Chocolate shops all over the country will see a boom in sales as some frantically rush around to find a Valentine’s Day gift for their loved ones. I tried making my own chocolates which I think could possibly eclipse many of the chocolates you’ll find on your high street. My White Chocolate Hemispheres have a white chocolate shell with rainbow sprinkles and a soft dark chocolate truffle centre.
I employ my ‘quick temper’ method for melting my white chocolate. By this, I mean that I melt the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds to begin with, stirring and then continuing to microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring after each one and stopping when most of the chocolate has melted before stirring the chocolate to melt the last bits of chocolate to prevent overheating. Then, depending on the quantity of chocolate and what I’m using it for, I will add in 20% more chocolate and stir to melt that in too. For the shells, I will employ this latter method because it’s the visible chocolate but to fill and cover the bases, I will just melt it using the former method.
It doesn’t always guarantee shiny well-tempered chocolate (as you can see in my pictures, it did bloom) but it is a good practice of melting chocolate. The blooming may have come from the fact that I refrigerated the chocolate for 15 minutes before turning the chocolates out however it doesn’t affect the texture or taste of the chocolate.
I used single cream for my ganache. I have started to use single cream to make my ganache because I prefer the texture of it in this chocolate. The ganache ends up being slightly softer which contrasts well with the white chocolate shell but still tastes rich and smooth.
The mould I used was a silicone 30mm diameter hemisphere mould with 24 holes. They can be found very easily in any kitchen retailers or online. I recommend using silicone moulds for making chocolate as their flexibility lends to popping out the chocolate both quickly and easily. The technique I use is to turn the mould over, push down on the hemisphere with my thumbs whilst peeling the silicone mould away so they pop out with ease.
The chocolate I recommend is the cheap 100g bars from the supermarkets. I find that they melt really nicely and are just as good quality as your high end brands. I tend to leave the high end, more luxurious chocolate for eating on their own. The dark chocolate I use has minimum 50% cocoa solids but don’t mistake this for cooking or baking chocolate or chocolate covering, they aren’t the same.
I can make these 24 chocolates for exactly £1, which is significantly cheaper than a box of Valentine’s Day chocolates. So you can really impress by making these chocolates which look expensive but cost absolutely nothing to make! Also make sure to check out my similar recipes:
100ml single cream
100g dark chocolate, broken up into pieces
170g white chocolate, split into 90g, 20g and 60g
Prepare your 24-hole 30mm hemisphere moulds by placing a few sprinkles in each hemisphere. Set aside.
Make your ganache by heating the cream in the microwave for a minute on the highest setting. Add in the broken up chocolate and leave for 2 minutes. Then stir to combine into a smooth, shiny and silky ganache. If the chocolate doesn’t melt fully, return to the microwave for 20 seconds to melt and stir again. Leave to cool and firm up at room temperature.
Take the 90g of white chocolate and break it up into squares and place into a microwaveable bowl. Melt the chocolate starting with 30 seconds, stirring and then reducing the time to 20 seconds, stirring after each interval until the chocolate is almost fully melted. Then continue to stir the chocolate until it has all melted.
Leave the chocolate to cool for 5 minutes, stirring it every so often. Then place the chocolate into a piping bag. Twist the top of the bag and then wrap around your finger so you can squeeze it easily. Cut off a small hole off the end (allowing you more control) and fill each of the hemispheres with enough chocolate to come up to one-third of the hemisphere mould. Then using the handle of a teaspoon, guide the chocolate up the sides of the hemispheres, covering them completely. Repeat for all of the holes, adding more chocolate into the holes if the coating looks a bit thin. You might need to keep an eye on them to see if the chocolate drops down to the base; just use the spoon to coax it back up the sides. If you’ve got a cool room, the chocolate should set up fairly quickly but do not refrigerate at this stage.
Once the ganache has cooled and thickened up to the right consistency – firm enough to hold its own shape, but not too firm that it can’t be easily manipulated; this takes around 15 minutes – then transfer to a piping bag. Cut off a small hole off the end and pipe some of the ganache into each of the holes. Avoid overfilling (as tempting as it is) the holes with ganache or you will find that getting a smooth base is almost impossible, although you can very gently manipulate the ganache with a spoon dipped in hot water.
Then melt the remaining 60g of white chocolate (with any leftover chocolate from earlier) following the same procedure as above (not adding any extra chocolate) and after cooling and putting in a piping bag, fill the hemispheres with chocolate, making sure there is also enough to cover the surface. Use the spoon to again level out the chocolate, removing any excess if there is any. Give the mould a shake to level out the chocolate, removing any air pockets and smoothing out. Leave the chocolates to set up at room temperature and then I refrigerated for 15 minutes. If your room is cold enough, they should set at room temperature.
Once set, turn the mould over onto a board and peel away the silicone mould from the chocolates. Store the chocolates in an airtight container. If it is cool enough, you should be able to keep them at room temperature.
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