The second week of February is kind of crazy around our house. It’s Valentine’s Day (one of my absolute favorite holidays), which is two days after my son’s birthday. He turned four this year so we had preschool parties and family parties and kid’s birthday parties so it was basically the week of sugar. Conversation hearts, pink suckers and birthday cake filled every corner of this house.
I hate to be a buzzkill, but when it came time to bring treats for Jackson’s preschool class I opted to make chocolate covered strawberries and forgo the diabetic coma.
Tempering chocolate is one of those things people try to get fancy about but it’s not fancy. It’s actually quite messy not at all elegant, especially if I’m doing the work which typically leaves 3 or 4 dishtowels and me completely covered in the stuff. I’ve been covered in worse. The only thing you really need is time, a digital thermometer and a good stirring arm.
I can’t give you exact chocolate to strawberry ratio, but I melted about 5 bars, not using all of them and dipped 3 containers of strawberries, but keep in mind how much you need will depend on the number and size of strawberries in your container.
I made these for a class of 3 and 4 year olds so I threw caution to the wind and made silly faces with tempered white chocolate. I just used a pastry bag with a small tip to make the faces. The kids loved them and so did the moms and dads who volunteered in class that day.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- 3 Containers Strawberries (washed and dried)
- 5 - 4 oz Bars Semi-Sweet Chocolate (my favorite is Ghirardelli)
|The first key to tempering chocolate is make sure everything you are working with is dry. Even a small drop of water can ruin a batch of chocolate. |
1. Wash and dry your strawberries an hour or even a day or two before you want to dip them. Make sure the hull is dry as well.
2. Spread out a sheet of parchment or wax paper.
3. Chop chocolate reserving about a 1/2 cup for later use. Put chopped chocolate in a glass or metal bowl. Place the bowl over a pot with about an inch or two of simmering water. Don't let the bowl touch the water. Get your thermometer ready and start start stirring the chocolate. Once the chocolate is almost melted but still has chunks of chocolate in it, remove it from the heat and keep stirring. Bring the chocolate up to 100 degrees, 110 degrees is the maximum. If you removed it from the heat and it didn't make it to 100 degrees, then put the bowl back over the water, stirring the whole time, until it reaches 100.
Once you reach 100 start adding the reserved half cup of chopped chocolate a little at a time. This is called seeding and it helps bring the temperature down. Keep stirring (this can take a while) until your chocolate reaches tempering temperature.
Here is your tempering temperature guide:
Dark Chocolate: 89-90 degrees
Milk Chocolate: 88-89 degrees
White Chocolate: 85-86 degrees
Once you've made it to your tempering temperature continue stirring for about 30-45 seconds. Then dip your strawberries and place them on parchment paper to dry. The chocolate should harden and turn shiny in within about 5 minutes.