Okay, so we’re back to chocolate making… Why?
Well… it’s the season to give and as a pastry chef I looove to give food (mainly, chocolate) as gifts!!! What’s better?! Nothing, honestly. I tend to hesitate giving gifts that cannot be eaten or drunken. Gifting food is pretty much the best way to be sure the other person is going to use the gift (ie. eat it) and not throw it to the side until next Christmas in order to just re-gift it to someone else. Aaaand with chocolate its more than sure… it’s definite! They’re going to love your chocolate gifts… I promise.
This HOW TO will show you how to temper chocolate and how to pour and fill those pesky plastic chocolate molds. I suggest, of course, going with the polycarbonate professional molds. If you’re serious about producing some great chocolates to wow your friends and family on Christmas, then spend the extra few dollars and you’ll have it forever! This site could be helpful finding molds.
Molds to stay away from are the silicon molds. DO NOT use these for your chocolates. They are wonderful to fill with a nice mousse and to bake in, but they are too flimsy to pour and fill chocolates. Stay clear from those as far as chocolate is concerned.
Find the recipe for the PEPPERMINT White Chocolate Filling at the bottom of the post!
Okay, so let’s get started….
Start by melting the chocolate over a water bath on the stove in a metal or glass bowl. You will need about 600 g of dark REAL chocolate.
In the meantime, set up your station like so. Here, I have my ice bath on the left, a towel in the middle with my melted chocolate, a pallet, thermometer, and all the way to the right my chocolate mold.
Once the chocolate has completely melted, the tempering process can begin. Place in the ice bath for about half a minute. Remove from the ice bath and begin stirring the chocolate to mix in the chocolate that has begun to harden on the sides of the bowl. Continue this process until you have reached the desired temperature. At this stage, we’re looking for about 29 Celsius or 84 Fahrenheit.
The optimal chocolate temperature is 31 Celsius or 88-89 Fahrenheit which means we will place the bowl back over the hot water bath for about 15 seconds.
NOTE: We are first tempering the chocolate too cold, and then heating it back to the optimal temperature over the stove.
**Some important things to think about:
-Do not let a drop of water get in the chocolate.
-Movement and temperature are the two most important aspects of tempering chocolate… so stir and check the temp!
Once you believe the chocolate is tempered ALWAYS make a test. Here, you see I’ve tested on the blue plastic scraper. Dip the corner in the chocolate and set it aside. If after a few minutes you can see the chocolate starting to harden, it’s tempered! If not, check the temperature and continue the ice water bath process.
Once tempered, pour the chocolate into each individual form. Be sure to fill them to the top to ensure an even coating.
If you miss a spot, use the pallet to spread out the chocolate evenly. Once full, tap the mold on the table vigorously. This will get rid of the air bubbles hidden underneath the surface.
Over the bowl, turn the chocolate mold upside down and let the excess chocolate drip out. This step can get messy so just go with it. Let the chocolate drip and when it starts to slow down flip it right side up and, using the pallet, scrape the excess chocolate off the top of the mold.
Place the chocolate bowl over the hot water bath.
Fill the prepared filling into a piping bag and carefully pipe into each mold, being careful not to overfill the cavities. It’s better to be safe than sorry here so start out filling the cavities pretty low and then you can always add more.
Place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to let the filling (ganache, in this case) slightly harden.
**Some important things to think about here:
-Do not overfill the cavities
-The filling (ie. ganache) cannot be hot or warm. It needs to be room temperature so that it does not the melt the chocolate you just so wonderfully tempered.
The chocolate you previously tempered needs to be re-tempered (this is only assuming you do not have a tempering machine at home to keep your chocolate a at the perfect temperature!). Why re-tempering?! Because we now have to close the chocolates!
Repeat the process with melting the chocolate over a water bath and then tempering over an ice bath yet again. Once you have reached the desired temperature, using your pallet, spoon out a bit of chocolate and spread over top the filling on the mold. Do not use too much as to not push the filling back up. Work fast, closing each cavity and eventually tapping the mold on the counter to remove air bubbles.
Place back in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
Once cooled and hardened, remove the mold from the fridge. Give it one good, hard tap on the counter. Flip the form upside down and give it another hard bang on the counter and the chocolates should fall right out of the cavities. If you get a few stragglers, bang the mold again and they should all fall out.
YOU DID IT!
This is my favorite part because basically the whole chocolate making process is a huge mystery because you can’t see the outcome of the chocolate until the very end! I love it.
- 100 g cream
- 25 g butter
- 200 g white chocolate, chopped
- a few drops of peppermint oil
- Bring the cream and butter to a boil.
- Pour over top the chopped white chocolate.
- Add the peppermint oil (be careful on the amount because it is very intense!)
- Stir together to create a smooth ganache.
- Let cool to room temperature before piping into the chocolate cavities!