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Yesterday, I made strawberries covered with chocolate.

Both my strawberries and milk chocolate were at room temperature. I heated the chocolate in the microwave together with a drop of peanut oil, stirred and dipped the berries in it. I let it all cool down in my cellar (+-15° C /+-60° F) on a piece of parchment paper.

While the taste was great, I didn't like that they looked a bit 'dull'. I would prefer it if they shone.

I added the oil, because I read it somewhere as a tip to get shiny strawberry-chocolates. I don't think it was as much as they adviced me to do though.

Can I do anything to make the chocolate shiny?

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3 Answers 3

Chocolate which has been melted will look dull when cooled down again. Cocoa butter contains crystals, and when heating and cooling chocolate, there will form crystals of different sizes. Because of this, your chocolate look matt. You can use the technique of tempering chocolate to get great shiny chocolate. There will only form 'right' crystals with this technique. If you google 'tempering chocolate' you get lots of good results, which give you a better description of what to do then I can. For example you can use this sites description: http://candy.about.com/od/candybasics/ht/temperchoc.htm
Or this site which give the description using both Celcius and Fahrenheit: http://allrecipes.com/howto/tempering-chocolate/

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It's all about the tempering. A shiny "snappy" chocolate coating is tempered, and a dull coating isn't tempered.

In a chocolate dipping class I took in February, we used fruit which was chilled from the refrigerator, and that helped the chocolate to temper. See Why would dipping a cold item in chocolate "help" with tempering?.

Also see Is it possible to temper chocolate at home? and What is the purpose of tempering chocolate? for more about tempering chocolate.

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Tempering is important, but not enough. Assuming that you have perfectly tempered chocolate and you dip your strawberries in it, you can still get either shiny or dull chocolate, depending on how quickly you cool it, and from which side.

To get shiny confections, you need tempered chocolate at 33°C, you have to quickly dip a filling at 27°C into it, and let it cool at 20°C. These temperatures are guidelines, but a few degrees deviation in any direction will give you less nice chocolate.

See also my more expansive answer on strawberries and dipping: http://cooking.stackexchange.com/a/21142/4638.

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