From time to time, I like to get my hands dirty in the kitchen and have a go at making my own filled chocolates. I’m no chocolatier and I’ve no desire to be one (it’s an awful lot of work and requires a great deal of skill!), but it’s fun to play around in the kitchen and it does help give me a small insight into the challenges small scale chocolatiers face.
Moulding is one of the big issues and decent chocolate moulds are quite expensive. There are options for the home chocolatier though, and when Lékué offered to send me some silicon moulds to play with I jumped at the chance.
They also sent me a few other items, including this collapsable silicon chocolate bowl for melting chocolate – either in a double boiler or in the microwave. So as part of my latest experiment, I thought I’d give them a go.
Around the same time I was sent the Lékué products, I happened to be visiting the warehouse of HB Ingredients in East Sussex when I saw something on the shelves that caught my eye. Callebaut’s Mycryo is a product I heard about a while ago that intrigued me. Mycryo is simply cocoa butter in powdered form and it bills itself as an alternative form of fat for frying – one that doesn’t impart flavour into the food like oil or butter does.
But what’s interesting about Mycryo for me is that the powder is actually pre-crystalised, or tempered. That means that you can use it to temper your chocolate, simply by stirring it in. This page has step by step instructions, but the process is incredibly simple. In my experiments, it proved to be by far the easiest way to temper small amounts of chocolate that I’ve come across.
So with my chocolate melting bowl, moulds and Mycryo, I decided to get to work in the kitchen. Thanks to Paul A Young, I also happened to have a jar of Rum Caramel hanging around, so I decided to use that as the filling for my chocolates.
I used Cacaosuyo’s fruity Peruvian bean-to-bar chocolate for the shells. I melted & tempered around half the chocolate using the chocolate bowl in a bain marie, allowing it to cool to 34C before stirring in a spoonful of Mycryo. Being a fine powder, the Mycro melts quickly and leaves the chocolate smooth, glossy and easy to work with.
With the aid of a plastic spoon (metal conducts heat and can cool the chocolate too quickly), I filled the moulds, spreading the chocolate around the insides and tapping to get rid of any air bubbles. After filling each of the moulds, I went back and thickened up any areas where the red of the silicon was showing through. A chocolate maker with plenty of chocolate to work with would simply fill the moulds right up, then tip the excess chocolate out, but I found the spoon method to work well when you only have a small quantity.
After setting in the fridge for 20 minutes, I warmed the caramel in the microwave for 10 seconds to make it flow a little more easily, then spooned it into each chocolate mould. I left enough of a gap at the top to seal with chocolate later, then returned the chocolate to the fridge for the caramel to cool back down.
Finally, I melted and tempered the remaining half of the chocolate and spooned it on top of the caramel.. tapping the mould gently to encourage flat bottoms and to eliminate any air bubbles.
Once set, I simply pressed the chocolates out of the mould and voila! Delicious dark chocolate rum caramels with a lovely glossy finish.
Win A Set Of Lekue Chocolate Moulds
Inspired to make your own chocolates? Head on over to our Facebook Page for your chance to win a set of chocolate making moulds and a chocolate bowl from Lékué.
To enter, all you need do is Like Chocablog and leave a comment on this photo telling us what combination of flavours you would use in your own chocolates if you win.
This competition is open to UK residents only, one entry per household. Entries close at midday on Friday 5th September.