How to make chocolate
Nearly everyone in the world can appreciate the exquisiteness of fine chocolates. While the presentation is often part of the fun, it is the taste that sends the mouth into euphoria. However, unless you are equipped with a commercial kitchen, in which case you won’t need this article, you will find that making chocolate is a process that commands respect and appreciation and is not easily explained. What follows is not about how to make the chocolate itself, as procuring beans, roasting, hulling, grinding, and conching is a process of an entirely higher level, but rather this is how to make chocolate treats at home.
Finding just the right melting chocolates is a daunting task. Preference dictates all else, but it is best to have a variety of milk, light, and dark chocolates to taste test and experiment with. Chocolate can be melted and molded into nearly anything. Molds are available in endless shapes and sizes and are available at cake and candy supply stores, craft stores and some larger grocery retail chains.
To melt chocolate, you will need a double boiler. A double boiler consists of two pans, the bottom of which holds water and sits directly on the stove’s burner. The second pan sits down inside the first and avoids the direct heat while being heated with the water beneath it. Chocolate should be melted over medium-low heat and should be stirred often to avoid burning. White and light chocolate burn easier than dark chocolate, so pay close attention to your chocolate as it is melting. After melting the chocolate you can also dip many things to make chocolate covered treats, such as chocolate fortune cookies, strawberries, cherries and many more.
Transferring melted chocolate from the boiler pan to a mold is somewhat tedious and can be messy. The easiest way to fill small molds is to first funnel the melted chocolate into a squeeze bottle with a pointed tipped lid. This makes controlling the amount of chocolate going into the mold more precise and avoids the mess. Once the molds are all filled, gently tap the molds on a countertop or table top while keeping the mold pan level. This forces any air bubbles out of the chocolate mold before it cools. The chocolate is completely cooled when the back surfaces of the molds are smooth and slightly shiny.
Chocolate can also be melted directly in the plastic squeeze bottle dispenser in the microwave. However, it is very important to knead the bottle every fifteen seconds or so to avoid burning and ensure that it melts evenly. This is a more convenient way to melt enough chocolate for one mold, but if making several chocolate molds, a double boiler will keep a greater amount of chocolate melted and ready for use.