My mixed media class came to a close so I decided to make a treat for all my artsy friends. It has been too damn hot to bake (and do not get me started on the air quality this summer due to forest fires) so I decided to take the plunge into chocolate making! Not just any chocolate but double strawberry MILK chocolate! Please note you will need molds and a candy thermometer for this recipe
Learning how to make chocolate is not only on my Foodie Bucket List, it is also an extremely important component to a book I am working on so this was the perfect first step. I have also been considering making custom-made chocolate bars for people so I got out my new chocolate bar mold!
You want to clean your mold with very hot water (dishwasher is best) the day before and then polish the molds with a clean tea towel. I used 2 tbsp of freeze dried strawberries, 5 drops of LorAnn‘s strawberry oil and 10 oz of milk chocolate.
Take 3 oz of the milk chocolate and chop finely.
Tempering The Milk Chocolate
I had done all sorts of research into tempering chocolate only to find out that doing so with milk chocolate requires different temperature ranges. Ugh!
These fast-melting milk chocolate pellets from Bulk Barn really do melt fast when in a wide stainless steel bowl over simmering hot water.
Once the chocolate reaches 118F remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir to incorporate and cool down to 82F.
Because it was so damn hot I could not get the chocolate to cool down any further so I added some milk chocolate chips. They are harder to melt but this approach did not work well. I recommend that you put the bowl over cool water if it will not cool down on its own.
Once cooled down you want to heat the chocolate again over the hot water to 84F. Well my chocolate went past that immediately so I took if off the heat ASAP.
Flavouring The Chocolate
Add the freeze dried strawberries and stir in the strawberry oil. Make sure you are using oil! Otherwise the chocolate could seize.
Quickly add chocolate to the molds using a ladle followed by a small offset spatula to distribute the chocolate.
Make sure to really tap the molds onto your surface to get rid of bubbles. Put in the fridge to set.
Clearly I need to be more assertive with my tapping! But the chocolates came out of the molds smooth and shiny with the proper snap tempered chocolate should have.
Beautiful!!! So exciting…
Put the chocolates in little truffle wrappers and onto a decorative plate.
People could not believe I actually MADE the chocolates and it was so wonderful to see people’s knees go weak when they tried them. Food is magic, there is no doubt about it. One friend said it was one of the best chocolates she had ever had. Be still my foodie heart.
Here is my first official chocolate bar right out of the mold!
OK, still kind of rough but I am learning. I gave it to a friend of mine who took me to look at… an apartment. Yes. Sigh. We have to move and I am not handling it well at all. Looks like I am going to have to make a bunch of these chocolates just for me to comfort my sad heart.
Perhaps these should be bittersweet strawberry chocolates? Next time…