Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Candy Making: Chocolate from Scratch Using Candy Molds

With all our kids' allergies, we can't eat the chocolate from the stores. Our options are to spend upwards of $5 for a candy bar, live without chocolate for Christmas, or make some ourselves. Last year we splurged on the disappointing and expensive candy bars. This year I am attempting to make chocolate candy. The recipe I arrived at after much experimentation is as follows:

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
4 TBS corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
sprinkle of cinnamon
dusting of powdered sugar

I simply heated the coconut oil to the melting point for about 30 seconds in the microwave and then added in all the other ingredients except the powdered sugar. I stirred the mixture until it thickened and poured it into candy molds (available at hobby and craft stores). I then froze the molds for 20 minutes in an attempt to harden the chocolate.

The resulting candy was a bit bitter, so I rolled them in powdered sugar. That made them nice and tasty. They are a dark chocolate, so you have to be prepared for a strong chocolate taste. Their texture is on the soft side, sort of like a truffle. They are good enough to outshine the expensive disappointments from last year. They are going in to this year's stockings Christmas Eve.

As you can see we're individually wrapping them in strips of foil.

Individually wrapped homemade chocolate ready for the stockings!

After all the chocolate I ingested today, I highly recommend fooling around with chocolate recipes. If you can improve upon mine, I'd really be interested in hearing from you.

Meanwhile, this is the next recipe I am going to work with. It's from  over at Love to Know Gourmet.

How to Make Chocolate from Scratch

Learning how to make chocolate is an art unto itself. Gather your basic supplies and learn how to make chocolate from scratch with these simple, step-by-step instructions. Whether you decide to make truffles or chocolate molded candies, candy making is a fun pastime.

Recipe for Homemade Chocolate

Whether it's a chocolate bar or a fancy filled chocolate, the base of chocolate candy is made from cocoa powder or cocoa beans, cocoa butter, butter, and sugar. Some recipes also recommend using blocks of unsweetened baking chocolate.

Traditional Gourmet Recipe

The gourmet recipe to make milk chocolate requires some unusual ingredients. You may not be able to find these at the local supermarket, but most online and gourmet retail shops carry them. Chocolate Alchemy sells cocoa beans, roasting equipment, and other equipment needed to make pure chocolate from scratch. In general, to make chocolate from raw beans, you need to select the beans, roast them, grind them, cook them with sugar and butter, then process them for many hours before pouring, molding, and melting them again to temper the chocolate. This process can take several days, and requires special equipment to grind the nibs.

Basic Gourmet Recipe

Since most people don't have several days to devote to chocolate making, the following basic gourmet recipe shaves off several days by starting with cocoa powder. Cocoa powder substitutes for roasting, grinding, and processing raw cocoa beans.

When purchasing ingredients for this recipe, make sure you buy the very best cocoa powder you can afford. The better quality cocoa powder will yield a richer, more satisfying chocolate taste.
  • 2 cups cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup water

  • Heavy saucepan
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Chocolate molds
  1. Heat the water in a medium-sized saucepan until simmering.
  2. Cream the cocoa powder and butter together into a paste.
  3. Add the cocoa mixture to the hot water. Bring it back to simmering, and then remove from heat and transfer the cocoa mixture to a bowl.
  4. Sift the two sugars and salt together in a separate bowl to eliminate any lumps.
  5. Add the sugar to the cocoa mixture and stir well to combine.
  6. Add the milk slowly and stir.
  7. Pour the chocolate mixture in thin layers into molds and freeze or refrigerate until firm.
The recipe doesn't produce tempered chocolate, it is a more firm truffle consistency. You can make it harder by substituting softened cocoa butter for dairy butter - that will give it a raw chocolate consistency (firmer than truffles, but softer than a candy bar).

The thinner you pour it, the harder it will become as well; thick chocolate molds will produce a fudgier consistency.

Be sure to click on the llink for variations and more instructions on the recipes.

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