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July 15, 2012

A messy good time with chocolate

Chocolate work is the one thing I miss since I graduated from the culinary school.  Although I dreaded handling the chocolate during the first few months, I became more passionate about it towards the end of my pastry arts course. For months after graduation, I was "deprived" of chocolate work. I became thrilled eventually  knowing that I got the liberty to make my own menu and recipes at work.

For the past year and a  half, I focused  on cakes, tarts and cupcakes. This time, I began to concentrate  a bit on chocolate work for a change. Just recently I made Chocolate Bonbons. They were not as grandiose as the ones sold at bigger shops or hotels but they were not too bad for an amateur chocolatier like me.

Bear in mind that  handling chocolate needs care and attention. Do not allow chocolate to come in contact with water, moisture or steam  as they will cause the chocolate to "seize" or turn hard and grainy.Why does chocolate seize? Because of its components, fat (from cocoa butter), cocoa and sugar. Once the cocoa and sugar come into contact with water, they become moist and begin to stick together, forming a grainy mass of chocolate

For this recipe, I used:
500 g couverture chocolate
stainless steel bowl
saucepan with water for melting
spatula for stirring chocolate
metal spatula for tempering
chocolate mold
filling ( I used orange filling, raisins and cashew nuts)

1. I cut the chocolate into chunks.  I melted it at 48 Deg C in a stainless steel bowl set over simmering water.
2. I poured  2/3 of the melted chocolate on my work surface.

3. With a metal spatula, I spread the melted chocolate thin, scraped it back into a pile, then spreading it thin, redoing the process until the melted chocolate cool  down to 27 Deg C and reached the right consistency.

4.. Once it has cooled down, I put the cooled melted chocolate back to the bowl.  I stirred it  with the warm melted chocolate and checked the temperature to see if the chocolate had reached the proper temperature at 32 deg C.

Note: if the chocolate drops below the right temperature (32 deg C), rewarm it to bring it back up.

5.  I filled the cavities of chocolate mold with tempered chocolate. I let it stand for a few seconds.

6. I inverted the mold over the bowl to allow the excess to run off.

7. With a metal spatula I scraped over the top to  clean off any excess on the sides.

8. I chilled it for 2-3 minutes.

9. Then I filled each cavity with orange filling, raisins and cashew nut.

10. I poured the chocolate over the  top and scraped the top clean to seal. I chilled them for another 2-3 minutes.

11. I twisted the mold to release the bonbons. I placed them on mini muffin liners. (I still have to learn how to avoid air packets from forming)

Making chocolate bonbons was a fantastic experience! I truly enjoyed every minute of it!