Yesterday was my parents' 26th wedding anniversary and I couldn't be happier for them. In classic my-family tradition, any sort of celebration in our house involves chocolate covered strawberries and champagne...Mother's Day, Father's Day, Tuesday...so I consider myself somewhat of a pro. I've been helping my parents make these sweet little treats for years now.
Most of the how-to's I've read involve using a microwave for melting the chocolate. But if you're going to indulge, why not take the time to do it right? I use a stainless steel mixing bowl on top of a pot with water in it to create my own double boiler. Be careful not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl...the goal is to use the steam to melt the chocolate, not the water itself.
Of course, if you're in a rush and need chocolate strawberries on the double, a microwave will always work. But a double boiler not only keeps the chocolate from getting overly cooked and dried out on the edges, but also keeps the chocolate melted throughout the whole process so you don't have to re-heat it as it cools off. Yes, it takes a little longer, but it's totally worth it in the end!
I also splash a little bit of canola oil on my chocolate chips before they start to melt. It's totally not necessary and mostly for aesthetics. Using just a tiny bit of oil (maybe a teaspoon?) gives your finished strawberries a little bit of a sheen instead of a flat matte texture. Personally, I think the oil gives the chocolate just enough extra liquid to not clump too much on your strawberries too. There's a good chance I might be making this up, but I'm sticking to it.
As far as decadent desserts go, these might be the simplest and most elegant of them all. I used to think they were just special occasions, but these bits of goodness might just become my new summer go-to!
And the best part about making strawberries? Licking the bowl clean at the end...it's like the adult version of licking cake batter off of the mixer. I may or may not burn my tongue every time...