Over the weekend I tried my hand at making molded chocolates for the first time. I was dying to use my new chocolate tempering machine (more on that in another post), so when I found myself with a whole free Sunday and a sweet tooth, I decided to go for it.
Here’s what I learned:
- One pound of chocolate is NOT a lot to work with when making bonbons. I barely had enough chocolate for one mold sheet.
- It’s very challenging to get the chocolate out of the tempering machine and into a piping bag without letting the chocolate get too cold (and therefore thick and hard to work with). I’m still figuring out the best way to do this — suggestions are welcome.
- Make sure you have a good (wide) spatula or scraper on hand, as well as some kind of wide receptacle to catch the chocolate runoff (a clean sheet pan might be perfect for this). If you try to pour chocolate from your mold tray into a 12″ mixing bowl, you’ll leave half of it on the floor (um, yes, that happened).
- Put down some newspaper! Or a tarp! And wear an apron, for the love of god. Or a hazmat suit. You will get dirty.
- Work fast so your chocolate stays close to 90 degrees. If you let the chocolate cool too much, you’ll end up with very thick chocolate shells and less room for ganache.
- Clear plastic molds (rather than opaque silicon trays) have the advantage of allowing you to see when the chocolates are ready to come out of the fridge. To check them, take a peak at the bottom of the mold. When the chocolate has hardened, it will visibly pull away from the plastic (this is one of the many useful things I learned while helping out at Undone Chocolate).
- Don’t be like me and forget to tap the air bubbles out of the molds (whoops).
- Don’t be like me and wait too long to scrape the excess chocolate off the top of the mold tray. If you let it harden on the tray, it will be a lot harder to remove the chocolates. Trust me on this one.
Instructions for making molded chocolates:
- Fill a piping bag (or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off) with tempered chocolate and pipe it into the molds (fill them completely). Then flip the mold tray upside down, letting the excess chocolate drip into a large, clean bin or tray (you can remelt it later).
- Scrape the front of the tray clean with a spatula, leaving a thin coating of chocolate inside each mold. Tap the tray (right-side up) on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles. Flip it upside down and stick it in the fridge for a few minutes to set.
- Once the chocolate shell has hardened, pipe ganache into the molds. Leave a few millimeters at the top — it’s better to under fill than overfill.
- Seal the molds with a thin layer of chocolate (you may need to gently reheat your chocolate at this point, or temper a new batch if you’ve run out).
- Repeat step 2.
- Gently flip your tray upside down onto a dry surface. The chocolates should drop right out. Wearing latex gloves for this step will prevent finger prints (if you care). If necessary, trim the edges with a sharp knife.
- Try one! Or, um… four, if you’re like me. But who’s counting.
Anyway — I hope you have a great time making your own chocolates. Please let me know how it goes!