Cooking - Handmade Chocolates
I spent an afternoon in Covent Garden recently, and was completely taken with the beautiful displays of handmade chocolates in the shops.
It set me to thinking, would it be possible to make my own? How hard could that be? I've read Chocolat, seen the film too - truthfully, it looked a little mysterious and complicated but as my plan this year is to make extra special gifts for our extra special Mum, I thought I would give it a whirl.
Here is the end result ...
... actually very easy and I'm very pleased with the lovely results. As these were the test batch, they have already been tested, so I suppose I will just have to make some more. Oh well ...
You will need:
- a tray of chocolate sized heart shaped moulds (yep, we have a good stock) or any moulds of your choice
- Good quality chocolate, dark, white, milk, whatever you like (we went to Aldi - the chocolate there is superb and the price is very reasonable too)
- Flavourings - rum, peppermint, strawberry, whatever you think will work
- Cute little decorations such as hundreds and thousands, chocolate chips (we found these lovely white chocolate stars in Tesco)
- cocoa powder and icing sugar for dusting
- Colouring (we used ordinary colouring in the white chocolate which worked fine - just be careful not to add too much)
- A microwaveable bowl, spoons etc.
- Crushed amaretti biscuits
TIP: Add your decorations once the chocolates have set. We put our decorations in the bottom of the moulds, which didn't work properly so on our next batch we are going to use a little bit of melted chocolate to attach them to the top.
TIP: Put your mould on a tray. We didn't, which made getting it into the freezer was a bit of a wibbly wobbly affair.
So, all you do is melt your lovely chocolate, in short 20 second bursts, in the microwave or use a small saucepan on a very low heat (especially if you are wanting to emulate the lovely Juliette Binoche in Chocolat).
We did small quantities at a time and experimented with adding different colours, marbling, layering. We added some crushed amaretti biscuits to some of the mixture too but next time we are planning on some chopped nuts (warnings may be needed) or ginger biscuits. As we made each little batch, we filled up some of the moulds.
Once all your little moulds are filled and the mixture has cooled down, transfer your chocs to the freezer for 20 mins. You will need to be patient, even though it is sooo exciting waiting to see how they turn out.
Okay, once they are ready, out they come and you can just pop them out of the mould.
Melt a little more chocolate, dip the chocolates in and then into your decorations, or roll them in icing sugar or cocoa ...
Then you will need a pretty box and some tissue, some ribbon ...
So, unsurprisingly I am now hooked and have been reading recipes for much more complex chocolates. I will let you know how they turn out!