Playing with Chocolate (part 1)

A few weeks ago I ordered a few new chocolate molds from Chocolat-Chocolat online. They seem to be of high quality, two from a French maker and one from a Chinese maker. I was itching to try them out, but did not have any couverture in the pantry. Luckily, it’s the holidays and Whole Foods had a huge display of couverture to choose from; I chose Scharffen Berger 60%.

Making chocolates lies somewhere between science and art. The science is in properly tempering the chocolate so it will crystallize properly. The art is in getting them to look nice and taste good after you extract them from the molds. For now, I’m just going to concentrate on the science.

There are a few methods for tempering chocolate; I chose one of the quickest and easiest, the seeding method. The basic idea is to melt about two-thirds of the chocolate and bring it to about 120F then add unmelted, chopped chocolate to cool the chocolate to 92F. These two steps are pretty easy to do; the hard part is keeping the mixing at 92F once you get it there in the first place. This usually entails several visits to the bain-marie to keep the temperature as constant as you can. Once you get to this stage, you’re ready to fill the molds.

Filling the molds is easy, albeit a bit on the messy side. Basically you just ladle the chocolate into the molds, slide a spatula or pastry blade along the top to clean off the excess chocolate, then let sit. After a minute or so, turn the whole works upside-down and tap the molds to remove the excess chocolate. Once that’s done, you put the mold upside-down on a piece of parchment and chill until solid. Next, pipe in your filling of choice, apply another layer of tempered chocolate, and remove the excess with a pass of a spatula and let set. If everything was done properly, in a few minutes your candies will pop out of the molds.

Since this was my first try, I’m choosing to omit a finished product. I’ll consider this an experiment; I’ll show the final products in part two.

To Be Continued…

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2 Responses to “Playing with Chocolate (part 1)”

  • foodie says:

    Hopefully the new tagging system will take care of the whole category thing, but you’re right.

    A part two, with the molds, is still in the works. I did a pseudo part two, but it was all free form (it was right after the palm sugar caramels).

    I’m afraid the Rev2 isn’t going to be large enough and I will have to temper a few kilos of chocolate by hand, not a tragedy, just a big bummer 🙂

  • brian says:

    I’m just getting ready to play with molds. I am waiting for some to arrive in the mail shortly. I’ve got an old sinsation tempering machine similar to the newer revolation. I think you need a chocolate category to show off your work. I had to dig deep to find these great posts on chocolate. Do you have a part 2 to this post?

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