Hello there you sweet-toothed people!
Of all types of chocolates, I have always had a leaning for dark chocolate, mainly soft-centred ones. No second guesses why. Combine it with loads of fruits and nuts and the resultant surprise could be the closest thing to heaven!
1. Armed with the specified quantity of INGREDIENTS and MATERIALS like dark chocolate compound, raisins, fresh cream, good Ole Monk of a Rum, piping bag, moulds, pastry scraper and spatula … you’re just about done!
2. GANACHE is what makes soft-centre chocolates irresistible. This is achieved in three simple steps.
- Heat fresh cream in a microwave oven which is, to a great degree, a preferred method over double boiling. Unless scrupulous, double boiling can be challenging to preclude steam from getting into the chocolate.
- Add chopped chocolate compound to the heated cream and stir till a silky finish. Mix in the rum and raisin soon after, and well.
- Leave to lie cool in the refrigerator.
PS: Note that ganache only works as a soft centre, it won’t set as chocolate as a whole (took me hours to figure that out the first time round!)
3. CHOCOLATE TEMPERING & PREPARATION
- Melt the chocolate as explained in Step 2, ensuring that the mixing bowl is completely dry as even so much as a drop of water could seize up the chocolate.
- Tempering is what will give the end product a glossy finish. Spread the chocolate on a flat slab using a pastry scraper and spatula. Continue the back and forth spreading movements until the chocolate cools, taking care to avoid creating air bubbles during the process.
- I repeat, tempering is what will give the chocolate its silky zest. A bit of a messy procedure this tempering, don’t lose your temper on this I might add.
- Line hollow shell-shaped moulds with tempered melted chocolate, wait 20 seconds before tapping out the excess chocolate. A piping bag will help with the lining bit.
- Let cool in the fridge for a few minutes, then bring it out again to line yet another coat of melted chocolate over the first. Repeat the earlier step, that is waiting yet another 20 seconds, tap out the excess chocolate. Then leave to set in the fridge again. Why do it twice you might ask. Well, the dual lining makes the shell coating all the thicker and firmer to hold in the ganache that follows in the next stage.
- Bring out the moulds from the fridge for the third time, this time spooning in tiny quantities of ganache in the centre of the shells. Cover the base of the ganache-filled shells with melted chocolate to lock in the ganache, then set in the fridge for the final time.
- When done, bring out the moulds from the fridge. Then gently tap the contents onto a table surface to remove the formed soft-centred chocolates!
- There is much scope for creativity in chocolate wrapping, try it with abandon!
PS: Morde is the brand of my choice for a nominally priced dark chocolate compound.