A few times a year, Marks and Spencer takes stock of these fantastic King Strawberries. They’re naturally sweet and juicy, which is surprising given their size — you can’t tell from the picture, but they’re each about the size of a large egg!
They’re so good that you can (and should!) happily eat them on their own, but fifi and I have always really enjoyed them dipped in a bit of melted chocolate. As a bonus, you can easily dip plenty of other things in any leftover chocolate you might have. Some personal favourites included marshmallows, chunks of brioche, candied orange or lemon peel, and banana slices.
If you want to try this yourself, it couldn’t be easier!
- Fruit (or marshmallows) for dipping (almost anything works so long as it’s dry on the surface)
- A few large bars of your favourite chocolate (dark chocolate really is best, 70% or higher)
- White chocolate for drizzling (if you can find some with vanilla bean, it’s even nicer)
- 1-2 tsp vegetable oil (a flavourless oil is vital here)
- Chop fruit / brioche / etc into bite-sized pieces. Don't do this if you're using the King berries.
- If you’re using berries with stems/leaves, make sure you trim the greenery back from the fruit a bit so that the leaves don’t stick in the chocolate. For long-stemmed berries, trim the leaves and retain just the stems.
- Ensure that the bain-marie upper pan (or the bowl on top of your pan of water) is dry inside. This is absolutely essential, as water has a nasty habit of seizing up chocolate.
- With your fruit prepped, fill the lower pan of your bain-marie (or a saucepan) with water and get it hot enough that it’s steaming but not boiling. If you’re using a bowl on top of a pan of water, make sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, as it can get too hot this way, and result in chocolate that’s clumpy or too thick.
- Break up the chocolate and add it to the upper bowl along with a drizzle of the vegetable oil. This is to keep the chocolate silky smooth and make it easier to dip your fruit into. If the chocolate gets too thick, then add the oil a little bit at a time, mixing as you go.
- It’s important that you don’t add water to your chocolate ever. This will make the chocolate ‘seize up’ and solidify, and it’s rather disheartening. We all make that mistake at least once…
- Once about ¾ of the chocolate is melted, turn off the heat and keep stirring the chocolate until you have a smooth, shiny mixture. Turning the heat off at this point will help prevent it from burning or overcooking.
- Transfer the melted chocolate to a smaller, deep bowl that you’ll be able to dip into. Now you can get started with the fun part! Hold the base of your fruit or treat and just dip into the chocolate, shaking gently or spinning to rid any excess chocolate. Set each piece aside on the sheet of wax paper, and let it sit for 20-30 minutes to set.
- Once all of the fruit is dipped, you can melt the white chocolate (using the same method as above), and instead of putting it in a bowl, pour it into a squeezy bottle (or pastry / plastic bag). Snip off one corner if you’re using a plastic bag, and just gently drizzle the white chocolate back and forth across the fruit.
- Give the fruit another 10 minutes or so for the white chocolate to firm up, and transfer the fruit gently to a tray or plate and chill for at least two hours. You can take the fruit out of the fridge after it’s chilled, a bit ahead of time, if you don’t want to eat it cold. Easy as that!