Chocolate dipped Strawberries
When purchasing fresh strawberries from the grocery store, shop with your nose.
Always pick the plumpest and most fragrant berries. They should be firm, bright, and fresh looking with no mold or bruises, and fresh green caps (stems). The caps should be bright green, fresh looking and fully attached. Strawberries do not ripen after they have been harvested, so choose strawberries that have been picked fully ripened. They should have bright red color, natural shine and fresh looking green caps.
Line baking sheets or cookie pans with waxed paper, parchment paper, or aluminum foil. Make sure the baking sheets are large enough to place all the strawberries, as well as giving each a few inches of room for each chocolate strawberry for after dipping.
Make sure the strawberries are completely dry. Even a drop of water in the melted chocolate can cause it to "seize" and turn the entire mixture into a grainy mess.
If you use refrigerated strawberries, allow them to come to room temperature before dipping in the melted chocolate. If you use cold strawberries, condensation will form and that will prevent the chocolate from sticking.
Using one of the below methods, melt the chocolate chips:
Double Boiler: In the top of a double boiler over hot water, not boiling water, don't let the bottom of the bowl touch the water, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth. Be careful as boiling water may cause steam droplets to get into chocolate which can result in "seizing," when the chocolate becomes stiff and grainy.
If you don't have a double boiler you can improvise one by placing a glass or stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water (don't let the bottom of the bowl touch the water).
Remove from heat and let the chocolate cool slightly, but it should not set.
Microwave Melting Chocolate:
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips using either the defrost setting or 10-percent power in the microwave. Microwave for 1 minute, then check and stir. If you need more time, do it in 10 to 20 seconds intervals (check and stir after each addition of microwave time).
Remove the container from the microwave and stir the chocolate until completely melted. Baking chips and baking chocolate may appear formed and un-melted after heating but will become fluid after stirring.
Grasp the stem or green leaves of the strawberry and dip into the chocolate and swirl in chocolate to partially cover. If the strawberries don't have a stem to grasp, pork a toothpick into the stem end.
Give the strawberry a little shake as you withdraw it from the chocolate (this will fill in all the cracks and leave a nice even line of chocolate at the base.)
When the strawberry is completely withdrawn from the chocolate, swirl it in a quick, clockwise motion to let the excess chocolate drip off.
If you are going to decorate the berries, allow the chocolate to set for a minute, then sprinkle with decorations. Sprinkling works better than rolling as it’s easier to control the coverage. You may cover your chocolate strawberries with nuts, sprinkles, coconut, or anything else you desire.
Either place strawberries into refrigerator or set aside to allow the chocolate to harden, about 30 minutes. Transfer fruit onto a serving platter to serve.