Big, sweet strawberries dipped in chocolate are among the most luxurious treats to serve for a special occasion, whether it’s a Christmas party or other holiday party, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, or any other time of year that calls for something special and spectacular. Fabulous though chocolate-dipped strawberries, and other fruit as well as nuts, may look and taste, they’re actually surprisingly easy to make.
The key, of course, is to start with the best quality fruit available, from an upscale supermarket or the farmers’ market. Candied fruit or dried fruit works as well as fresh fruit for dipping in chocolate.
Best Chocolate for Dipping Fruit
Good-quality chocolate is also essential. Look for the best brand available, whether milk chocolate, semisweet or bittersweet chocolate or so-called white chocolate.
Imported European chocolates such as Lindt or Valrhona make excellent choices. Among American brands, Scharffen Berger from Berkeley, California, is outstanding.
It’s best to make chocolate dipped fruit, especially fresh fruit, no more than a few hours before serving. The high water content of the fruit will eventually spoil the evenness of the coating.
Recipe for Chocolate Covered Strawberries (and Other Chocolate Covered Fruits and Nuts)
- 1/2 pound milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 pound white chocolate (or another 1/2 pound milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate), coarsely chopped
- 12 medium-sized ripe but firm strawberries, preferably with stems still attached
- 12 (1-inch) chunks candied pineapple or other candied fruit
- 12 plump but firm raspberries or blackberries
- 12 large shelled Brazil nuts
- 12 shelled walnut halves or pecan halves
- 18 jumbo shelled roasted almonds or macadamia nuts
If using 2 different kinds of chocolate, put them into separate metal bowls large enough to rest inside the rim of a medium saucepan; if using all of a single kind of chocolate, put it in a single metal bowl.
Add a couple of inches of water to the saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and, resting a bowl of chocolate on top of the rim while making sure that its bottom doesn’t touch the water in the pan, melt the chocolate, stirring frequently. Repeat with the other bowl, if using.
Hold a strawberry by its stem and dip into the chocolate of choice, turning to coat about two-thirds of the berry, leaving only the broad stem end uncoated. Place on a sheet of waxed paper to cool and set. Meanwhile, repeat with the remaining strawberries.
Use a thin skewer or toothpick to pick up each chunk of candied pineapple, dipping it about two-thirds of the way into melted chocolate of choice. Then, place on waxed paper to set.
Pick up a raspberry and dip it into the chocolate of choice, to coat one side with a generous dab. Place on waxed paper. Repeat with the remaining raspberries.
Rest a Brazil nut on a fork and dip it into the chocolate of choice to coat. Then, lift it out and ease onto waxed paper to set. Repeat with the remaining Brazil nuts and the walnuts or pecans.
Finally, put all of the almonds or macadamia nuts into the remaining chocolate and, with a teaspoon, remove 3 almonds at a time, easing them onto the waxed paper to set as a cluster.
When all the chocolate has set on the dipped fruits and nuts, transfer them to individual candy cups or onto a doily-lined platter. Store in a cool place until serving.
Serve with freshly brewed coffee, a perfect complement to the chocolate flavors.