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Do-It-Yourself Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

What kind of chocolate do I need to use for chocolate-covered strawberries and what else do I add to make it stick to the strawberries?

Unlike many chocoholics, strawberries are not fussy. Technically, any sweetened chocolate will do — white, milk, dark — but we find dark chocolate to provide the best flavor. People who dip strawberries in white chocolate are doing it mostly for show. And milk chocolate doesn't provide as much taste contrast with the strawberry as dark chocolate does.

We have made wonderfully satisfying chocolate strawberries with run-of-the-mill chocolate chips. If you use better chocolate, clearly they will taste better. But for our money, the larger variable is the strawberries. If you find huge, flavorless, out-of-season strawberries, the best chocolate in the world is not going to make them much better.

You donít have to add anything to the chocolate to make it adhere to the surface of the strawberry. Just make sure to dry the berry thoroughly after you wash it. This will help the chocolate adhere and keep the chocolate in your bowl from seizing. If the berries are so ripe they're weeping, dry them immediately before dipping. Also, you may have relatively little control over it, but if your kitchen is hot and humid, it may inhibit the adhesion of the chocolate.

You can add rum or another liquid flavoring of your choice to thin the chocolate — which will also make it adhere better — as long as you add at least one tablespoon of liquid for every two ounces of chocolate. Otherwise the chocolate will seize and your project will come to a screeching halt (At that point, you will have to stir in enough extra liquid and possibly apply more heat to dissolve the mess).

To make particularly pretty strawberries, you may want to stick a toothpick into the top of the berry, dip it in the chocolate, shake it off gently, then invert it and stick the toothpick into a block of Styrofoam until the chocolate sets. This saves you from having scrunched up or torn leaves, and a flat chocolate side from placing the berry on a flat surface to cool.


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