It had been a long time since I made chocolate covered strawberries. They're the perfect dessert, really, with their simple preparation and gorgeous presentation. Full of flavor and gorgeous color, they make for an amazing addition to your holiday dessert table, or to gift to someone special. Valentine's Day is synonymous with these little delicacies, so I thought it was the perfect time to whip up a dairy-free batch.
You'll want to start with the freshest berries possible. If you can find them with the stems on, it makes for easier dipping and a beautiful presentation. The more fresh and green the leaves are, the better. My strawberry leaves weren't as fresh as I'd like, but it was what I could get my hands on. The berries themselves were red, ripe, and delicious so I gave the leaves a pass.
Be sure to wash and thoroughly dry your strawberries. Pick through them carefully, and inspect for bruises or mold. I can't stress enough how important this step is, especially if you don't plan on eating the berries right away.
I have a few favorites when it comes to choosing dairy-free chocolate for these berries. I used the semisweet chocolate chunks from Enjoy Life Foods this time around, but here are a few other great options to try:
Chocolate Gems from Hu - these are dark chocolate but I love them and they'll work perfectly for this. They're delicious, plant based, and only made with three ingredients. I use them all the time.
No Whey Foods Choco Morsels - I love this brand and these chocolate morsels are perfectly sweet with rich chocolate flavor. Be sure to take note of the bag size for these morsels, as it is smaller than the average bag of chocolate chips (I learned that the hard way). They also make this milkless chocolate bar that is to-die-for.
Amanda's Own Confections Mini Chips - this is a brand that I've been following for years. They're a top 14 allergen-free dedicated facility and offer a variety of delicious treats including marshmallows, chocolate bars, cookie dough, and holiday gifts.
Dairy-Free White Chocolate
Polar Dream White - In addition to the delicious milk-style chocolates that Enjoy Life Foods offers, they also make a delicious dairy-free white chocolate option. My son prefers white chocolate, and he loves this one. For this batch of covered berries, I melted an entire bar of Polar Dream White so I could make some of the berries white chocolate covered for the little guy. Totally dreamy. They make white chocolate chips, too.
Pascha's Vegan White Bar - If you aren't familiar with Pascha's, this is a plant-based chocolate manufacturer that practices responsible farming and all of their items are free from top allergens. They also offer some keto-friendly options, if you're looking for that sort of thing. They make baking chips, too, that are great for cookies.
Nestle Allergen Free White Morsels - The old-fashioned, iconic Nestle now offers options that are free from the top 8 allergens, and you may be able to find them at a Walmart near you. These are marketed as "vanilla chips" and not white chocolate, so you should expect a taste difference. This option conjures up mixed reviews. In my opinion, it tastes the least like white chocolate, but I know many people who love it.
Additional Dipping Options
I like a variety of toppings on my chocolate covered berries, and I try to make a few different combinations per batch. Here's what I made in the berries pictured here:
• Chocolate covered with a white chocolate drizzle
• Chocolate with sprinkles
• Chocolate with chopped freeze dried strawberries
• Chocolate with chopped peanuts
• White chocolate covered with dried rose petals
• White chocolate with chopped peanuts
• White chocolate with sprinkles
• White chocolate with chopped freeze dried strawberries
Other options that work great on chocolate covered berries are chocolate chips in alternating flavors (dark/white), shredded coconut, strawberry frosting, or white chocolate with food coloring to make it festive.
Storing Your Berries
If you aren't going to be eating your berries right away, they should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They're best eaten within 48 hours, but if they're very fresh when you dip them they should keep for up to 4 days. They probably won't take that long to disappear, though.
Dairy-Free Chocolate Covered Strawberries
To melt the chocolate in the microwave
- Put your semisweet and white chocolates in two separate microwave-safe bowls.
- Set up a sort of assembly line for your garnishes. Put each garnish in a separate bowl, and line them up on your counter.
- Melt your chocolate in the microwave one at a time on 50% power. I set the semisweet chocolate for one minute, stirring halfway through.
- When the timer is up, give it a good stir. You want the chocolate to be fully melted and to stir into a very smooth mixture.
- If your chocolate isn't melted, pop it back in the microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between until it's all melted and smooth.
- Set your melted semisweet chocolate aside and pop your white chocolate in the microwave.
- You'll want to try melting the white chocolate at 50% power for 30 seconds. Use a new, clean spoon to stir the white chocolate after 30 seconds, and if it's not fully melted and smooth, put it back in the microwave. Keep heating the chocolate on 50% power in 20-second intervals until it's fully melted and stirs into a nice smooth texture.
To melt the chocolate in a double boiler
- Put the chocolates into two separate heatproof bowls. Medium-sized glass bowls work great.
- Fill two medium saucepans with two inches of water and bring it to a low simmer over medium heat.
- Turn off the heat and set your bowls of chocolate into the top of the pots with the water. Gently stir the chocolate until it's melted and smooth. Be sure to use two separate spoons for mixing, or your white chocolate will be tainted from the darker one.
To make the chocolate covered strawberries
- While your chocolate is melting, lay a piece of parchment paper out on a large cookie sheet. Set the cookie sheet at the end of your make-shift assembly line after the garnishes.
- Make sure your strawberries are completely dry. If there is any moisture on them, dry them off with a paper towel.
- Holding the strawberries gently by their stems or leaves, dip them into the semi-sweet chocolate. Give the strawberry a gentle twist when you lift it out of the chocolate to help prevent dripping.
- Dip your chocolate covered strawberry immediately into one of your garnishes, or set it on the parchment paper if you're drizzling it with white chocolate.
- If you're using the white chocolate for drizzling, stick the tip of a fork into the white chocolate then drizzle it over your strawberry. You could also use a small spoon. A spouted spoon works great.
- Repeat this process until all of your strawberries are covered.
- Once all of your strawberries are covered set them aside for at least 30 minutes. If your kitchen temperature is on the warm side, gently slide the cookie sheet of strawberries into the refrigerator.
- These take 30 minutes to set at room temperature and about 15 minutes in the refrigerator. If you aren't eating them right away, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I recommend eating them within 48 hours, but they're usually good for up to four days depending on how fresh the berries were when you got them.
Did you make these dairy-free chocolate covered strawberries?
Please let me know how they turned out for you! Leave a comment below and rate the recipe.