Want to really impress your honey on Valentine's Day? Whip up a batch of chocolate-dipped delights. Here are a few expert tips to ensure success:
1. Choose fresh ingredients. Purchase fruit close to dipping time; check other dippers for freshness. (Nobody wants to bite into a stale chocolate-covered pretzel.) Use fresh chocolate stored in a cool, dry place; old chocolate has most likely lost its temper and could be difficult to work with.
2. Prep dippersfirst. These sauces cannot be prepared ahead or remelted, so before making them, have equipment and dippers ready to go.
3. Make sure everything is clean, dry, and at room temperature. Dust (even from cookie or cake crumbs) can keep chocolate from drying to a smooth, glossy finish—water especially can cause chocolate to seize up and turn grainy. Bring all foods to room temperature before dipping.
4. Dunk just halfway. The contrast of colors and textures is what makes chocolate-dipped treats so appealing, plus this keeps your fingers from getting covered in chocolate.
Finishing Touches Add flavor and texture to these treats by sprinkling them with grated citrus zest, instant coffee granules, toasted coconut, ground nuts, crushed peppermint candy, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, or ground cinnamon before the chocolate coating has completely set.
Deluxe Dippers You can’t go wrong with strawberries, but don’t overlook these dip-worthy alternatives:
Grape clusters, apples, kumquats, clementine segments
Dried fruit, freeze-dried fruit chips
Large coconut flakes
Saltines, crackers, breadsticks
Pita chips, potato chips, pretzels