Recipe for home made chocolates
Valentines day has come and gone and I hope you all had a good Friday, either with the one you love or treating yourself with a little wining and dining and great food. I have mentioned before that I don’t like what I feel has become the over commercialisation of just about every holiday and celebration there is through the year. I think one of the most ridiculous examples has been the supermarkets. In September our local Morrisons branch had an isle, half of which was dedicated to Halloween, still weeks away, and the other half to Christmas, months away. Before the new year began the Christmas stuff had all been cleared out and on a little section in the back of the supermarket, Easter had begun to creep in. This year Easter falls on the 20th April, almost four months away from when eggs appeared in the shops. It just feels like the year is sped through in the hope of selling just a little bit more. Rant over for now.
A couple of weeks ago Hana suggested we make our own Valentines day presents this year. I really liked this idea as it would be a chance to get away from the, almost fever pitched selling which shops reach in anticipation of the day. I think it’s really nice to make your own Valentines day presents for each other. It means that the gifts you exchange are really from the heart and you have had to put a lot of time and effort into thinking of something the other person will really appreciate and then make it too.
With not too long to go I was still thinking of what I could make. I knew I wanted to go with homemade food but as we were going to go out for dinner valentines day evening, it would have to be something small but special. After racking my brain and looking through Pintrest for inspiration (see this board I made) I eventually settled on making homemade chocolates for Hana.
This was the first time I had made chocolates so I kept it really simple, in case it all went wrong. The first batch were just decorated with some of the cake decorations we have which worked nicely. Feeling more confident for the second batch, I made “Rocky Road” inspired chocolates.
Homemade chocolate: Tempering chocolate
There are several good articles on making chocolates at home on the net, I didn’t follow a specific one so this is my own way of doing it. I’m sure there will be people better qualified to tell you how to make chocolates, but this worked well for me. You will need to begin by tempering chocolate, this is so that your finished chocolates have a silky sheen to them. If you don’t temper the chocolate, you run the risk of it ending up with white streaks running through it and then they don’t look as good.
How to make chocolates
Ingredients for 12 – 16 chocolates
200g dark chocolate – between 50% & 70% cocoa
100g plain chocolate
For 12 Rocky Road Chocolates
1 digestive biscuit
4 mini marshmallows
silicon mould – an ice cube tray works
Glass mixing bowl
Homemade Chocolate recipe
Add your sprinkles, shaved chocolates or heart decorations to the silicon molds and be ready to go.
1. You need a mixing bowl which fits snuggly over the saucepan. Half fill the pan with water and add 100g of the dark chocolate and 50g of the plain. Stir as it melts and once it reaches 46c/ 115f remove from the heat.
2. Cool the chocolate back down to 27c/ 80f and add a square of the plain (already tempered) chocolate to encourage this batch to temper. Keep stirring to run this through the chocolate.
3. Reheat the chocolate, stirring continuously until you have a silky bowl of mixed chocolate. Decant into a jug and then pour into the moulds. Pop straight into the fridge and leave for about 15 minutes.
Individual Rocky Road Chocolates
Chop the mini-marshmallows into small pieces which fit the moulds you are using. Break the biscuit into little bits and add these and the marshmallow pieces to the moulds. Follow steps 1-3 as before for the chocolate.
Finish by presenting them in a jam jar with a ribbon tied around it.
Recipe, text and photos By Russell Bowes