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Want to really impress your sweetie on Valentine’s Day? Whip up a batch of DIY delights. Here are a few expert tips to ensure success when making chocolate-dipped treats. And, remember, if the person you’re hoping to impress happens to be dairy-free, check your chocolate labels before you get started.
How to Make Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries and Other Delights
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 dippers first. 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.
5. Finish with style. 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.
What to Dip
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
- Gourmet cookies
- Pita chips, potato chips, pretzels
- Vegetable chips