If you are looking to make something homemade for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day, you might want to consider making your own chocolates. They are super easy and a bit more budget-friendly than many store-bought ones. Another plus, you don’t have to guess what filling is inside!! You can customize them to your own favourites.
There are a few tools and rules that will help make your chocolate experience a good one. The first tool you need is a mold. These come in countless shapes, sizes, and styles. Along with my basic character shapes, I have some that make hollow bunnies for Easter, chocolate spoons for stirring coffee and the ever-popular lollipops. For this project, I chose to use some basic shapes that are nice and deep for fillings. The next thing you need is the chocolate. There are a variety of brands that sell chocolate pieces, and they come in milk chocolate, dark chocolate and coloured vanilla. I had some dark chocolate pieces leftover from some fondue, so that’s what I went with this time. Next, if you are going to use fillings, you have to decide what you want to use. In our house, we like nuts, strawberry and caramel. I have also used coconut, different types of nuts and raspberry preserves before, and they all work and taste great!Some rules to remember are that chocolate hates water, so make sure that all of your tools are dry, and chocolate melts from the inside out, so when you are melting it, be sure to stir it well.
Once you have your tools ready, simply microwave a handful of pieces in a small bowl until melted. Some melt theirs on 50% power, but I like to use 100% power and I check it and stir it every 5-10 seconds. Once they are melted and nice and smooth, you can fill your mold. If you are doing filled chocolates, you will want to coat the bottoms and sides of each shape and then chill it before filling (this also goes for multi-coloured chocolates-chill between colors). If you are doing solid chocolates, fill them right to the top with chocolate. Give the mold a tap on the counter to get any air bubbles out and chill in the refrigerator until they are solid. If you are doing filled chocolates, once the sides and bottoms are coated and chilled, you can add your filling and top off with more chocolate. Once they are completely hard (one trick is to look at the bottom of the mold and when you see they are pulling away a bit, they are done), pop the chocolates out. If you have any edges to clean up on the sides of the candies, use a paring knife or smooth over with your finger.
The possibilities are endless with chocolate. You can box them up and give them to your sweetheart, decorate a cake with them, or save them for yourself!
Sharon is a New England girl who never imagined that she’d find herself living in Canada. She has a wonderful husband and together they created a Diva Monster. Follow her on her crazy journeys at Nanas Button Jar!!