Chocolate making is not too hard at all. If you are a beginner, it can be done with a chocolate mold along with some good quality compound chocolates. If you want to get fancy, go get some real chocolate or even couverture chocolate and temper it yourself with the help of a digital thermometer. Couverture chocolate is a high quality chocolate that contains extra cocoa butter. The crystals in cocoa butter will form into one of the six types when melted and cooled. By tempering the chocolate (which is a process of melting, cooling and reheating the chocolate), your are breaking down the crystals (especially the Beta crystals) and reforming them. Tempered chocolate is glossy, has a higher melting point and snaps when you bite into it. Chocolate Alchemy has a really good article that explains and illustrates what tempering is and you can read about it here.
I am sharing with you how I tempered my chocolates. There are several ways to temper chocolate and what I used was referred to as the “seeding method“. Milk, dark and white chocolates have different sets of melting, cooling and working temperatures so please temper your chocolate according to instructions for the type of chocolate you get.
I’ve made two types of molded chocolate, the nut-filled ones (which are easier) and the ganache-filled ones. The ganache-filled ones require a little bit more preparation but it’s all worth it. Use the best quality chocolate made with real cocoa butter (preferably couverture chocolate as it does make a difference) and make some for the ones you love on Valentine’s Day!
Ganache-Filled & Nut-Filled Chocolates
For two polycarbonate molds (45 to 48 pieces)
For the Ganache-Filled Chocolates
For the Dark Chocolate Shell
300 g dark couverture chocolate (I used Lindt Piccoli Bittersweet Couverture Chocolate)
For the Ganache Filling
80 g dark couverture chocolate, chopped
80 g whipping cream
8 g unsalted butter, softened
For the Nut-Filled Chocolates
300 g dark couverture chocolate
24 roasted nuts (I used cashews)
調溫黑朱古力 300克 (EC用Lindt Piccoli苦甜調溫朱古力)
Tempering the Dark Chocolate 黑朱古力調溫方法
Place 3/4 of the chocolate into a mixing bowl. Chop the remaining seeding chocolate and set aside.
Place the bowl of chocolate over a pot of simmering water until the chocolate is almost completely melted. Remove from heat and use the residual heat to melt the remaining chocolate bits. The temperature of the chocolate should be between 113-118°F/45-48°C.
Add the seeding chocolate into the melted chocolate in batches and add more chocolate only after the chocolate has melted. Stir continuously until the chocolate is between 81-82°F/27-28°C (it will start to thicken a bit).
Re-warm chocolate over a pot of warm water to 88-89°F/31-32°C. To test whether the chocolate is in temper, dip a knife into the chocolate and place it in the refrigerator. If it hardens and becomes shiny within a few minutes, it is properly tempered. Maintain this temperature range while molding. Do not let the temperature go over 90°F/32°C or the chocolate will lose its temper and you will need to start all over again.
White chocolate has a different sets of melting, cooling and working temperatures which are 113-122°F/45-50˚C, 79-81°F/26-27˚C, and 86°F/30˚C respectively according to the instructions printed on the back of my couverture chocolate package.
白朱古力有另一組融化、降溫與操作溫度，根據EC家中調溫朱古力包裝袋上的指示，這組溫度分別是113-122°F/45-50˚C, 79-81°F/26-27˚C, 及 86°F/30˚C。。
For the Ganache-filled Chocolates 軟心朱古力
For the Ganache Filling 朱古力軟心
Heat whipping cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it bubbles around the edges (but not boiling). Alternatively, microwave cream in a microwave-safe bowl on high. Add to chopped chocolate and let stand for two minutes. Stir with a spatula until combined. Stir in softened butter until smooth and shiny. Let cool to room temperature before using.
For the Dark Chocolate Shell 黑朱古力外殼
Temper the chocolate according to the above instructions and fill each mold cavity with chocolate. Scrape off excess chocolate with an offset spatula. Tap the mold on the countertop several times to remove any air bubbles. Let chocolate set up for 1 to 2 minutes then pour excess chocolate back into the mixing bowl. Flip mold upside down over a piece of parchment paper for one minute and let excess chocolate drip out. Chill mold in the refrigerator for 10 minutes until the shell hardens.
Fill pastry bag with room temperature ganache then cut off a small corner. Pipe ganache into each shell until about 4/5 full. Tap mold against the counter to remove any air bubbles. Place mold back in the refrigerator for 5 minutes or until set up slightly.
Remove mold from the refrigerator and re-warm chocolate to the correct working temperature. If the chocolate hardens you will need to re-temper it. Spoon chocolate over the ganache to fill the top. Tap the mold against the countertop to remove any air bubbles. Remove excess chocolate with an offset spatula. Return mold to the refrigerator for about 15 minutes or until the chocolate has shrunk away from the sides of mold.
To unmold, turn the mold upside down and tap it against the counter top.
For Nut-Filled Chocolates 果仁朱古力
Temper the chocolate according to the above instructions and fill each mold cavity with chocolate to 3/4 full. Drop a piece of nut into each cavity, making sure the nut does not touch the mold. Fill rest of the cavity with chocolate until it reaches all the way to the top. Tap the mold against the countertop to remove any air bubbles. Scrape excess chocolate from the mold with an offset spatula. Return mold to the refrigerator for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the chocolate has shrunk away from the sides of mold.
To unmold, turn the mold upside down and tap it against the countertop.
I made these nut-filled white chocolates today. The cashew looks like a heart when cut opened.
I made these gifts for my friends on my 10th wedding anniversary party.
Molding Chocolate: How to Make Center Filled Molded Chocolate Candy from Chocoley
How to Temper Chocolate from Serious Eats
Tempering – Deconstruction and Reconstruction & Illustrated Tempering from Chocolate Alchemy
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