Do you remember when chocolate-dipped strawberries seemed like the height of sophistication — especially during winter? Back in the days before we could eat pretty much any kind of food during any time of year, having a strawberry dipped in chocolate in February was a truly special treat — and it can still be a wonderful addition to any meal, particularly when you make them by hand. It's easy, elegant, and, above all, delicious. Strawberries and chocolate are a match made in heaven, with flavors that perfectly complement each other: sweet, tart, creamy, bittersweet.
With Valentine's Day in mind, these strawberries are dipped in white chocolate that has been colored pink with beet powder, then drizzled lightly in dark chocolate. You can choose to dip yours in dark chocolate and drizzle in white chocolate, top with sprinkles, or, of course, any other combination that you can dream up! It's also a quick and simple gift for friends and loved ones, a nice way to show how much you care.
Makes 1 dozen
1 dozen fresh strawberries, washed and patted dry
8 ounces white chocolate, broken into pieces (chips work well also)
1/2 teaspoon beet powder or a few drops of red food coloring (optional)
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces (again, chips will work)
Optional items: crushed toasted nuts, candy sprinkles, nonpareils, cacao nibs, candy hearts
Add water, about two inches deep, to a 2 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Place white chocolate pieces into a stainless steel bowl that will fit on top of the saucepan but will not touch the water and place on top of the saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer and watch for the chocolate to begin to melt, then begin to whisk constantly until all the chocolate is melted, blended, and shiny. If you want to make the white chocolate pink, then whisk in the beet powder or red food coloring until blended to the shade you prefer.
Remove the chocolate from heat and, grasping a strawberry by the top, dip it into the melted chocolate, rolling it so it is completely coated. Place the coated strawberry on to a baking sheet covered with a sheet of waxed or parchment paper, then continue coating the rest of the strawberries, working quickly while the chocolate is still melted and shiny.
Now melt the bittersweet chocolate, using the same method as described above. Pour the melted bittersweet chocolate into a zip-top plastic sandwich bag, gathering all the chocolate into one corner of the bag and twisting the rest of the bag, like a small pastry bag. Make a very tiny cut in the corner of the bag, where the chocolate is gathered, and drizzle the chocolate in a small stream over the coated strawberries. If you wish, you can also dip the strawberries in crushed toasted nuts, top them off with sprinkles, cacao nibs, or candy hearts.
Refrigerate until ready to serve; will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, but read the note below for information about how well they will keep.
I received a letter a few months ago asking about why chocolate-dipped strawberries "weep", or ooze liquid. Generally, any fruit that has been coated in chocolate has a fairly short shelf-life, so you'll find that they'll still taste good after a couple of days, but they won't always be as pretty and they will begin to release their natural juices. So, for the prettiest presentation, make and serve the chocolate-dipped strawberries in the same day.