December 9, 2023

It’s easy to make homemade chocolate bars. These chocolate bar recipes allow you to make candy bars with ingredients you love, such as nuts, toffee, caramel, dried fruit, cookie bits, and more.

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It’s just as simple to make handmade chocolate bars as it is to make chocolate bars. You pour the melted chocolate into a chocolate mold instead of spreading it on a baking sheet.

Molds can be made from fancy silicone, polycarbonate, plastic molds, or simple like a plastic container or loaf pan.

Making your candy bars allows you to customize them. Chocolate bars are delicious, but adding toffee, salted and roasted almonds, or dried cherries will make them even more tasty.

Compound Chocolate

Compound chocolate (Confectionery Coating or Candy Melts), Almond Bark, or Melting Wafers contains vegetable oils. These chocolates do not contain cocoa butter.

This is sometimes called fake chocolate.

This chocolate melts quickly and produces shiny candy bars with a snap.

The wafers can be melted in the microwave or by using a double-boiler.

It has a good chocolate flavor but not as good as pure cacao butter. My chocolate treats, including the Candy Cane Chocolate Cups, are made with white compounds.

Compound chocolate is available in many brands, including Wilton Candy Melts; Ghirardelli Melting Wafers; Merckens confectionery coating, and Great Value Almond Bark.

Pure chocolate is best for making chocolate bars but must be tempered. It is impossible to melt the chocolate and hope for the best results. This will not work.

Why is it necessary to temper pure chocolate

Cocoa butter is made up of crystals that are stable at specific temperatures. You can temper chocolate by heating it slowly to ensure it does not go out of temper or by heating it until all of the crystals have broken apart.

The chocolate bars, chips, or calls you buy in the store have already been tempered. However, once they are melted, you must temper them again.

The chocolate shrinks a little as it cools and then hardens. This makes it easy to remove the chocolate from the molds.

You can remove the chocolate from the mold if you temper it properly. It will not harden and will not retract properly.

Untempered chocolate can also develop a bloom, which is a streaky or spotted appearance.

How to temper chocolate in the microwave

Grate or chop 16 ounces of chocolate finely and place it in a bowl that can be heated. This tempering method requires tiny, uniform pieces of dark chocolate.

Stir after every 10-15 second increment, and heat on high until melted. When you are close to melting the chocolate, reduce the power to 50%.

The chocolate must melt and remain within a tempering range.

88-91 degrees Fahrenheit for dark chocolate

86-88 degrees Fahrenheit for milk chocolate

White chocolate is 82-84° Fahrenheit.

You can use the following method to seed your chocolate if the temperature is above 110-120°C.

This method can be used with any chocolate bar purchased at the supermarket, but I suggest using either Callebaut Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bars or Peter’s Bourbon Chocolate Bars. Both are available in 10 or 11-pound large blocks.

How can you tell if your chocolate is temper?

Dip a metal spoon, spatula, or knife into the chocolate to test its temper.

Set it aside to room temperature and shake it to remove any excess chocolate.

The chocolate will harden in 3-5 minutes and become shiny.

You can also spread a small amount on parchment paper and let it air-dry for 3 to 5 minutes. The chocolate should easily peel off the parchment paper and break when broken.

Stir your chocolate bowl while you wait to ensure it does not cool off too much at the edges.

Check the temperature of the bowl of chocolate to see if your test chocolate is shiny and hardened before making your chocolate balls.

The chocolate has cooled a little and needs to be heated a bit!

Check the temperature after 5 seconds and remove it from the microwave. It should not exceed temper temperature (91deg for dark, 88deg for milk, or 84deg for white). You will have to repeat the whole process if it reaches that temperature.

Now you are ready to fill the molds with chocolate.

How to melt compound Chocolate (candy Melts)

Pour your candy meltings into a bowl that is microwave safe and heat it on high power for about 30 seconds. Remove and stir.

Repeat the process until all of the chocolate has melted.

Heat at high power in 15-second increments. Stir after each.

You can also melt the chocolate in a double boiler on low heat.

Fill the pot with 1 inch of water, and place a bowl that fits snugly over the opening.

Fill the bowl with chocolate, and melt it on low heat by stirring frequently.

You can also melt compound chocolates (almond bark, candy melts, etc.). Careful, you can melt the compound chocolate in your oven!

For 5 minutes, heat your oven at the lowest possible temperature.

Put a bowl of compound cocoa into the oven to melt.

The wafers will keep their shape when they melt. After about 30 minutes, remove the bowl and stir.

Reheat the oven if necessary.

Do not leave a chocolate bowl in an oven that is very hot or heating up. It could burn.

Visit my Chocolate Making Tips page for a detailed explanation of the different types of chocolate and their melting techniques.

Making candy bars with silicone molds

Silicone candy bar molds come in several fun designs, including a traditional break-apart candy bar design.

Pour your melted dark chocolate into a pastry bag, squeeze bottle, or other disposable containers, and then pipe it into the mold.

Tap the mold on the counter a few more times to let any trapped air bubbles rise to the top.

Use a toothpick to pop the air bubbles.

Tap the mold again a few times to smooth the chocolate surface.

Remove any chocolate from the edges of the mold.

You can chill your candy bar for 10 minutes to harden the chocolate.

You should always chill candy bars in the fridge using pure cocoa.

You can use compound (candy meltings) to cool the candy bars.

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