Nothing says I love you like an effort made to create something special, unique and home made for your sweetheart. Don’t worry that your valentine chocolate creations won’t look as good as store bought, the thought really is what counts and, believe it or not, it isn’t as difficult as you may think to create beautifully presented chocolate candy pieces. Ready to give it a go!
To begin with you will need
Couverture or confectioners chocolate
You will also need:
Palette knife or metal spatula
Note: Couverture chocolate requires the cook to temper the chocolate. This chocolate tastes better but is harder to make
There are three options for melting the chocolate and each will have equally good results. The microwave is obviously the easiest but some may wish to infuse their chocolate with patient loving care over a slow cooker or double boiler. The perfect melted chocolate temperature will be warm on the wrist, not hot.
Microwave: place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and cook it on high power at 10-second intervals, stirring each time until the chocolate is just melted but not hot.
Slow cooker: set the cooker on low heat stirring occasionally and making sure the chocolate does not get hot. A slow cooker is great for melting chocolate and keeping it at just the right temperature.
Double boiler: For optimal temperature controls use this method. Set up the double boiler with a small amount of water but make sure the water does not touch the top of the pan or the chocolate. Melt the chocolate stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth, and then remove the pan from the heat.
Once the chocolate is melted and creamy, spoon it into clean, dry plastic squeeze bottles or a pouring jug. Set the bottles or jug in a pan of warm water to stay at just the right temperature and be sure to dry the bottles before using the chocolate.
Use the squeeze bottles or jug and carefully pour the chocolate slowly into the molds, leaving back about half a cup of soft chocolate kept in a squeeze bottle in the warm water.
Using the palette knife or spatula, scrape off any excess chocolate. When the top of the mold is smooth and even, gently tap the tray of chocolates on the countertop to pop any air bubbles.
To make the chocolate harden quickly, put it in the freezer for a few minutes or simply refrigerate the chocolate until firm. Use the squeeze bottle and remaining chocolate to slowly and carefully pattern the tops of the chocolate molds and return them to the fridge for a few more minutes.
Once the chocolate and chocolate trim is firm enough come out of the mold, invert the entire mold onto a clean towel and twist very gently to release the chocolates. A box and some ribbon and you have created the ultimate valentines chocolate gift.