Sunday, February 17, 2013
Posted by Hi, welcome to my blog. at 8:22 PM
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Happy Valentine's Day!
So many people love to have chocolate dipped strawberries for Valentine's Day. If you would like to dip them yourself, which I highly recommend, here are a few tips.
Use your imagination! Pink chocolaty strawberries drizzled with milk chocolate.
With very little extra effort, you can make a beautiful assortment. See the strawberry on the far left, in the middle? That one is dipped with peanut butter chocolate coatings. PB and J.....
I like to place the finished berries in a paper candy cup, this lets everyone know each berry is very special.
Melt chocolate coatings (your favorite flavor) in a tall, 2 cup, glass measuring cup. Remember melt not heat. One pound of coatings in the microwave at 50% power, that is critical, for 40 second increments, stirring often.
Dip your clean, dry strawberries into the coatings as seen in the photo. Let the extra coatings drip back into the cup. (That tip alone will help you make professional looking dipped strawberries). Place the dipped strawberry on a cookie sheet that has been lined with wax or parchment paper. Add sprinkles at this point if you like. Set in the frig for 10 minutes. Remove from frig. This a perfect time to drizzle the strawberries with more chocolate coatings.
This is where I think most people get tripped up...
For the ultimate best results, dip the strawberries not more than one hour before you are going to use them and keep them lightly covered with saran wrap in a cool place (not the frig). Once they have come out of the frig, never put them back in, really never, unless you want mush. So only make the amount you need as you need them. This is a good time to eat one!
All my best, Sonia
Ps, see the following post for my book giveaway...
See my website for supplies and my cookbook chocolates by Imagination Spring and Summer, which has a more detailed recipe for the chocolate covered strawberries. www.chocolatesbyimagination.com
Posted by Hi, welcome to my blog. at 7:50 AM
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
|Chocolate heart box|
Choosing molds: Since this has been my business for twenty years, I have many molds to choose from (collecting molds is half the fun). I offer this one on my website. However, you can find very nice molds at your local candy supply store. Choose a heart box mold. Be sure to get the top and bottom of the mold. And an additional mold with small bite size hearts. This heart box measures approximately five inches in diameter.
Chocolate Coatings: I use chocolate coatings because they do not need tempering. Choose your Valentine's favorite flavor.
For two boxes you will need:
1 1/2 pounds dark chocolate coatings
1 pound pink chocolate coatings
1/4 pound red chocolate coatings
1/4 pound white chocolate coatings
1/4 pound milk chocolate coatings
If the heart box mold you picked has the top and bottom of the box on the same mold use scissors to cut the mold in half. You want the top and bottom separate from one another. Be very careful not to cut the heart box itself. Place the dark chocolate coatings in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave on 50% power for 40 seconds. Stir. Repeat until the coatings are melted. Place the pink chocolate coatings in a large microwave safe bowl and melt as you did the dark coatings. Using a spoon, fill the bottom of the box with dark coatings being careful not to overfill. Tap the mold on the table to remove the air bubbles. Cool in the refrigerator for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, using a spoon, fill the top of the heart box with pink coatings being careful not to overfill it. Tap the mold on the table to remove the air bubbles and cool in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
To remove the box from the mold place your hand on top of the molded coatings, turn the mold upside down and the chocolate should fall out. If not, gently twist the mold side to side and try again.
Place the red, white and milk chocolate coatings into separate small microwave safe bowls. Microwave on 50% power for 20 seconds. Stir. Repeat until melted. Spoon the red coatings into the bite size hearts being careful not to overfill them. Tap on the table to remove the air bubbles and cool in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Repeat with the white and milk coatings until you have the desired number of hearts.
Fill the heart box with assorted bite size hearts, place the lid on the box and wrap in cellophane to secure the lid. Place in a four inch cello bag and decorate with Valentine's ribbon.
It really is that simple. Now for the secret...I have only seen this technique fail for one reason, the chocolate coatings were not melted properly. Patients when melting the coatings will be highly beneficial. Here are a few things to keep in mind that will help you to be successful with all your molding and dipping.
- Chocolate coatings do not like to be hot. You will be melting them, not cooking them.
- You should aways be able to handle the bowls after melting. They should not be hot.
- Keep all chocolate coatings away from steam and water.
- Stir, stir, stir. This helps to cool down the coatings and keeps them from blooming.
All my best, Sonia
Posted by Hi, welcome to my blog. at 8:27 AM