Saturday, June 30, 2012

Chocolate Making Testing #1

My long-procrastinated chocolates with dried strawberries. 
They look fabulous, don't they?
In psychology, procrastination refers to the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of lower priority, or doing something from which one derives enjoyment, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time. Based on this definition I can easily explain why I avoided making chocolate until last week although I've always wanted to be involved in chocolate making. Well, all that time I've been working on less important things and and deliberately looking for distractions because making home-made chocolate seemed to be the ultimate step in my cooking and baking adventures and I couldn't accurately tell how I would feel in the end. As it seemed so, I waited for a couple of years to take the first step and bought 100 grams of dark chocolate and some dried strawberries. 

After melting the chocolate in a bain-marie (over a hot-water bath), I used heart-shaped moulds to shape the melted-chocolate. I filled the moulds half way through and added the chopped dried strawberries and filled the rest. I kept them in the freezer for 45 minutes and then stored them in the fridge. Well now it's time to share a few tips with you on melting chocolate over a hot-water bath:
  • Make sure the chocolate is chopped into uniform pieces to ensure even melting. 
  • Avoid all contact with water! Make sure your bowls, workstation, and spatulas are completely dry. Chocolate will seize and become unworkable if it comes into contact with even a few droplets of water.
  • Melt the chocolate slowly over low heat. Chocolate is very delicate and can become lumpy or grainy if overheated.
  • Stir the chocolate frequently with a rubber spatula, once the outer edges start to melt.
  • Chocolate retains its shape when melted, so the only way to know if it is truly melted is to stir it. Do not rely on appearances alone.

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