Strawberries already taste delicious as they are, but when you add chocolate, they turn into a gourmet treat perfect for an after dinner dessert! It’s also a great way to use up strawberries that aren’t at their best, such as end-of-season or out-of-season strawberries in need of a flavor boost.
Prepare the strawberries. Inspect the strawberries for moldiness, dirt and rotting. Leave the stems and leaves intact, as they make the berries easier to grip. It also looks nicer when finished. Wash the strawberries as demonstrated here: how to clean strawberries. After cleaning the strawberries, dry them well; the chocolate won't stick if they're wet. To do this, transfer to a colander to drain. Since the chocolate will cover most of the strawberry, you can use strawberries that don't look perfect but make sure to check for bruises and dark spots and either remove those spots or discard the entire strawberry if it's gone bad.
Line a cooking sheet with waxed or parchment paper. Make sure the cooking sheet is large enough to place all the strawberries on the sheet in a single layer, leaving a few inches of space for when they are placed back on the sheet after dipping in the chocolate.
Melt the chocolate. Use a double boiler to make sure you don't burn the chocolate. If you don't have a double boiler, you can make one by filling a medium saucepan 3/4 full with water. Then rest a smaller saucepan or a heat-proof bowl inside of it and fill it with your chocolate chips. Turn the stove on low heat. Stir occasionally. Be sure to avoid getting any water or condensation into the chocolate or it will "seize", meaning it becomes very difficult to work with. If you want milky chocolate, use milk chocolate chips. Milky chocolate is less strong and possibly more enjoyable for kids. Use dark chocolate for after-dinner strawberries––it's the most elegant and preferred by many adults.
Check the chocolate. When all but a few pieces have melted, turn off the stove; you don't want to burn the chocolate, have it boil over or form condensation in the bowl that drips back into the chocolate. Stir the chocolate until it is uniformly melted. Continue stirring until the chocolate turns smooth and creamy. If you have a candy thermometer, measure the temperature of the melted chocolate. Melted chocolate is at an ideal consistency for dipping at approximately 43ºC/110ºF. Alternatively, a small amount picked up on your finger should set immediately (just be careful to do this when the chocolate has cooled enough).
Stick toothpicks in the tops of the strawberries about 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep. The toothpick should be inserted at least halfway into the strawberry to ensure stability when dipping.
Take a single strawberry and dip it completely into the melted chocolate. Twirl it around to get it completely coated. Put it on the cookie sheet to cool. Repeat until all of the strawberries are covered. For a fancy touch, melt white chocolate in the double boiler as mentioned above. Then, put in a press seal sandwich bag and close. Cut off a tiny bit of one corner of the bag, and drizzle a messy zigzag across each berry. Let cool.
Store the dipped strawberries in your refrigerator until the chocolate has completely hardened. If storing temporarily after the chocolate sets (rather than serving immediately), place the set strawberries between pieces of waxed paper in an airtight container. This will ensure the purity of the taste by preventing fridge odors from absorbing into to the treats.
Remove the set strawberries from the fridge for serving. Gently lift them off the wax or parchment paper without holding the chocolate too much (or your body heat will melt it). Immediately transfer to the serving container.
Serve. Place in a fancy container for serving at the table. Chocolate-dipped strawberries can also be arranged on a plate of dried and fresh fruit, as one of many delicious fruit choices for dessert or a buffet.