Vol.1, No.3

How to melt and shape chocolate at home

A guide to creating your own homemade, shaped chocolates.

Melt and shape chocolate
Photo Credit: Kelly Cline
Making your own shaped chocolates at home is an easy project that can involve the entire family. Following directions and taking the advice of expert tips and tricks will make the task enjoyable. Start with plain shaped chocolates and experiment as you go before attempting fancy designs or filled candies. A little time and effort, mixed with beautiful and unique packaging, will result in smiles all around.

Shaped chocolates are a great way to begin your chocolate adventure. Made with melted chocolate, milk, dark or white, and molds of any shape you'd like, its really the easiest and most addicting candy to make.

A few simple items need to be on hand to begin. A double boiler, a candy thermometer, a long handled spoon, molds, wax paper and chocolate are the basics. A small brush, candy d'cor and coloring powder can be added to your basic supplies to achieve and advanced or professional look.

Purchase the best melting chocolate you can afford to achieve the best results. For a smooth texture, easy flow and a professional sheen, chocolate needs to be tempered. Tempering can be done at home through a double boiler, or many kitchen/craft stores sell tempered chocolate buttons. To temper at home, cut the chocolate into small pieces or flakes and place in the top portion of a double boiler. Stir the chocolate while melting to heat evenly. Heat to 120 degrees and remove from the heat source. Replace the water in the bottom portion of the double boiler with lukewarm water and place the chocolate back on top. Stir until the temperature reached 80 degrees. You may have to change the water a few times to achieve the 80 degrees. Test the tempering by spreading a small amount on wax paper or foil and allowing it to cool it should be smooth and shiny. If the tempering doesn't look right, simply try again.

Once the chocolate is melted and tempered, simply pour directly into the molds. Molds do not need to be oiled or greased in any way. Tap the molds on a hard surface to remove any air bubbles and place in the freezer. Keep molds in the freezer until they look misty, remove and tap the chocolates out. As shaped chocolates become an easy task, think of adding candy d'cor (such as gold or silver hard candies) to the mold. Place candies into the mold and slowly pour the chocolate over them. Freeze and pop out.

White chocolate can be mixed with colored powders to achieve a rainbow of colors. Using small amounts of one color at a time, brush the colored chocolate into the mold. Freeze each colored chocolate before proceeding with the next color and finish with the solid chocolate of your choice.

When molds need cleaning use warm, clean water and no detergent. Should a mold become greasy for any reason, thoroughly rinse with hot water and vinegar before using. Detergents can leave a residue or scent within plastic molds so it is best to avoid them entirely.

As you experiment, you'll find homemade chocolates are less expensive than candy stores and you can achieve that personal touch for that special someone. Experiment and don't fuss over failures, after all, they are just as delicious and no one has to know.



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