These dark chocolate coated strawberries make such a simple, but scrumptious dessert. They take just a few minutes to make, and with a good dark chocolate, they are even healthy. Who would have thought something so delicious could be good for you!
There's nothing better than a bowl of English strawberries in season. Unless, of course, you decide to dip them in a layer of rich dark chocolate:)
This recipe is so simple that it's hardly a recipe, but there are a few do's and don't when it comes to melting chocolate. If you follow a few basic instructions, it is incredibly easy. My dark chocolate coated strawberries are quite rustic looking, but if you want you could drizzle yours with a contrasting white or milk chocolate, or add some chopped nuts. Crushed pistachios would look very pretty!
Are dark chocolate coated strawberries healthy??
In order to reap the health benefits from chocolate, you need to use a good quality dark chocolate. Chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids (70%) is lower in sugar and fat than other types of chocolate. Cocoa is the healthy ingredient in chocolate, rich in anti inflammatory flavanols. If you want to learn more about the potential health benefits of chocolate, see here.
Of course, strawberries are full of goodness. Berries are one of the healthiest fruits that you can eat, as they are low in sugar and packed with fibre. This means that they won't make your blood sugar levels spike, like so many other desserts. Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C, and they are also a good source of folic acid and potassium.
I used a bar of chocolate for this recipe, but if you prefer, you could use chocolate chips which will melt slightly quicker.
And you'll need fresh strawberries. Frozen strawberries have a completely different texture, and would go mushy if you tried to coat them in chocolate. Make sure your strawberries are clean and completely dry. Leave the hull (the green part) on the strawberries, as you'll need this to hold them, and they'll also look prettier.
How to melt chocolate
There are 3 key 'rules' to remember when melting chocolate:
- Never place chocolate in direct contact with heat. So you can't just pop it in a pan on the stove. Direct heat will spoil both the flavour and the texture of chocolate.
- Use the least amount of heat to melt chocolate. Once it warms up, it will melt quickly, so keep an eye on it. (Don't get distracted on your phone whilst it's melting!)
- Ensure that moisture can't get into the chocolate. So use a dry bowl, and ensure no splashes of water or steam can get into the chocolate. Water or overheating will make the chocolate 'seize' which is when it turns into a clumpy dull mass. (Sometimes you can rescue seized chocolate with a little bit of oil or cream, but it's definitely better to avoid going there!)
Using a double boiler
The best way to melt chocolate is in a heatproof bowl resting on top of a pan of hot water. This method ensures that the chocolate doesn't overheat. Although you can buy a special pan called a double boiler, it's very common to use this DIY version, which is ideal when you want gentle heat. There should be a gap between the bottom of the bowl and the hot water, and you'll need 2-3 cms of water to ensure the pan won't boil dry. So you might want to experiment to find which bowl fits well on your pan.
Break the chocolate into pieces, and place it in the dry bowl. Then place the bowl over a pan of just simmering water. The chocolate will take about 2-3 minutes to melt. Once it is half melted, turn off the heat, and give it a stir with a spatula until smooth.
Dipping the strawberries in chocolate
Simply hold each strawberry in turn by the stalk, and dip it into the melted chocolate, turning it as you go to get an even coating all the way around. As you get towards the last of the chocolate, you'll need to use a spoon to help coat the strawberries. Inevitably those ones might not look quite as neat, but they'll still taste delicious.
Place the dark chocolate coated strawberries onto baking parchment to set. Chocolate should really be left to set at room temperature, but I like to put them in the fridge for a short while. I think they are particularly delicious when the chocolate is a cold crisp shell which contrasts with the juicy strawberry.
Dark chocolate dipped strawberries are nicest on the day that they are made. You can't freeze them unfortunately, but they'll probably disappear too quickly anyway!
Frequently asked questions
It's important that your strawberries are completely dry before you dip them in the chocolate. If necessary, pat them dry with a cloth or paper towel.
It's best to use room temperature strawberries for this recipe. If the strawberries are really cold, there's a chance that you may get some condensation which will stop the chocolate from sticking so well.
I think chocolate covered strawberries are at their best on the day that they are made. Try to eat them within 24 hours, otherwise the strawberries will start to soften and the texture will not be quite as good.
Other healthy chocolate treats you might enjoy
Dark Chocolate Coated Strawberries
- 400 g Strawberries
- 100 g Dark chocolate
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Bring a pan containing about 2-3 cm of water to a gentle simmer. Place a sheet of baking parchment ready for the strawberries.
- Place the bowl of chocolate on top of the pan of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the base of the bowl. Once the chocolate is starting to melt, turn off the heat and stir gently with a spatula until it is smooth.
- Holding each strawberry by the stalk, dip them one by one into the chocolate, turning to get an even coating all the way around. Place carefully on the baking parchment to set.
- Dark chocolate with a high proportion of cocoa solids (70% or higher) will be healthier, and contrast well with the sweetness of the strawberries.
- It's important to ensure that the melting chocolate does not come into contact with water or steam, and that you remove the chocolate from the heat as soon as it is melted.
- Ideally, chocolate should be left to set at room temperature, but if you are impatient like me, these are delicious chilled from the fridge.
- Dark chocolate strawberries are best enjoyed on the day that they are made.
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only.