If you are playing around with chocolate molding, or getting to be a real pro at it (and very addicted) it's very important to know that you used the best ingredients. Skimping here and there affects the taste and presentation of your gift!
The biggest and most important chocolate Candy Making How-To tip: use THE best chocolate, pure vanilla, heavy whipping cream, candy coloring, candy flavorings, and other candy making supplies you can find. When you know you used the best, the praise you receive means even more.
Candy Making How-To Tip 1 - Melting - Microwave Guittard molding chocolate in 30-second intervals using microwave safe bowls, stir in-between to distribute the heat, in order to avoid scorching the chocolate.
Keep chocolate at a constant temperature to produce a smooth, professional look. You can purchase a griddle, or use your stove top and frying pan. Lay two towels on the pan or griddle before placing the chocolate filled plastic bowl.
Candy Making How-To Tip 2 - Chocolate and water don't mix! Chocolate is oil based. Oil and water don't mix. Avoid any contact with water, including a freshly washed mold or tool - dry them first!
Candy Making How-To Tip 3 -Truffle Ganache (center) - When making your ganache filling for your truffles, make sure the heavy whipping cream you use is at room temperature, to avoid 'freezing up' the chocolate.
Candy Making How-To Tip 4 - Cooling - For faster cooling of the chocolate and for that fine, professional, finished look, put your mold, filled with warm chocolate, in the freezer, and dipped items in the refrigerator. Be sure do to this before they start to harden up, or the chocolate will look a bit foggy instead of shiny.
Candy Making How-To Tip 5 - Cleaning up - Pour leftover chocolate onto a piece of waxed paper and let cool so you can break and re-melt later. For the squeeze bottles - squeeze out leftover chocolate and place squeeze bottle in freezer. When frozen, squeeze the bottle to crack the chocolate so it comes out easily. Wash everything with hot water and then towel dry instead of air dry. Do not use soap with the molds because the residue will make it so the chocolate will not easily leave the mold the next time you use it.
Don't throw away the mold when you are done! Make molded crayons! Take off the wrappers of the crayons, microwave in a paper bowl or cup for 4-5 minutes until melted. Pour into mold, you can use solid colors or swirl the colors together. Put in freezer for 15-20 minutes. Makes a great gift.
Candy Making How-To Tip 6 - Candy colors, oils, and flavors - Make sure these are oil-based so no water gets in your beautiful creation. When coloring the chocolate, don't use too much color or it will affect the taste and consistency of the chocolate. Make sure the vanilladoes not have added water; use the purest form. Use the candy paint brush or the painting/writing squeeze bottle to help you decorate!
Candy Making How-To Tip 7 - 3-D - Always clip the 3-D molds together withbulldog clips. They are the strongest, which leaves a cleaner line and less mess.
Candy Making How-To Tip 8 - Leftovers - After molding, always have a few things to dip in the left over chocolate. Pretzels, raisins, nuts, marshmallows, cookies, and dried fruits are all yummy when dipped in chocolate. If you have a lot of left over chocolate, it can be saved and re-melted next time you mold chocolate.
Candy Making How-To Tip 9 - Storage - Keep chocolate in a cool place. It is moisture sensitive and absorbs odors. Do not store chocolate in the refrigerator or freezer as it will pick up off-flavors and moisture.
Candy Making How-To Tip 10 - Don't get frustrated. If your first chocolates don't look as nice as the ones from the candy store, eat them anyway and try again! It takes some practice to master the dipping and molding skills, but you will get better the more you practice. In no time at all you will be turning out beautiful, professional-looking candies every single time.