Most of us love chocolate. And you’ve probably got a chocolate cake or two under your belt. But you also know that chocolate has no limits to its beauty and complexity. Even people with years of experience in chocolate know that there is so much left to explore, with new innovations and recipes being pioneered all the time. If you know about the universe of chocolate, it can be a little intimidating to try to make great chocolate at home. But don’t be afraid! With a little learning and practice, you can do amazing things. Here are a few details to pay attention to.
- Tempering. Tempering is, of course, the heating and cooling of chocolate so that the cocoa butter makes a fine crystalline structure. This makes the chocolate shiny and “Snappy”. Pure chocolate (or professionally made chocolate like you’d get from Dylan’s Candy Bar) is already “in temper”, and when you melt it you take it out of temper. It can be tricky to get great results this way. Thus, tempering is one of the most intimidating aspects of home chocolate making. But never fear. It’s worth the effort, and with so many tutorials available, you should be able to nail it eventually. But a little extra chocolate to mess up with, and don’t skimp on the tools, particularly those dealing with temperature regulation.
- Have Fun With Confectionary Coating. Mixed with sweets and oils, this coating isn’t like pure chocolate. It’s much easier to work with, and can add fun and attractive details to your amazing home chocolates. It can also be used to cover work that isn’t world class, so to speak, or a great way for kids to throw in their own colorful and creative additions to a family chocolate fun day.
- Choose Good Chocolate. If you want to learn the real mastery of chocolate, you’ve got to spend the money for pure chocolate. This is best in its unsweetened and unembellished form, as this minimally processed product can be used for many different end results. It will also gives you the “chops” you need to work with chocolate, no matter the recipe you have in mind. You may not find this among the chocolate chips in your regular grocery aisle, but it can be had online, specialty stores, or well stocked mega marts.
Making great chocolate at home is all about preparation. It’s not a project to throw together when you only have a couple of hours to spare. Take half a day when you’re calm and relaxed. Research good tools that you need for success. Buy your raw ingredients with care. Finally, select a project that you understand well, and which seems to be within your skill set. In the end, you will have created something decadent, perfect for a gift, a snack, or snarfing all to yourself at home. If you choose the last option, we won’t share your secret. What’s more, you’ll have the experience to make another perfect batch – one which you might be willing to share.