January 19th, 2021
Ever thought of looking up recipes online and whipping up a few batches of lip-smacking, homemade chocolates?
Perhaps, you were inspired by some of Melt’s gourmet chocolate range and would like to take your culinary skills up a notch?
We’ll admit – while making chocolates at home is incredibly satisfying, the process involved isn’t as easy as it seems. Chocolate is an intricate product to work with, meaning you’ll require some level of expertise to handle it and ensure that you get the taste, texture and shine just right.
That said, it doesn’t matter whether you’re making bonbons, hazelnut slabs or praline chocolates, there are some common issues that you need to avoid.
At Melt, our professional chocolatiers have put together 5 common chocolate mistakes that you need to steer clear of, as they could turn your amazing choco-creation into a choco-tastrophy!
Let’s take a look!
When it comes to making chocolates at home, it doesn’t matter whether you’re using velvety cocoa flavoured white chocolate or bittersweet flavoured dark chocolate. The secret to nailing the recipe is to ensure that the ingredients are of high quality.
What’s more, chocolate contains emulsifiers, sugar, cocoa solids and milk powder – all within a rich fat called cocoa butter.
It is therefore important for you to choose chocolates containing real cocoa butter (without any additives, of course), since this is what helps you get that melt-in-the-mouth feel; easily found in our selection of sweet treats.
“Melting chocolates isn’t a challenging task”, you might think. However, it takes only a few seconds to turn your pan of silky, smooth chocolate into a gritty, inedible mess.
The most common mistake here is to melt your chocolate too quickly. When you do that, you end up burning the cocoa particles which result in a sticky texture.
To keep your chocolate from burning, you could either melt it in a microwave (with a 15-second interval and frequent stirring) or use the bain-marie method (where you place your chocolate pieces in a heat-proof bowl which is then placed over a pot of hot water.)
Regardless of the method you use, make sure you stop heating your chocolate when it’s 80% melted. That way, you not only keep it from burning but also retain its silky texture.
For more tips on how to melt chocolates and get the right consistency, click here.
If you want to make homemade chocolates that are not only glossy but also have a satisfying snap and melt-in-your-mouth texture, then it’s essential to get the tempering process right.
This is the most crucial part as tempering helps you ensure that the cocoa butter crystallises at a predictable rate, producing evenly-sized crystals.
Another reason to get the temperature right during the tempering process is because it gives you evenly-coloured and snappable chocolate.
However, the real question here is – how do you figure out the right temperature?
Roughly, the melting point for white chocolate is 27-28℃, dark chocolate is 31-32℃ and milk chocolate is 30-31℃. All you need is a chocolate thermometer to read up on the temperature and prevent your chocolate from burning.
To learn more about temperatures and how to go about the tempering process, why not sign up for our virtual chocolate masterclass?
Do your homemade chocolate recipes involve the use of moulds?
If you answered yes, then ensure that they’re completely dry as moisture and chocolate do not go hand-in-hand!
Additionally, wet moulds can cause your melted chocolate to seize up, turning it into a dull, grainy mess. While it’s possible to fix this mistake by adding some warm water, the result may not be up to your standards.
The best way to avoid this mistake is to wipe your moulds using a clean cloth before you pour your chocolate mixture.
Once you’re done creating, all that’s left to do is wait for your chocolates to cool down. It would be tempting to put them in the freezer and speed up the final step, but for reasons explained below, you should resist.
Bear in mind, nothing is worse than reaching the final stage and falling at the last hurdle!
Put simply, putting your chocolates in the fridge or freezer to cool quickly will only hamper the tempering process, leaving you with a disappointing result. Instead, we highly recommend playing the waiting game and allowing the chocolates to cool down at room temperature.
Once cooled, you can either eat them yourself or do something more creative, such as making chocolate hampers for your loved ones.
Making chocolates at home is a labour of love (believe us, we know); although, it also requires a lot of your time.
If you find yourself short on time, then perhaps choosing from our range of luxury chocolate gift boxes can be the ideal way to treat your loved ones or have some indulgent me-time.
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