For special occasions (and just for the odd treat) at the Scottish Arts Club, I like to surprise Members from time to time with some of my home made chocolates on the bar. These always go down a treat and so I've decided to make up some nice little gift boxes of chocolates to be purchased as Christmas gifts and shared with our family and friends. And while we've all got some spare time at home over the holidays, I thought you might like to try and replicate my chocolates at home! Ready? Let's take a trip to the SAC Chocolate Factory, a world of pure imagination!!
What you will need;
- Bain Marie – pot ¼ ful;l of water obn stove on low heat, simmering.
- Matching sized metal bowl
- Spatula / wooden spoon
- Silicone individual chocolate moulds
- Palet knife or scraper
- Food thermometer
- Container for excess choc
Simple Chocolate are super fast and easy, but for a more attractive end result, with a chocolate snap and something that won't melt in five seconds, I recommend temping your chocolate.
When tempering chocolate, I prefer to use a large quantity of chocolate purely to make temperature regulation simpler (and so I have plenty left over for my next batch!)
- First make sure your bain marine is contructed and the water is simmering very gently. Place your chocolate in the metal bowl and begin to melt. Stir regularly to prevent burning. Once the chocolate is liquid stir continuously and using your thermometer heat until you achieve 45 degrees.
- Next, remove from heat and set aside to cool. 5-10 minutes should be enough or a few minutes in the fridge will do. As long as the chocolate falls to 29 degrees or less you will be grand!
- Now it's back on the bain marie and reheat to 31/32 degrees... Your chocolate is now tempered!
- Using a pastry brush or tea spoon paint the walls of the chocolate mould and leave in the fridge to set.
- Once cool, you can now fill you chocolates. For simplicity you can use marzipan or fudge rolled into balls, but there are many delicious filling ideas! Press the filling into the mould leaving space for the base of the chocolate.
- To create the base, simply reheat your left over chocolate to 29/30 degrees, pour over your chocolate mould and scrape clean with your pallet knife.
- Leave to rest and cool and then pop your chocolates out of the moulds.
I like to decorate my chocolates, but for your first time keep it simple! Your chocolates will keep best in a room at around 18 degrees and away from direct sunshine. They will keep for a long time so don't eat them all at once! And remember... food is love, so share your chocolates!!