When I’m looking for an easy, elegant dessert in minutes, I make simple vegan chocolate covered strawberries. Although I don’t make dessert often, chocolate covered strawberries are quick and simple with little to no guilt.
Chocolate covered strawberries may be simple, but in essence this delicacy of a perfectly ripe strawberry paired with chocolate is a party in your mouth.
Despite the fact that most chocolate contains milk, most dark chocolate is the exception to the rule. In fact, the amount of vegan chocolate available is astounding.
THE TRICK TO PERFECT CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES
In order to avoid common pitfalls to dipping anything in chocolate, its all about how you cook your chocolate and the condensation on your dipping product. For instance, a wet strawberry dipped in melted chocolate is a chocolate disaster.
How to Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries:
To get started, you first need to find the largest, ripest strawberries you can find. Also, look for green vibrant stems, which is another indication of freshness. Then, you need to clean the strawberries.
Even though it might add a step to your process, packaged strawberries often have debris and need to be washed. For that reason, I also purchase organic strawberries to avoid any other nasty pesticides I can’t remove with water.
First, place strawberries in a bowl with room temperature water and gently move them through the water. I do this several times, and rinse, so to remove any excess dirt.
DRYING THE STRAWBERRIES IS THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL DIPPING
In order to ensure your strawberries are completely dry, use a generous amount of paper towels. Kitchen towels, though more environmentally sound, do not absorb like paper, so don’t use kitchen towels instead.
After you make sure every strawberries are completely dry, then lay out more fresh paper towels for a second round of drying and walk away. I suggest 30 minutes of air drying to ensure the strawberries are dry and ready for dipping.
Simply put, Chocolate and water don’t mix, and the result is clumpy chocolate. As a result, you will ruin the entire amount of chocolate, and it becomes inedible.
When you’re ready to dip, it’s time to prepare the chocolate.
WHAT IS THE BEST VEGAN DIPPING CHOCOLATE?
Some people prefer to melt vegan chocolate slabs, but I used vegan chocolate chips. Despite most recipes require adding oil, I have never found a need to add oil to the baking chocolate for simple vegan chocolate covered strawberries.
If for some reason you have any chocolate left over, feel free to drizzle over nuts, pretzels, or any other salty treat you may have in your pantry. My children, for example, fight over the glass bowl, to get every last bit of chocolate from the bottom.
Actually, most dark chocolate is vegan, but you need to look for any milk or dry milk ingredients on the package. Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate, for instance, used to be vegan but now contains milk. So, make sure you look closely. For this recipe, I used Enjoy Life Mini-Sweet Chocolate Chips, because I found them at my local grocer. Other brands, for example, I have used successfully are King David Kosher Non-Dairy Chocolate Coins, or Sephra Non-Dairy Milk Chocolate Melts.
HOW TO MELT THE CHOCOLATE
The easiest way to melt the chocolate is to place the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave in 1 minute intervals at level 5 power on the microwave. Moreover, stir each minute, and DO NOT OVERCOOK; burnt chocolate is not fun to deal with.
Even though there may be a few chips left in the bowl with the melted chocolate, stirring them into the hot chocolate will melt the remaining chips.
If you prefer to avoid the microwave, use a double boiler. Simply place water in the bottom pan. Once the water begins to simmer add the second pan to the top of the other pan, add the chocolate and stir until melted.
TO CHILL OR NOT TO CHILL
In addition, there is always the question about refrigerating the dipped strawberries or leaving them out. Personally, I have found refrigerating them causes moisture, and moisture causes the chocolate to separate from the strawberries if they become wet enough.
So, to avoid any pitfalls, I make the simple vegan chocolate covered strawberries the day I plan to serve them. Not only do they harden in room temperature conditions, they taste fabulous as well if left out all day long.