Valentines Day is the time for chocolate... and lots of it. Instead of buying your sweetheart, Galentine, or even yourself store bought candies this year consider making your own! Working with chocolate can be intimidating, but here are two easy and fun recipes for you to test out this year. Below is the ice cube chocolates to fill with jams, caramel, marshmallows...or really anything. Or check out the salted dark chocolate truffles.
Ice cube tray chocolates
Yields 24 1x1 inch chocolates
12 oz tempered semi sweet chocolate
½ cup of your favorite filling: ex caramel, fruit jam, etc.
*Luster dust (optional)
1) Pour melted tempered chocolate into a clean silicone ice cube tray. Get a nice thick coat on the bottom and sides of each mold (you may want to use a small clean pastry/decorating paintbrush). Place the tray into the freezer for 15 minutes.
2) Remove tray from the fridge and spoon in 1 teaspoon filling. Reheat tempered chocolate and cover top of filling to completely fill mold.
3) Clean excess chocolate off ice cube tray to make removal easier later.
4) Place try back into freezer for 30 more minutes.
5) Remove chocolates and carefully pop out of mold. Brush on or sprinkle with luster dust.
6) Take chocolates and place into container to create custom homemade chocolate gift boxes.
*Luster dust is a decorating powered used to decorate cakes and candy by adding a little sparkle or shine. It can be found in local specialty cooking or craft stores. Such as Michaels.
Some chocolate tips:
-make sure your kitchen isn’t too warm
-never let water touch your chocolate, it will seize
-tempered chocolate is different than melted chocolates, be sure to temper correctly to get that great gloss, texture, and snap
How to temper chocolate: In a medium saucepan over medium heat or using a double boiler, bring 1 inch of water to a gentle simmer. Place a metal bowl over top of pan if not using double boiler. Bowl should fit snuggly, but not touch water. Add finely chopped chocolate. Allow to sit untouched until about 2/3 of the chocolate has melted. Then stir with a rubber spatula slowly until all chocolate has melted. If you are using a cooking thermometer bring the temperature of the chocolate to 105° F. If you don’t have one, use the back of your spatula and bring a bit of chocolate to your lower lip. It should sting, but not burn. Remove the bowl from the pot and place on the counter. Stir until the temperature comes down to 82° F, without a thermometer, bring the rubber spatula to your lower lip again and it should be cooler than your lip, but not cold. Place back on the stovetop on top of your real or makeshift double boiler. Reheat to 85° F or for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and use immediately. You can test the chocolate by taking the rubber spatula covered in a layer of chocolate and swiping it on a piece of parchment paper. It should be smooth and glossy. You can reheat to 85° F if it starts to harden again. Tempered chocolate will harden as it cools so it needs to remain in the mid 80s.