Whether it's for a Valentine or yourself, it's easy to make chocolate dipped strawberries. I've been doing this many years and will occasionally indulge in some through out the year-not just Valentine's Day. It's sort of healthy, no? Like 99% fruit I would say. I usually keep some of this chocolate coating on hand.
True story: One of my high school friends asked me to show her how to do it about 15 years ago. I showed her. After that she started making them for Valentine's Day as side income. We don't talk anymore, but I hope she is still successful and will share knowledge freely if anyone ever asks her how to do something so that they too may prosper.
It's very easy. I recommend a chocolate coating made specifically for this purpose. They sell some at Hobby Lobby in the baking section. They have different flavors and colors, but my favorite is the milk chocolate.
I was at Joe V's and found this in the baking section. It's called almond bark and they had it and chocolate and vanilla.
If you use regular chocolate chips or bars, you'll have to add a fat such as butter or oil to get a smooth dipping consistency. It also makes for a softer bite. If you don't add a fat, it will harden to the consistency of the original state which is pretty tough to bite through gracefully.
Various Small Toppings
I like to line a portable surface such as a cookie sheet or pan with the parchment or wax paper so I can put the dipped strawberries in the fridge to set up quicker. I get impatient sometimes.
1) Rinse the strawberries and THOROUGHLY pat dry. Any liquid will cause the coating to seize up (harden) and you won't be able to use it anymore. When using organic strawberries, I don't wash them but make sure they are clear of debris.
2) Melt coating at half power in the microwave for 3-5 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, then every 30 seconds until it is smooth to stir. Chocolate can burn and then take on a bitter taste, so keep an eye on it.
3) Dip. You can use your hands to dip, but I found it easier to use a skewer stick stuck in the top part of the strawberry to dip.
After dipping to the desired effect, gently push off the strawberry into wax or parchment paper.
At this point, before the chocolate hardens, you can add toppings. Anything you can fit on there is game.
I used what I had on hand: sprinkles, pecans, and crushed chocolate cookies.
Just let the excess chocolate drip off and gently roll in topping if choice. You can also strategically place them on the strawberries with care.
You can make a cute tuxedo design by dipping into the white chocolate first.
Let it harden to touch, which should only be a couple of minutes. Then, dip at a diagonal angle into the chocolate.
Rotate and repeat on the other side.
Gently release and let harden completely.
Another option is to dip a strawberry in one coating and let it harden to touch. Then, drizzle with the contrasting chocolate.
I used a regular spoon to drizzle.
A couple of notes: use non bruised strawberries. They will deteriorate quickly if covered. Also, you can't dip them several days in advance-two days at the most. If the chocolate starts to cool down and harden, repeat the warming process in 30 second intervals.
My family benefited from the mock up of the strawberries. They mostly ate the chocolate ones, but the white ones were very good also.
We usually have strawberries year round here in Houston. They are delicious anytime of the year. You can also use this process for frozen bananas. #thebest
Happy Dipping and if I don't see you before then. Happy Valentine's Day!!