I didn’t plan to make my own chocolates today, in fact, it’s not something that was even on my list. It’s not like you can’t get a hold of filled chocolates at this time of year either, but the idea came to me when I was trying to think of something to avoid doing an exercise new thing – no surprise really, I’m somewhat of a pro at swapping exercise for chocolate. I had picked up some silicone Christmas moulds to try out some new shapes for the fudge I make every year, and decided to try the chocolates out in that.
I used this recipe for caramel chocolate as a base to go off. I didn’t have any ingredients for a caramel sauce so I decided to make simple salted chocolate ganache for the filling, good job I always have a large stock of chocolate around! I also used this recipe to follow the guidelines for tempering chocolate. Tempering is a process that changes the way the chocolate crystallises and results in a smoother, more stable chocolate, that won’t melt in your hands. I was aware of the term but never tried it before so I found this quite interesting, it’s only later I realised that it missed a step out – the reheating of the chocolate. This is likely why my chocolates looked good but didn’t have the smooth or shiny finish of normal chocolate. If you’re interested in tempering, I suggest using this basic guide as a starting point, something I wish I’d done first!
I have to say though, they didn’t turn out half bad. They were ready a lot quicker than I anticipated and were a nice chunky bite of decadent dark chocolate. The contrast in the hard outside and the soft inside is what’s been keeping chocolatiers in business for hundreds of years, and I can totally understand why – it really tasted heavenly. I loved that by following the basic recipe I had the freedom to play around with the fillings however much I wanted, and I really think this is something that I’ll return to next year. It was fun, quick, and most importantly, bloody delicious – who needs exercise when you can just make chocolate!