Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Week 12: Chocolate Bonbon Recipe & Tutorial

You sure are in for a sweet treat today! I'm going to show you how to make moulded chocolates with flavoured fillings.

You'll need:
  • chocolate moulding wafers
  • chocolate moulds
  • double-boiler
  • small paintbrush
  • small spoon
  • light corn syrup
  • margarine
  • vanilla or other extracts
  • food colouring
  • salt
  • icing sugar
Step 1: Choose your chocolate

  • I usually use moulding wafers, but I was in at the Duchess Bake Shop this week and sampled some amazing dark Valrhona chocolate and decided to splurge.
  • If you are a beginner, I highly recommend moulding wafers as they are much easier to work with and don't require tempering. Wilton's Candy Melts are a great choice.
Step 2: Select your moulds
  • I've been collecting moulds for a few years now and find that some of the simpler ones really are the best.
  • You can find moulds at Bulk Barn, Michaels and certain kitchen supply stores.
  • Make sure your moulds are deep enough for fillings -many are designed purely for moulding melted chocolate.
  • Select one mould for each flavour you are making so that you can tell your different flavours apart!
Step 3: Make your filling

  • Mix the ingredients above until you have a dough-like ball. A pastry blender is handy to begin mixing, but don't be afraid to use your hands!
  • If you are making several different flavours, then divide your filling into separate bowls. I made three: strawberry, peppermint and an experimental flavour, maple pecan.
  • Add your extract flavour of choice and a drop or two of food colouring. Mix until your ball of filling is all the same colour.
Step 4: Melt your chocolate

  • Melt your chocolate wafers in a double-boiler -I usually use a cereal bowl that rests nicely inside a small pot of water. Heat at medium-low heat and turn it down to low once the water is nice and hot. Be careful that no water or steam sneaks into your bowl of chocolate. Water and chocolate do not mix well! Once it is fully melted, remove from heat.
  • Alternatively you may start the melting process in the microwave, but I prefer the double-boiler method. It gives you more control and if you keep it in the pot of warm water, it is slower to harden and you can work with it longer without re-heating.
Step 5: Mould your chocolate

  • Using a small spoon (a baby spoon works great), scoop a small amount of chocolate into your mould.
  • Using your paintbrush, brush the sides and bottom of your mould in a nice thick layer. It seems tedious but it goes much faster after you've done it a few times!
  • Once all sides of your mould are covered, tap your mould gently on the table. This will help fill in the gaps, but will also release any air bubbles you may have.
  • You can wait until your chocolate hardens, but it's a long enough process already, so pop your tray into the freezer for about a minute.
  • When you take your mould out of the freezer, hold it up to the light and look through the bottom. If there are any spots where the light shines through your chocolate, then fill in those areas with your paintbrush. Then pop it back in the freezer to harden.
Step 6: Add your filling
  • Take a small spoon of filling and place it inside your chocolate-lined moulds. Use the spoon or your finger to gently push the filling down.
  • Leave about 1/8" of room at the top of your moulds for the chocolate.
Step 7: Top it off 
  • Spoon a small amount of chocolate into your moulds, on top of your filling. This will be the bottom of your chocolate when you're all done.
  • Alternate between gently tapping your mould and using your paintbrush until the chocolate fully covers your filling and looks smooth.
  • Don't worry if it spills over the edge a little bit as it can easily be cut off after you take them out of the moulds, but avoid over-filling.
  • Pop your tray of moulds into the freezer for 1-2 minutes, until the chocolate is fully hardened.
Step 8: Remove your chocolates from the moulds

  • Once the chocolates are set, turn your mould upside-down onto a flat surface lined with parchment paper and tap gently.
  • Be careful becuase if you are too rough, you may crack some of your chocolates.
  • The chocolates should slide out nicely, but if you have trouble, try returning them to the freezer for another minute. 
  • Admire your beautifully moulded chocolate!
(Optional) Step 9: Decorate!

  • For the peppermint ones, I melted some white chocolate and used the end of my paintbrush to embellish with polka-dots.
  • For the maple pecan ones, I brushed a bit of extra chocolate on top (as a glue of sorts) and sprinkled some crushed pecans on top.
  • I wanted to buy edible glitter for the strawberry ones, but had a hard time finding it. Instead, I purchased Wilton's shimmer dust. I just dabbed a little bit on the top of each chocolate. It's not as sparkly as I was hoping, but it did add a bit of colour. 
  • I tried to add the above embellishments first, by placing them in my mould before my chocolate, but the results were not effective at all. Add them after!
  • You can also drizzle a bit of white chocolate over your chocolates to make them look extra pretty, or get really fancy and try drawing or writing something on top of your chocolates.
Step 10: Package your chocolates

  • Handmade chocolates go very nicely in a handmade box.
  • For these, I found some great metallic cardstock on sale and created my own boxes. I tried a few testers with scrap paper to make my own unique box, but there are lots of downloadable box patterns on the internet that might interest you more. Like the one you'll find here.
  • I typically line my boxes with parchment paper before I place the chocolates in, but this time I created my own candy wrapper cups using a gold-spotted vellum paper. You can also buy candy wrapper cups (they look like mini-mini-muffin papers), but I find the colour options very sad.
Storing Chocolates
  • Contrary to popular belief, chocolates do not need to be stored in the fridge or freezer. In fact, storing them in the fridge or freezer exposes them to things chocolate does not like: moisture and odours. Moisture will make your chocolates lose their beautiful glossy look and chocolate can adopt any flavours/smells that it is exposed to, so be careful!
  • The best place for your chocolates is in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. 
  • The only time when the fridge/freezer is your friend is if you have a filling that will spoil. I usually make truffle fillings, which are cream-based and sadly, they went bad on me one Christmas. Oops!
What I enjoyed the most: I love making chocolates! But I really did enjoy the decorative touches I added this time. I was that much more proud of my final product. Also, I really enjoyed sharing this process with YOU! Awww....

Next time I would... Learn to properly temper chocolate. I had never really done it before and did my own version of the 'seeding' method and did it without a thermometer. I'm sure professional chocolatiers around the world are shaking their heads at me right now.


Diana said...

So yummy looking. It has been a lot of years since I have done this.

Joy Elyse said...

Diana -Maybe this Christmas we can give it a whirl again?

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