Sweet Like Chocolate
We’ve been fans of making your own chocolate for some time – you don’t need a lot of equipment or years of experience to produce fine confections you’ll be truly proud to share, but a few hints and tips to help you hone your skills never go amiss, and that’s why we’re over the moon to be working with Paul A. Young.
One of Britain’s Master Chocolatiers and a Marco Pierre White protégé, Paul has been tempting people into his boutique London chocolate shops since 2006 where his unique creations have been flying off the shelves. A true artisan, he uses only the finest ingredients and creates everything by hand, resulting in simply exquisite chocolates that please the eye as well the taste buds.
Even if you’ve never attempted a truffle, fear not! Paul has helped us put together a detailed book especially for Lakeland customers, and it’s filled with simple step-by-step guides, hints, tips and inspiration to make it really fun, straight-forward and rewarding. He’s even shared his closely guarded sea-salted caramel recipe that’s been voted the best in the world!
We spent a day with Paul capturing image after image as he showed us how to temper chocolate (easier than you think!), then mould, fill and decorate his ingenious creations. With a fresh, uncomplicated approach, it was all very easy and enjoyable – and we discovered that there’s so much more to home-made chocolates than melting some of the sweet stuff and setting it in a mould.
How to temper step-by-step
- Place broken up or chocolate pieces into a glass bowl.
- Place over a pan of hot water ensuring the bowl is not in contact with the water.
- Melt the chocolate slowly, stirring occasionally. The temperature should be 55°C.
- Pour two-thirds of the chocolate onto a marble slab.
- Scrape the chocolate from the outside of the marble slab into the middle. Repeat this spreading and mixing movement 4 or 5 times.
- When the chocolate reaches 27°C, scrape it back into the bowl with the remaining chocolate.
- The temperature of the chocolate in the bowl needs to be 31°C. Dip the end of a spatula into the chocolate and allow to set – if it sets without streaks or grains it’s ready to use. If not, just melt the chocolate and repeat the process.
Our ‘How to Make Chocolates’ book includes recipes for chocolate delights such as real ale truffles or delectable strawberries and cream ganache… we’re far too excited to keep them all to ourselves though, so scroll down and discover the recipes we couldn’t wait to share, plus pick up a tip or two on the way.
Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles
Our Cinnamon Truffles make perfect home-made gifts
What you need
- 280g good dark chocolate
- 284ml double cream
- 50g unsalted butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon Extract
- Cocoa powder and cinnamon sugar to coat.
What you do
1. Chop the chocolate and place into a large bowl. Put the cream and butter into a saucepan and heat gently until the butter melt and mixture is just simmering.
2. Remove from heat, pour over the chocolate and stir until smooth. Add the cinnamon extract, allow the mixture to cool, then chill for 4 hours.
3. Shape the truffles using a piping bag or melon baller dipped in hot water. Place onto greaseproof paper.
4. Coat immediately after shaping; place a little cocoa powder and cinnamon sugar into a bowl, and gently roll the truffles until coated.
Cherry Surprise Chocolates
Crack through the choccy cloak to reveal a sweet and succulent surprise!
What you need
- 225g icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tbsp liquid glucose
- 1 tsp cherry liqueur
- Small jar of maraschino cherries (you will need 20 cherries and some of the liquid)
- 400g white or milk chocolate, roughly chopped
What you do
1. Place the chocolate mould in the fridge 20 minutes before starting.
2. Make a fondant filling; mix together the icing sugar, liquid glucose, cherry liqueur and 3 tsp of the liquid from the maraschino cherry jar, reserve.
3. Place 50g of the chocolate into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Melt the chocolate very slowly, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat.
4. Take the mould from the refrigerator and fill a third of each shape with chocolate; using a small paint brush, spread the chocolate up the sides of the shapes until all covered. Return the mould to the fridge for about 10 minutes. Once set, check to see if there are any gaps in the chocolate; if so, fill them in with melted chocolate and chill again to set.
5. Add a cherry to each chocolate and top with cherry filling, leaving space for a layer of chocolate. Refrigerate until the filling is firmer; when firm to touch, melt the remaining chocolate and pour on top of the filling, so that it comes level with the sides of each shape and completes the chocolate.
6. Return to the fridge for about 30 minutes until completely hardened. When ready, gently flex the moulds to release the chocolates and store in a cool dry place.