Easter is only a few weeks away and it’s not too early to begin thinking about what treats I’m going to offer some lucky few this year! When I think Easter, the first thing that comes to my mind is chocolate… Who doesn’t like chocolate? Oh yeah, my best friend Sandra. But except for her, really, who doesn’t like chocolate? But is chocolate any original? Nevermind originality, it is always a much appreciated treat! This year, I decided to mold my own Easter chocolates… What about a nice chocolate egg or bunny that’s been hand-crafted by no one other than me? I’m sure my mom will be delighted. And my dad. And my nephew. Ok, maybe he won’t care. Anyways, that would also make for a super fun afternoon for me!
Chocolate molding involves no recipe. All you need is chocolate (either dark, milk or white, but chocolat de couverture would work best), a bain-marie, a thermometer and molds! It looks very easy at first sight, and it sort of is, except that in order to get a nice shiny chocolate that won’t turn whitish afterwards, you need to temper the chocolate the right way. It can be tricky, so let me explain how it should be done.
Using a double-boiler [warning: the water should be simmering, not boiling; make sure NO drop of water falls in the chocolate or it will ruin it], melt half the quantity of your chopped chocolate until it reaches 45 °C (113 °F). Then, take the upper bowl off the double-boiler and add the rest of the chopped chocolate. While melting, this addition will make the temperature of the melted mixture to drop. It has to reach 27 °C (81 °F). Once it has reached that point, put the bowl back on top of the double-boiler until it reaches 31 °C (88 °F). You now have tempered chocolate that’s ready to be worked with!
When your chocolate is tempered, it is ready to be poured in the mold. Once your have covered all the sides, gently tap the mold on your counter to make sure there are no air bubbles. Then, flip the mold over the bowl of tempered chocolate and let drip the excess. Let the chocolate set, and check if the coating is thick enough. If not, add a second layer. When the chocolate is hard, unmold by simply turning the mold over, and gently pushing to extract the chocolate. And ta-dah! You have a masterpiece! If you mold is double-sided, just add some chocolate on the edgesyou’re your unmolded chocolate and stick the two pieces together, trying to seal the seam.
Be warned though that working with chocolate can be very messy. By the end of the day, my kitchen counter was covered in chocolate, as was my cleaning cloth, my shirt… and my face! (oops!) Also, beforehand, it’s important to set a security perimeter around the kitchen. Just in case. I didn’t and my significant other kept stealing spoonfuls of tempered chocolate while I wasn’t looking.