The Chocolate Box

The Chocolate Box
            When I was at home I rediscovered chocolate making. Many reasons, mostly a lack of funds for any real presents for people (plus let’s be honest people always tend to prefer homemade gifts for some reason). So for the final two weeks before uni I turned are kitchen into a pseudo-chocolate factory, completely monopolising one of the surfaces and the entire fridge. The brilliant thing about making chocolates is that once you’ve mastered the basics it is remarkably simple and easy, yet people seem to be incredibly impressed with what you produce, just invest in some good chocolate moulds and that is pretty much all you need.
Simple Ganache
2 parts dark chocolate to 1 part cream (e.g 100g chocolate, 50ml double cream). Heat the cream with an infusion of your choice (have sometimes ranged from earl grey to black pepper) then pour over the chocolate that has been chopped, leave for a minute, then stir to combine. You should be left with a smooth combination.
To fill a chocolate mould
Fill each mould up to the top with chocolate and flatten the tops with a palate knife, then turn upside down and tap the top (you can do this into a bowl if you have a wide enough bowl or if, like me, you don’t, just use a piece of greaseproof paper, the chocolate with set and you can reuse it). Then scrape the top again with a palate knife for a clean finish.
To finish
Fill the moulds with the ganache leaving a rim around the edge, leave to set. Spread a layer of chocolate over the top, scraping round the sides of each mould.
Few important details
       white chocolate ganache will always need more chocolate to cream ratio than dark or milk
       I like to use a freezer to set each stage because I’m inpatient
       If you want to use a liquid flavour (orange juice/alcohol etc) reduce the amount of cream and replace with the liquid (for juices reduce the liquid to a syrupy consistency but not for alcohol unless you want a boozefree hit)
       You can stir in crunch/ other textures into the ganache for new layers
       Praline/ peanut butter can be mixed with chocolate on its own to create a thicker ganache filling
       To put decoration on top the best way is to paint the bottom of the mould
       Caramel is another winner usually. Boil sugar and liquid glucose to amber colour with some salt, straight away add a dash of cream and a  knob of butter, then leave to cool a little before putting in the moulds.
– water is the enemy BUT if you do get some water in your chocolate, the best deal is to add fat, so oil or melted butter and hopefully your pro blame will be solved
Some of my biggest successes have either been simple (earl grey, salted caramel) or themed (biscuit box, Christmas inspired) or even just boozy, I also like using herbs and spices mixed with sweet flavours like raspberry/wasabi (using real raspberry pulp for intense flavour). This years selection seemed to go down rather well anyway. 

One thought on “The Chocolate Box

  1. Pingback: The Easter Chocolate Collection – The Italian Job | GulliferEats

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