Hazelnut Filled Dark Chocolates 5


 

CHOCOLATE!!! YASSSSSS!

Ladies and Gents, it’s that time of year! Jul, Christmas, the Holidays, whatever you call it! It’s time for Hygge (coziness) – Warm fires, cozy socks, hot chocolates (or alcoholic beverages), dancing in the snow, spending time with family and friends, baking and the best part – GIVING. (or if you’re like me, shoving delicious food into your face hole) 

These pretty little snowflakes are the perfect homemade gift to give to loved ones and colleagues. There is a risk, though, that they may not believe YOU made them – because they’re so perfect. Prepare yourself to be amazed at how amazing YOU truly are in the kitchen.

The trick is to ensure you’ve tempered your chocolate properly, but I’ll walk you through how EASY it is.

Trust me, If >> I << can pull this off, anyone and a monkey can!

We will use what is called the “Seeding Method”.  There are a lot of steps and things to remember so it may seem daunting and overwhelming at first; but honestly, after this recipe, you’ll be a class A chocolatier. Or there’ll just be chocolate strewn about your kitchen and body – either one works for me!


NOTE: The shells can be made a few days prior to filling, simply set them aside in a cool dry place. Do not remove them from the moulds, though!

SCHOOL SAFETY TIP: These can be made 100% nut free if required, simply use a nut-free filling such as a coconut-caramel sauce and ensure the chocolate you purchase is nut-free. Easy peasy and school safe 🙂

*TRICK: If you have a digital thermometer, USE IT! It helps a ton. But if you’re like me and you’re too lazy to find yours, just use a regular ol’ meat thermometer. It honestly works. No, it’s not the professional way, but we don’t give a hoot, do we?

ADDITIONS: You can literally fill these puppies with anything you desire! As long as it is room-temperature, shelf-stable and does not require refrigeration. You can also make these with Milk Chocolate! Your melting and tempering ranges will change for that though, so give the Google Machine a good looking through first 🙂


Prep Time: 10 mins |Cook Time: 30-45 mins |Cool Time: 1 hr | Total Time: 2 hrs

 

What You Need:

  • 5 oz Dark Baking Chocolate, cut up, putting aside 1 oz (I used this brand)
  • 1 Saucepan with 1-2 inches of water in the bottom
  • 1 glass mixing bowl
  • Nutella or Organic “Nutella” alternative
  • 1 Piping Bag with a medium sized tip – I used Wilton #7
  • 1 Silicone Candy Mould (You can also use the professional polycarbonate moulds, these are much easier to work with and make the chocolates come out extra shiny)
  • Edible luster dust, not required but it gives them that “I actually put effort into this” look
  • Parchment paper, lots and lots of parchment paper…
  • Optional: A glass or 5 of your favorite wine with your custom Holiday music playlist on standby – Don’t look at me like that, we’ve all got one.

 

REMEMBER THE S RULE: Tempered chocolate is STABLE in room temperature, SHINY when cooled, and SNAPS when bitten or broken. Once you’re chocolate has reached 32C, you can smooth out a flat “test” peice onto a small piece of parchment and set aside until set, before proceeding. If it is not tempered, you know you need to simply reheat your chocolate and try again.

 

What To Do:

  1. READ STEPS #2 – #26 BEFORE YOU START! It’s just easier when you’re fully prepared 🙂
  2. Chop up your dark chocolate into bite-sized pieces – the more evenly you chop the easier the melting process.
    • You can also purchase proper “couverture” chocolate wafers online for this purpose – honestly? either will do.
  3. Prepare your moulds. Ensure they are clean and 100% dry, no wet spots allowed! If you are adding luster dust, simply sprinkle it into the moulds or dry “paint” with a clean art brush.
  4. Prepare all surfaces you are going to use with parchment paper – you’ll thank me later 🙂
  5. Place 4 oz of the chopped chocolate into the glass bowl, place atop the saucepan (you’ve just made a double boiler! HURRAY)
  6. Turn the heat to the lowest setting you have. This takes time, so grab a glass of wine and enjoy the process.
  7. Stir and move the chocolate around gently and constantly with a silicone spatula, until it has become liquid chocolate gold.
  8. Now, here is where you take your thermometer and measure the temperature of the chocolate. For dark chocolate, we are looking for a melting point of 55C. If it is not quite there yet, keep checking in 5-minute increments –  you don’t want to burn or over-heat your chocolate! Remember, keep it moving.
  9. If using a Digital Thermometer; simply point at the surface of the chocolate in a few spots to ensure you get a consistent reading.
  10. If using a regular ol’ Meat Thermometer; place the tip into the chocolate without touching the bowl and slowly, with your spatula, drag some of the chocolate up along the probe. Not all the way, just about half. Wait and watch the reading. Once the needle starts to slow, that is your current temperature.
  11. Once you have reached the melting point of 55C. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and grab your reserved 1 oz of unmelted chocolate.
  12. Place 1/4 of the reserved chocolate into the melted chocolate and stir quite vigorously with your spatula. When it has all melted, test the temperature again – we are looking for 32C.
  13. If the chocolate is too warm, repeat step #7 until it has reached 32C.
  14. The unmelted chocolate and the process of vigorously stirring helps to not only cool but also realign the cocoa crystals in the chocolate. This is what helps to create a room-temperature stable chocolate that does not melt in your hands.
  15. Once you’ve reached tempered temperature – 32C – pour the chocolate into the moulds. Filling them to the top. Scrape off all of the excess from the top of the mould. You can use the back of a long knife or your spatula for this. Pour the scraped chocolate back into the melting bowl.
  16. Keep an eye on your melted chocolate – if the temperature drops too low you can pop it back on top of the saucepan for a few minutes to bring it back up to 32C. Stirring it every once in a while helps to keep the temperature even all the way through.
  17. Tap the moulds onto the counter to remove any air bubbles. Let sit for about 2 minutes. The longer they sit, the thicker a shell you will create.
  18. Now, turn the moulds upside down over the melting bowl and tap all of the excess chocolate out. You should have chocolate lining the inside of your moulds now, yay!
    • You and your counters are full of chocolate as we speak, right? Hehehe :p
  19. Keeping the mould upside down, place onto a sheet of parchment to allow to fully set before filling. Ensure the room you are setting in is not HOT and HUMID. You want a cool dry place – do not refrigerate!!
  20. Keep an eye on your melted chocolate – if the temperature drops too low you can pop it back on top of the saucepan for a few minutes to bring it back up to 32C. Stirring it every once in a while helps to keep the temperature even all the way through.
  21. After anywhere from 10-20 minutes, your shells should be set. Now you can fill them!
  22. Load up your piping bag with your desired filling and pipe into your chocolate shells about 3/4 of the way. Keeping the edges clean.
  23. Pour the remainder of your melted chocolate into the moulds, on top of the filling,  ensuring you fill every hole to the very top.
  24. Tap the moulds down again to force air bubbles out – scrape off the extra chocolate as you did before.
  25. Set the moulds aside, in a cool dry place (NOT THE FRIDGE) to set up. This can take about an hour or more depending on size and room temperature. So have patience.
    • TIP – Any leftover melted chocolate can be spread out onto parchment and allowed to set. Once set, snap apart and store to be used again later. Save all the chocolate!
  26. You will know the chocolates are fully set when they have shrunken away from the inside of the moulds. They should come out very easily. If they are sticking inside still, allow them to set longer.

YOU DID IT! YOU MADE CHOCOLATE!!! You’re a professional and I am so proud of you. 😀 😀 😀

You can now place the finished chocolate into Christmas tins or even candy bags to give as gifts 🙂

Alternatively, you can just eat them all by yourself, I both approve of and highly recommend this option.

 

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