Have just finished Year 4 of making chocolates for Christmas. I’ve learned a lot since I started in 2011 and practice really does improve your skill. This is the quality I could create in the beginning, and this is what I make now.
I was really excited about making chocolates again. Well actually, I’m really excited about working with chocolate at any time, but this year was the first year I could make 9 individual shapes, and mastered the fillings I wanted to create; something creamy and soft and delicious. This may be it, I do not foresee making any future changes to the recipe or the box contents.
I like November because it’s time to secure the Belgian chocolate. Social invites are turned down with a hushed, “It’s chocolate-making season” and understanding nods. Chocolate paints the ceiling of my home. The fridge has no room for food. It is the month of having dinner delivered and an excuse to be quite lazy in some ways.
See quarter for scale:
No worries Mom, your box will not contain any dark chocolate.
I used 4 types and for the chocolatiers out there here are the specs:
- milk chocolate 823NV, 33.6% cocoa solids, 21.8 milk solids
- dark (semi-sweet) 811NV, 54.5% cocoa solids
- dark 70-30-38NV, 70.5% cocoa solids
- white W2NV, 28% cocoa solids, 23% milk solids
What started as a modest hobby has grown into a massive time-suck. And tears.
Speaking of new fillings, there they are. They are liquid and delicious, instead of hard and dry. I abandoned icing sugar and evaporated milk, and turned to making ganache; heavy cream, Belgian chocolate, and concentrated oils. The raspberry cream, orange cream, and butter cream are made with white chocolate ganache. The peppermint and peanut butter cream are made from milk chocolate ganache. The caramel is a soft, liquid homemade stuff and I fear it has some mystery addictive quality.
And it was time to re-draw the map again.
I feel a great sense of satisfaction when they are all laid out.
Where to get supplies:
- Callebaut Belgian chocolate picked up from Domino’s in the St. Lawrence Market, downtown Toronto
- LorAnn oils ordered from Golda’s Kitchen in Mississauga, ON
- Fat Daddio’s silicone moulds ordered from Golda’s Kitchen
- boxes (1/2 lb square Bordeaux stripes) ordered from Chocolat-Chocolat Inc based in Montreal QC, product # cc202-3
- Chocovision Rev 2 tempering machine, available from Amazon.com and Amazon.ca