Makes 24-36, depending on the mould
Roughly 800g-1kg dark chocolate, chopped (or use buttons)
Flavours or fillings of your choice
You will need:
A large glass bowl
A palette knife
A chocolate mould, polished meticulously with a lint free cloth. It is important to do this well to ensure your chocolates have a great shine and come out of the tray easily.
A thermometer/temperature probe
To temper the chocolate…
- Heat 300g of the chocolate in a microwave set to medium for 30 seconds, then remove
and stir. Repeat the process as necessary until all the chocolate has melted.
- When you’ve reached the temperature of 56°C (for dark chocolate; heat to 48°C for milk or white), remove from the heat. Gradually add and stir in another 100g of chocolate buttons.
- Pay attention to the temperature, checking regularly; ideally, you want all of the buttons melted by the time the temperature gets to 32°C for dark chocolate (29°C for milk or white). If you need to add more to reach the desired temperature, that’s no problem; don’t let the temperature drop below 32°C as will start to set and be trickier to work with. You can warm it gently in the microwave for 15 seconds if needs be, to help maintain the ideal temperature.
To make the shells…
- Flood the mould with the molten chocolate, taking care to cover every bit of the mould. Give the mould a firm tap on the countertop to help release any air bubbles.
- Pour out the excess chocolate back into the bowl, shaking the mould vigorously upside down to remove as much excess as possible, leaving a thin layer of chocolate in the mould.
- Using a palette knife, scrape the chocolate from the top of the mould. Place the mould upside down on a wire rack to allow any excess to drip away.
- Set aside the tempered chocolate to use again when it is time to cap the chocolates. If it sets during that time, simply repeat the steps of melting and adding cold chocolate to lower the temperature.
To make a ganache filling…
- Place the cream in a saucepan and add the flavour of your choice (orange zest, pinch of sea salt, chilli flakes, mint leaves, instant coffee, alcohol to name just a few options). Heat over a medium-high heat until just about to reach boiling point.
- Remove from the heat and pour the cream over 270g broken dark chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted into the cream. Set aside and allow to cool. Spoon the cooled mixture into a piping bag and use to fill the chocolate shells.
To fill the chocolates…
- To fill the shells, pipe a small amount of filling into each one. Be careful not to over-fill, but rather leave 2-3mm of space from the top of the filling to the top of each shell. Once all cases are filled, flood the tray with more tempered chocolate and tap gently to encourage the chocolate to settle evenly into each mould. Scrape the top of the mould clean again with a palette knife and allow to cool fully for at least six hours or preferably overnight.
- Turn the mould upside down on parchment paper, then tap sharply off the counter; the
chocolates should fall out gently. Move any loose chocolates and give the mould an extra
tap if some remain stuck.
- Package up nicely as a gift for family and friends or just even enjoy the fruits of your labour yourself with a cup of coffee.