begin dipping. If your chocolate is too thick it will create too thick of shells for your strawberries. Thick shells make chocolate coated strawberries hard to eat and the chocolate will overpower the taste of the strawberry. If the chocolate is too thin then it will pool and not stick well to the strawberry.
  • You can place your bowl of melted chocolate onto a heating pad or electric skillet set at the lowest setting to keep your chocolate perfectly melted. If using the electric skillet you will want to line it with 4-5 kitchen towels. Do not place your bowl directly onto the skillet as this will cause your chocolate to scorch and overheat (even at your skillet's lowest setting).
  • Pull the leaves completely away from the strawberry and hold them there while dipping them into chocolate. This extra step will allow the strawberry to be dipped completely and will prevent the leaves from getting chocolate on them. Sometimes perfectly ripe strawberries are not available. This technique allows to fully cover any strawberry imperfections.
  • Tap the strawberry on the rim of your bowl to remove the excess chocolate. Carefully use the rim of the bowl to remove any drips from the underside of the strawberry.
  • To prevent fingerprints and smudges on your chocolate we suggest using cotton gloves when handling your chocolate covered strawberries.
  • Allow the chocolate on your dipped strawberries to set up at room temperature. We do not recommend putting them into the refrigerator or freezer to speed up this step. 

How to Decorate Strawberries

If you want to take your strawberry game to the next level, decorating them with all kinds of fancy toppings is the way to go. You can go all out with chocolate drizzle, colored sprinkles, edible glitter, shimmer dust, mini chocolate chips, desiccated coconut, edible gold leaf, premade icing decorations, and decorative chocolate accents made with chocolate molds. The options are endless, and you can get creative with it. Here are some chocolate covered strawberries we've created:

Edible Glitter Chocolate Strawberries

These glitter strawberries are made with completely edible glitter! Below is a link to the step-by-step directions to make these magical treats. You can use these directions to decorate chocolate covered strawberries with sprinkles, coconut, nuts, and more.
four blue glitter chocolate coated strawberries
Learn how to make glitter strawberries.

Valentine's Day Message Chocolate Strawberries

We love adding chocolate letters to our strawberries to customize them for our loved ones. It adds the perfect sentimental touch to these delicious treats. Here we added the fun saying, "I Love You Berry Much" for Valentines. Chocolate strawberries with messages are great for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and any other special occassion.
pink marbled strawberries with chocolate letters spelling out I love you berry much
See how we made these Valentine's Day message chocolate covered strawberries.

Inspiration Gallery

Here are some fun strawberries to get your creative juices flowing. close-up of strawberries in a bowl being washedclose-up of strawberries in a bowl being washed close-up of strawberries in a bowl being washedclose-up of strawberries in a bowl being washed close-up of strawberries in a bowl being washedclose-up of strawberries in a bowl being washed

How To Store Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Due to their short shelf-life, chocolate-covered strawberries are best enjoyed fresh. For gifts and events, we do not recommend making them any sooner than a day ahead.

One to Two Day Storage

Room Temperature

If your chocolate covered strawberries will be consumed within 24 hours they can be left out at room temperature. Simply drape some plastic wrap over the strawberries to allow proper airflow. Make sure that your strawberries are completely dry and the chocolate set before you store them. Any moisture left on the berries can cause the chocolate to become soggy and lose its delicious crunch.

Refrigeration

If you won't be serving your berries the day of, or if there is a chance of melting (due to indoor temperatures) we recommend refrigeration. If you're planning on storing your strawberries in the fridge, be sure to let them come to room temperature before you serve them. This will help to prevent any sweating when you take it out of the fridge. Chocolate-covered strawberries are typically good for up to two days in the refrigerator.

Can Chocolate Covered Strawberries be Frozen?

Freezing chocolate-dipped strawberries that are intended as gifts or events is not recommended. If you have any surplus that is likely to spoil, you can freeze them. Simply place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze them until they are solid. Once they are frozen, transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to two months. It should be noted that if you allow the strawberries to fully thaw, they will become soft and mushy. It is recommended that you consume them while they are slightly frozen (as they still maintain their deliciousness!).

Packaging Your Chocolate Covered Strawberries

chocolated covered strawberries in a cake box with marshmallow filler
When it comes to packaging for your sweet treats, consider using candy boxes, cookie boxes, or cake boxes for a more professional and attractive presentation. These boxes come in different shapes and sizes, making them perfect for all kinds of confections.

To make sure your treats stay in place and look extra appealing, use mini cupcake liners, mini marshmallows, or food-safe shredded paper and tissue as fillers inside the boxes. This not only helps to keep everything secure during transport, but it also adds a touch of fun and flair to the overall packaging. 

Using these materials is a great way to elevate the presentation of your homemade candies, cookies, or cakes. Whether you're gifting them to friends and family or selling them at a bake sale, the right packaging can make all the difference. Your treats will not only taste amazing but look amazing too!

Time to Start Creating!

Making professional chocolate coated strawberries at home is doable with the right techniques and ingredients. By following a few simple steps, you can create a delicious and impressive treat that is perfect for any occasion.

So, whether it's for a special date night, a party, or just a sweet treat for yourself, making chocolate coated strawberries at home is a great way to enjoy a delicious and elegant dessert without breaking the bank. So go ahead and give it a try - you'll be amazed at how easy and rewarding it can be!