I took another class at Blake’s Decorette Shop. This one was on making Chocolate Boxes and Truffles. I think a more apt name would be Using Tempered Chocolate. We used the tempered chocolate in two ways; first to mold chocolate boxes and cups, and to mold the shells for truffles, and then second to dip truffles to coat them with a hard chocolate shell.
To make the chocolate boxes, we used special molds that created the two pieces of the box. We also used a mold that created chocolate cups. The trick was to fill the mold with melted chocolate that was tempered, dump out the excess chocolate so only the sides of the mold are covered, and then let the chocolate set. We also learned to paint the mold with Disco Dust before filling it with chocolate; this leaves a color on the finished product.
We learned two ways to put a hard tempered chocolate coat on truffles; the first method was again using molds, and the second method was to dip the truffle centers in the melted chocolate.
So the real trick is to first get the chocolate into the tempered state, and then to hold its temperature at about 90 degrees so you can work with it. I know my previous experiences have always had problems because the chocolate cools and then can’t be used until it is remelted.
I have been thinking about how I can maintain a constant temperature for the melted chocolate. I had heard some people say that they put a heating pad under the bowl of chocolate. I decided to try my electric fry pan. Ninty degrees is low enough that I am not afraid of causing a fire, so I lined the fry pan with a hand towel to minimize hot spots directly over the fry pan’s heating element. Then, I filled a Corning bowl with water at 90 degrees, inserted an instant read thermometer and adjusted the fry pan temperature control to the point that the thermometer stayed constant at 90 degrees.
I think I have a solution. I hope to test it with real chocolate in September once my busy summer is somewhat past.