Since strawberries soak up water like a sponge, which can lead to moldy or mushy berries, it is important to be mindful of how you wash your strawberries before coating them in chocolate.
If you don’t plan on using your strawberries right away, experts agree it is best to store them in the refrigerator and wash them no more than a couple hours before using them. If you hull your strawberries before coating them, wait to do so until after they are washed. Cut strawberries will absorb even more water, making them more susceptible to mold, while also diluting their flavor. Below are two member-recommended methods for washing strawberries to make them last, we suggest experimenting to find which method works best for you.
Damp cloth method: Since strawberries are often prewashed, some experts suggest wiping strawberries with a damp cloth instead of submerging them in water to keep the moisture content low. Keep in mind as much as strawberries like to soak up water, they are equally adept at soaking up other things like pesticides. If you choose this method, consider sourcing strawberries from local farms that don’t use pesticides or are certified organic.
Vinegar solution method: If you prefer a more thorough cleaning, RCI member, Luisa Chocolatier, recommends washing strawberries in a solution of cold water and non-pasteurized apple cider vinegar (use approximately 3 tablespoons for every one gallon of water). After, first, wiping away any dirt with a clean towel and discarding unwanted mushy or moldy berries, gently submerge berries in the vinegar solution for five minutes. Next, place the strawberries in a colander to drain excess water before placing in a single layer on top of a dry towel to air dry. Once the strawberries are dry, they can be placed in their original containers, which have since been cleaned and dried as well, until they are ready to dip.
Since excess water will prevent chocolate from sticking to strawberries and also cause chocolate to have a dull appearance, both methods emphasize the importance of drying strawberries before dipping them into chocolate. Try one of these methods and let us know which works best for you!
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