The typical chocolate covered strawberry is good. Just good. There’s no arguing with how well the flavors of sweet, tangy fruit pair with bitter dark chocolate, but the flaw is in the design. Berries dipped in molten chocolate usually set in the fridge, where the fats and sugars re-solidify and become brittle. Cue your beloved biting into the fruit only for the chocolate shell to pop right off, usually onto a plate, shirt, or the floor. Delightful. Further aggravating the situation are well-intentioned adults dipping cold berries into hot chocolate, resulting in a thin, but potent layer of condensation building in between the skin of the fruit and the chocolate shell. By the time you present the little beauties, that chocolate layer is barely hanging on.
You know what doesn’t say “I love you”? A dessert that falls apart when you try to eat it. Don’t dip strawberries into unadulterated melted chocolate. Use ganache instead. It’ll give you the same chocolate intensity, without the shattering, and you only need to add one ingredient to transform chocolate into ganache: heavy cream. Heavy cream has a high percentage of fat, allowing it to emulsify with chocolate, resulting in a silky, luxurious chocolate sauce that never becomes brittle. Depending on your ratio of chocolate to heavy cream, you can make a chocolate ganache that remains tacky and soft after cooling, or a ganache that becomes firm enough to be scooped and rolled (like for chocolate truffles). No matter the ratio, it will always remain somewhat pliable. Certainly pliant enough to bite through without snapping into shards of disappointment.
Making ganache is simple, and as quick as melting straight chocolate. Simply heat cream and chopped chocolate, or chocolate chips, together in the microwave. Whisk every 20 to 30 seconds, until completely melted and well blended. For a firm ganache, excellent for hugging ripe fruit, use a 2:1 ratio of chocolate to cream by mass. You don’t need much ganache to cover a dozen strawberries, only about a half cup of chocolate chips and three tablespoons of heavy cream according to this recipe. Leftover ganache is not exactly a problem if you make a big batch, you can always use it for truffles, or skip that rolling business and spoon it directly into your mouth. Ganache will stick well to cold fruit, but if you can, bring the strawberries to room temperature before dipping them in the warm ganache. Ganache-dipped strawberries are perfect in their simplicity, but you can scatter chopped nuts, coconut flakes, or sprinkles onto the soft ganache for a little pizzazz. Allow these improved chocolate covered berries to chill on a parchment lined plate in the fridge until you’re ready to impress.