- Melting Chocolate
- Candy Molds
- Small Spoon or Squeeze Bottle
- Double Boiler (optional)
CHOOSING YOUR CHOCOLATE
- BAKING CHOCOLATE: Hardened cocoa solids and cocoa butter with no added sugar. Available in the baking aisle, baking chocolate come in many different varieties–semisweet, bittersweet, white and dark.
- COUVERTURE: A glossy form of chocolate used by professional pastry chefs and chocolatiers. You can find this type of higher-grade chocolate in professional pastry & cake supply shops, high-end groceries and online. Available in milk chocolate and dark chocolate.
- CONFECTIONARY COATING: While not a true chocolate, confectionery coating is great to use when you’re making candies. It also comes in a rainbow of colors and flavors besides chocolate.
- In the microwave: Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl on high power at 10-second intervals, stirring each time, until completely melted.
- In a slow cooker: Place chocolate into a slow cooker, set on low heat. Stir occasionally and make sure it doesn’t get too hot. If the chocolate does begin to overheat, turn off the slow cooker, remove the insert, and stir in a couple of pieces of unmelted chocolate to cool it down quickly.
- In a double boiler: Set up your double boiler with a small amount of water–the water should not be touching the top pan–and warm it over medium-low heat. Melt chocolate, stirring occasionally, just until the mixture is smooth, then remove the pan from the heat. If you do not have a professional double boiler, I will show you how to make one at home.
- Don’t let water or other liquid come in contact with your chocolate, or it will “seize.”
- Don’t allow melted chocolate to get too hot. Excess heat will both cause the chocolate to separate, rendering it unusable.
- If you’re using a large block of chocolate, chop it into small pieces so that it melts evenly.
- If you’ve never used chocolate molds, choose an easy design. Pictured above, the hearts were 100x easier to use than the alligator molds (he legs and tails break off very easily).
MAKING A DOUBLE BOILER
- Fill a ceramic pan with a small amount of water and bring to a boil.
- Choose a metal or ceramic bowl that is slightly larger than your water pan and place it on top.
- The steam from the bottom pan will slowly and evenly melt the chocolate in the bowl.
- Once the chocolate is fully melted, remove from heat and begin filling your molds.
FILLING YOUR MOLDS
- Fill each mold slowly with a squeeze bottle, spoon, or by pouring chocolate from a measuring cup.
- When the back of the mold is smooth and even, gently tap the tray of chocolates on the countertop to pop any air bubbles.
- To make the chocolate harden quickly, put it in the freezer for a few minutes. No longer than 5 minutes, or else the chocolate could become discolored.
- Once the chocolate is firm enough come out of the mold, invert the entire mold onto a clean towel and twist very gently to release the chocolates.
With a little patience and a steady hand, making chocolate is a relatively simple process. Homemade chocolates and candies also make great gifts for friends and family that love sweets.
In my next post I’ll show you some of the different varieties you can make at home!