My first post on chocolate in this website and many more to come!
Making chocolate at home is nothing like mixing a cake batter. It requires a lot of planning, set up and the correct time and room temperature for it to work successful without too much tears in the end process, not to mention, a chaotic mess. One of the many things that people probably dread about making chocolate at home is the clean up afterwards because its not that easy to clean chocolate that has set on the kitchen bench without multiple scrubs. On top of that, if you are also planning to use cocoa butter in the process!
In the post, I am sharing with you chocolate enthusiasts, the tips and tricks on making a perfect cocoa butter painted moulded chocolate bonbon at home. Chocolates that I used in this post are Coverture Chocolate from Cacao Barry and do require basic knowledge on how to temper/precrystalize the chocolate.
At the end of this post, I have also shared a short video on how I paint Cocoa butter painted chocolate bonbon with minimal mess, though I am certain there is always someone out there that can manage better than me in keeping things tidy and clean, so lets just say with "minimal mess".
Tips and tricks with working with chocolate
The best ambient to work with chocolate from home, in my opinion is when its nice and cool (preferably winter) with your kitchen temperature ranging between 14°C - 20°C with 50% humidity. It is not expensive to buy a room temperature humidity meter that tells you what temperature and humidity your kitchen is at.
The worst time and environment to be making chocolate at home is when you do not have a good ventilation at home and it is always wet and humid. Unless if you have a dungeon somewhere in your house with only cool air running through the room, I would definitely never make chocolate during Aussie summer when temperature can soar through to 40°C. There is a way around it, blast the air conditioner at home which would ultimately skyrocket your utility bill.
Make sure that you use tools that are only catered for chocolate making. Chocolate can get contaminated very easily which can allow bacteria to thrive to compromise the shelf life of your bonbon. For example, I wouldn't use a spatula that I use for cooking meat to stir my chocolate! Even though you may only be making them at home for your family and friends, it is always better to be safe, especially if you are planning on keeping the Bonbon over several days. It can be quite hard to see what is going on inside your bonbon once they have been sealed with chocolate.
Working with Cocoa Butter
The best temperature to paint the cocoa butter into your chocolate moulds ranges between 28°C to 30°C, lower temperature on a hotter day and vice versa. If you use cocoa butter at a temperature that is too high, the cocoa butter tends to slide down into the centre of the cavity of the mould leaving a pool of cocoa butter that can be quite unappealing when you unmould your Bonbons. If you use cocoa butter at a temperature that is too cold, it has a very high chance of not adhering to the chocolate when moulding and you get this patches on your bonbon because some of the cocoa butter are still stuck in the cavity. So, temperature is really crucial.
Alot of times one of the minor thing in the process of moulding chocolate is overseen is the importance of scraping off as much excess chocolate around the edges of the cavities and working as clean as possible. This is an important step to ensure that the capping (sealing) process can be successful.
When you are moulding your chocolate, you first cast the pre-crystallised chocolate into each of the cavities. With a firm grip, tilt the mould upside down upside down and even, tap out as much excess chocolate as possible for a thin shell. With the mould still upside down, scrap off drips of chocolates (you want to scrape it upside down to prevent the excess chocolates from falling back into the mould) with a wide enough or wider scraper. Then, you will very gently flip the mould back to facing upwards , scrape off the top to rid of any chocolate that may still be hanging around the edges of each of the cavity (If you skip this part, you will have a very hard time sealing the top with chocolate as the chocolate will start to set on the edges making it difficult to scrape without dragging pieces of hardened chocolate in the process)
I am witting this post with the assumption that you have the basics in chocolate tempering technique. (I am currently still in the process of writing the post of chocolate tempering... it takes time) When you are making chocolate Bonbon with cocoa butter, make sure that your tempered chocolate have not cooled down too much when you cast the chocolate into the mould. The reason to this is because if the chocolate is too cold, the cocoa butter that you have painted into the mould will not stick to the chocolate and leave patches when unmoulded.
When using poly carbonated moulds, make sure your mould is around 10°C - 14°C below the working temperature of your chocolate. In the case of Dark Coverture chocolate working temperature of 31°C to 32°C, the mould should be in the temperature of around 17°C to 20°C. If the mould is too hot, the precrystalized chocolate will lose its temper (meaning that it will lose the stable crystals you have created through tempering and this is what cause the chocolate to bloom) and start to bloom or worst, not coming out of the mould. If the mould is too cold, the chocolate will set too quickly before you can even tilt it to tap off the excess chocolate! Use a thermometer gun to check the temperature of your chocolate mould.
Required Ingredients and Equipments
Coloured Cocoa Butter
Poly carbonate chocolate mould
Baking tray with parchment paper
Heat Gun / Hair Dryer on warm settings
Caramel Passionfruit Ganache Bonbon
Castor Sugar 30 g
Passion fruit Puree 100 g
Glucose 25 g
Full cream 35% 50 g
(Coverture) 185 g
Unsalted Butter 20 g
Dark Chocolate For moulding and capping
Make a dry caramel with the sugar while heating the passion fruit puree and cream in a separate pot.
Once the sugar starts to turn amber brown in colour, deglaze with hot passionfruit mix. Be careful as the caramel will spit at this point.
Continue whisking while cooking the liquid until it reaches 104°C. Pour the liquid onto the while chocolate and butter.
Stick blend the ganache until smooth and cool to 31°C before piping in to the chocolate shells.
Leave the ganache to crystallise over night before capping the base.
Seal the bottom of the chocolate bonbon with precrystalized Coverture chocolate and leave to set at room temperature for 5 minutes or until the chocolate do not look wet anymore. Then transfer the mould in the fridge for no longer than 10 minutes.
Twist the mould gently and very quickly, flip the mould on a clean surface to release the bonbons. Handle chocolates by wearing a glove to avoid finger mark.
Step by Step
How to paint Cocoa Butter and mould Chocolate into moulds