How to make chocolates

I love chocolates.

Some days, I eat them for breakfast. Seriously.

Everyone who knows me knows that I’m hardly ever without a piece of chocolate. But, I’ve never made my own. Well, unless you count chocolate cakes, cupcakes, brownies, and the like, that is.

And no, I’m afraid I’m not talking about making chocolates from cocoa powder or anything like that. Just melting and mixing up chocolate buttons and pieces to make another kind of chocolate.

Inspired by a visit to an art shop where I found a “Making chocolate” booklet with a variety of chocolate moulds, buttons, and colours… I experimented with chocolate-making for the first time.

Since I was meant to make some kind of “bush tucker” to welcome my boys home from a survival camp in the bush, I decided to put together an Australian bush-inspired chocolate spread – with Aussie animals and such. My favourite part was actually making the chocolate leaves using real rose leaves as moulds for the chocolate.

It was all fiddly – but fun! Though I probably won’t be rushing to do another batch soon because it can be a bit of work, it has really inspired me to be more creative with some of my future dessert baking. I’m imagining a chocolate cake trimmed with some fancy homemade chocolate decorations one day.

In any case, if some of you would like to give it a go, it’s not really too tough. As I said, just fiddly!

General steps basically just include (using the double boiler method, which is currently my preferred method; you can also melt small amounts of chocolate in the microwave; others suggest a slow cooker):

1. Boil water in a saucepan.

2. Put heat-resistant bowl in the saucepan. Make sure the bowl is clean and dry. And don’t allow water or steam to get in to the bowl while melting chocolate.

3. Put chocolate buttons or pieces of cooking chocolate in the bowl to melt. You can do milk, white, dark, or a mix. Stir regularly to avoid burning.

4. If you want to add nuts or dried fruit, mix it in once the chocolate is melted.

5. Pour chocolate mixture in the mould. Tap gently to let out air bubbles. Cover with plastic wrap, if desired. Then, put in the fridge to set. Chocolate should set within 10 minutes.

6. Once the chocolate is set, you can add trimmings using additional melted chocolate.

7. Enjoy! :)

Other tips:

- You can colour white chocolate with coloured powder also available in art shops or grocery stores.

- Recipes to make truffle chocolates and other chocolate mix are available on the web or recipe books. Will try to share them when I find some good ones that I get to try.

Hope you enjoy your chocolate making adventures!

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