Craft: Make Your Own Chocolates

Easter has come and gone and once again I found myself, on Friday, wondering what on earth I was going to do for my daughter.  You see, my daughter is one of many children who can’t eat any dairy.  For her it’s an allergy so there are no magic pills to give her a day of chocolate bunnies bought from the store or chocolate Easter egg hunts with her friends.  Last year (the first year she really “did” Easter), we spent the fortune to get a dark chocolate bunny.  For some reason stores have decided that if you can’t buy the cheap generic stuff, you have to fork over more than you would for date night just so your kids can experience Easter with the rest of their friends.

This year, however, I hit Friday and just couldn’t bring myself to spend that money.  We normally wouldn’t care much about chocolate bunnies, but my stepson has thoroughly enjoyed his chocolate each year and it seems wrong to deny it to him just because his sister can’t partake.  Similarly, it’s wrong to have her miss out on chocolate just because of an allergy and have her watch her brother enjoy his.  What do you do?

So this year I discovered how to make my own chocolate moulds.  And it was awesome.  You can do this for any occasion and with any mould.  In our case we didn’t have a bunny mould, but my daughter’s always been more of a bug girl so we talked about making Easter bugs for her instead.  Of course, she’s so thrilled by it all that we’ll be buying more moulds and making more of our own chocolate for both kids in the future (my stepson now wants Easter Zombies for next year).  You can also start to mix chocolates, add soy/almond/rice cream to darker chocolate and just experiment with it.  Even if the moulds don’t come out as you like at the start, I’m sure you won’t have trouble finding people to eat the failed experiments :)

How to make your own chocolate pieces

1.  Buy chocolate that you want to use.  If, like us, you can’t do dairy, use dark chocolate, but anyone can do this and just use the milk chocolate you buy in the store.  In this sense you’re making amazing things on the cheap.

2.  Most of the places I found said you need a double boiler.  Nope.  I remember this from my mom who never bought kitchen stuff when she could make do with what she already had.  What you do need is a regular pot and then a bowl that can be heated up on top.  We have a metal bowl that serves this purpose.  So you fill the pot with water, put it on the burner on high, and put the other bowl on top.

3.  You’ll need to shave or break your chocolate into smaller pieces and place it in the top bowl to melt.  I used a bar that had little blocks and made sure they were broken into 1-2 block pieces and that was enough.  As the chocolate starts to melt you’ll need a whisk to stir it up and yes, you need to keep stirring as it melts.

4.  Once melted, you have to keep it on the heat until the chocolate reaches a temperature of 120°F.  Use a candy (or meat – well cleaned) thermometer for this and make sure you have the tip in the chocolate and not on the bowl that may be hotter.

5.  Once the chocolate reaches this temperature, it’s time to bring it down again, all the while whisking away.  Ideally you want to replace the boiling water with lukewarm water and keep whisking until the chocolate is down to 80°F; however, I was at this for over 30 minutes and was still only at 95°F so either be prepared for a long-haul of whisking or, like me, figure it’s good enough.

6.  Once cooled to this stage, you put the chocolate into whatever moulds you’re using.  These should not be greased or anything, just clean.  Pour or scoop the chocolate in.  If your mould isn’t metal (ours wasn’t), make sure you have a sturdy tray to put the moulds on.

7.  Place the chocolate in the freezer until it is hard, but not much longer.  For us, this was about 15 minutes, but we had rather thick moulds – for thinner ones I imagine it would be much shorter.  Take the chocolate out and tap out your chocolate out.  Here’s what ours looked like:

IMG_7766     IMG_7775

If they aren’t quite as solid as you’d like, you can put them into the fridge at this stage (they can spend a long time in the fridge).

8.  Decorate!  For us, we used icing because there isn’t a single thing my daughter doesn’t love icing on, but go ahead and use more chocolate, gels, icing, or just enjoy as is.

IMG_7783     IMG_7784

IMG_7785     IMG_7793



By Tracy Cassels

April 21, 2014