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HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATES FROM A MOULD
Sounds so simple, but there are a few things you need to know about making chocolates from a chocolate mould.
Rule No. 1 ..... Never mix water and chocolate together they will just make the chocolate solidify and you won't be able to work with it. Make sure your mould is clean and dry with no water spots or chocolate residue in it otherwise your chocolate will not come out shiny.
Melting ChocolateBecause chocolate is so delicate to work with many cooks often find they have a problem melting it properly. Keep in mind that chocolate naturally melts just below body temperature, so applying direct heat, say on top of stove can be enough to scotch it. Instead utilize a double boiler and melt it slowly in a heatproof bowl or pot set above a pan of simmering water, being careful both to stir frequently and make sure none of the water below or the condensation from the steam created leaches into the chocolate
You can also use a microwave oven to melt chocolate with good results, just be sure you stop it frequently to stir it. Generally when the chocolate appears melted about two-thirds of the way through, remove it from the microwave oven and continue to stir it until smooth. The residual heat contained in the melted chocolate will work to help melt the rest.
Spoon the melted chocolate into the mould cavities, filling almost to the top of each cavity. If you have some difficult areas or intricate details, use a tooth pick to "guide" the chocolate into these small details.
Once you have filled all the mould cavities up with chocolate, tap the mould on the bench top to remove any air bubbles (note: you will see little tiny bubbles come up to the surface of your mould). Look underside of the mould, just to check that there are no "holes" created by air bubbles. If there still are keeping tapping gently, or use a toothpick to get the air out of the chocolate.
Once this is done, place the chocolate mould into the fridge until the chooclate looks "cloudy" underside (note: if there are "wet" spots - the chocolate is not ready) ,then take the chocolate out of the fridge, turn upside down onto the bench top and gently tap, so that your chocolates come out. The chocolate should come out very easily, but if it does not then you have not left your chocolate to set long enough.
If you decide to place your chocolate into the freezer to set quickly, make sure the chocolate is completely dry once taken out of the freezer, before wrapping or placing in cellophane bags. Sometimes the chocolate comes out and it "sweats" because of the temperature difference from extreme cold to room temperature.
With or Without Lollipop Sticks
Some chocolate moulds have cavities to place lollipop sticks into them. You may choose this option or have it as a "mint" chocolate without the stick. If you are placing a lollipop stick into the cavity, pour your chocolate into the mould cavities first, tap down to get the air bubbles out, then slide the lollipop stick into the cavity allocated and put the stick half way up the mould cavity. Twist the stick around a couple of times ensuring that the chocolate is completely covering the stick - as when the chocolate sets the stick will not come out of the mould.
Candy Writers or Chocolate Pens makes painting the details on your chocolates so much easier. Simply melt the candy writers by using one of the following methods. The tube should feel warm, not hot.
MICROWAVE - Place a candy writer tube in the microwave for a few seconds at a time, kneading between intervals. Note: the tubes are plastic and can be easily scorched.
SKILLET - Place a little water into the skillet, setting the temperture onto 2 or 3 setting. Place the tubes in a small ceramic bowl and stand the candy writers into the bow. Place the bowl in the water and let the candy writers melt slowly. This can take longer to melt than the microwave option, but once you have the candy writers melted they will stay that way until you no longer need them.
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