Somewhere along the way, Edible Arrangements got a bad rap. Is it impersonal? I suppose. But is an arrangement spiked with melon wedges, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and fresh pineapple formed in the shape of flowers delicious and succulent? Absolutely. Homemade chocolate-covered strawberries are, however, both personal and delicious. Give me a dozen for Valentine's Day, along with a diamond ring from Tiffany for each of my fingers like I've won the last 10 Super Bowls and I'll be a happy camper.
Food52's Recipes Resident Caroline Gelen already won Valentine's Day with her technique for making Marbled Chocolate-Covered Strawberries. If you decide to make these marble masterpieces too, a good technique is nothing without proper storage. So what's the best way to store chocolate-covered strawberries? Before you do anything (snacking on chocolate wafers included), stick a baking sheet in the freezer. The metal tray will get ice cold, which will allow the warm chocolate to quickly firm up as soon as you lay the dipped berries on top of it. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Once the tray is in the freezer, you can begin washing and prepping the strawberries and melting the dark and white chocolates. And with the magic of television . . . the prep work is done! Time to pull the tray from the freezer (wear an oven mitt, so your fingers don't stick to the metal).
Next, line the baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper (wax paper has more of a nonstick surface, which is preferred, but parchment will do in a pinch). Lay the dipped chocolate strawberries on top of the lined tray, leaving a little bit of room between each berry. Once the tray is filled, pop it in the refrigerator for about an hour to allow the chocolate to completely harden. As soon as the berries are set, wrap them with plastic wrap and leave the strawberries at room temperature for up to 24 hours, at which point you can arrange them in a bouquet for your sweetheart. (Or just eat them yourself, I don't judge.)
How long do chocolate-covered strawberries last, anyway? If you plan to keep them around for at least 48 hours, put them in the fridge, but do so with caution. The fridge will create extra moisture, causing the berries to appear as if they are "sweating." Not cute. Once again, I will turn to the dependable Edible Arrangements for guidance as to how to navigate this new challenge: "You don't want to store the berries in an airtight container, because this will cause decomposition and mold at a much quicker rate than if the strawberries are lightly covered." Instead, E.A. (I have to give my crush a nickname, right?) recommends keeping the berries on the sheet tray but wrapping them with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, which will increase the airflow and prevent said condensation.
Better yet, place a sheet or two of paper towels dusted with baking soda at the bottom of the container, which will absorb even more excess moisture. Lay the wax or parchment paper on top, followed by berries, and then wrap the whole tray with plastic wrap. "When you refrigerate your chocolate-covered strawberries, they won't taste as fresh or flavorful as keeping them at room temperature. But, of course, you'll get more longevity out of them," says Edible Arrangements on their website. A simple edible bouquet filled with chocolate-covered strawberries always has been, and always will be, there for me and that's the greatest Valentine's Day gift of all. But I will take ten little blue boxes, too.
- 1 pound large ripe strawberries, at room temperature
- 6 ounces (170 grams) dark or semisweet chocolate, chopped (1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon refined coconut oil (optional)
- 2 ounces (56 grams) white chocolate, chopped (1/3 cup)
- Place a sheet pan in the freezer.
- Lay a clean kitchen towel on a work surface. Thoroughly wash the strawberries with room-temperature tap water, then dump them onto the towel. Gently move them around to dry. Now use another kitchen towel or paper towel to pick up each strawberry and make sure there is no remaining water or moisture. Transfer the dried strawberries to a dry kitchen towel.
- Place roughly three-quarters of the chocolate in a mug or a tall, cylindrical dish. Melt for 60 to 75 seconds in the microwave, mixing at 30-second intervals. (You can also do this in a double boiler.) Once melted, mix in the remaining chocolate and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (if using). In a separate dish, melt the white chocolate using the same method (but no need for any oil here).
- Take the sheet pan out of the freezer and line it with parchment paper.
- Dry each strawberry one last time. Drizzle a quarter of the melted white chocolate on top of the dark or semisweet chocolate, then use a skewer or chopstick to lightly swirl—not too much! You want the colors to stay separate. Grab the strawberry by the leaves (or spear the stem with a skewer or chopstick), then drag and roll it across the surface of the chocolate; this shallow horizontal dip yields a marbled pattern, versus a deep vertical dip, which blends the colors too much. Hold the strawberry over the mug and shake the excess chocolate off. Place the chocolate-covered strawberry on the lined sheet pan. Repeat until no white chocolate remains, then add more white chocolate and repeat. (If you'd like, you can drizzle any remaining chocolate over the strawberries.)
- Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 day before serving. If you're refrigerating for more than 1 hour, transfer to an airtight container.