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How Can I Make Chocolate At Home & What Supplies Do I Need?
Making chocolate yourself is an extremely rewarding experience, and once you have the hang of it you'll love being able to make tasty treats for yourself and your friends on a whim!
Here at Spotlight we have everything you need to make chocolate goodies at home, from melting buttons and dyes to beautiful moulds and chocolate tempering tools. Discover everything you need to know about making chocolate with us here, including how to melt chocolate, how to make chocolate in moulds how to use chocolate making tools!
Why Should I Make Chocolate At Home?
Being able to melt and create chocolate at home opens up a whole new world of dessert making and decorating, and is sure to make you the favourite family member when it comes to sweets! If you have chocoholic family or friends, (or if you enjoy devouring a row or two yourself), you can create chocolate shapes that are great for popping in gift bags, display boxes or just in bowls for a party. You can also create warm chocolate drizzles for decorating desserts, and even create chocolate-dipped treats like strawberries or marshmallows!
Chocolate making at home is also a cost-effective way to get your sweet fix, as you can make large batches of chocolates for very little cost.
What Do I Need For Chocolate Making At Home?
You don't need much to make your own chocolate creations at home! For basic chocolate making you'll need:
- Chocolate melts or buttons - these will be melted to create the liquid chocolate. You can then shape it into your chosen form.
- Chocolate mould - you will pour your liquid chocolate into a mould so it can set in your desired shape
- Double boiler or alternative - you can melt your chocolate buttons using a few different methods discussed below.
That's all you need for basic chocolate making! You can also use dyes and flavours to enhance your chocolate's flavour and colour, and chocolate making tools for creating advanced shapes and effects.
How Do I Melt My Chocolate Buttons?
The main three ways to melt chocolate buttons are:
- Double boiler method
- Microwave method
- Slow cooker method
You'll need to melt your chocolate before you can start enhancing and shaping it, and there are three main ways you can do this at home using your own appliances. In all methods, you want your chocolate pieces to be small and uniformly sized. This won't be a problem if you are using buttons, but if you are melting a slab be sure to chop it up first. Read mre below on the three methods.
Double Boiler Method
This is our favourite method, as you can carefully observe the chocolate as it melts and you have more control over the temperature, leading to less chance of your precious chocolate burning! Here's how to melt chocolate using the double boiler method:
- Fill a medium-sized saucepan one-third of the way with water and bring it to a simmer on your stove.
- Pour your chocolate buttons into a heatproof bowl and turn your stove flame down as low as it can go.
- Place the bowl on top of the saucepan. You want it to fit snugly so the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water and no steam escapes around the sides of the bowl.
- Stir the chocolate buttons with a rubber spatula until they have melted. Do not let the water become too hot, as this can cause your chocolate to burn.
- Remove the bowl from the pan and wipe the bottom down with a tea towel to prevent any water from coming into contact with your melted chocolate.
This is the quickest method for melting chocolate. If you're in a hurry for some gooey chocolatey goodness, this is the melting method for you. Here's how to melt chocolate using a microwave:
- Place your chocolate buttons into a microwave-safe container.
- Set your microwave to use the lowest power setting you can.
- Microwave your chocolate for thirty seconds, pausing every ten seconds or so to give the chocolate a stir and check it isn't burning.
* If you are making chocolate for dipping, add a little vegetable or coconut oil to help it melt more smoothly.
- Once the chocolate has almost all melted, take it out and stir until it has completely melted through.
Slow Cooker Method
Using a slow cooker is a useful way to melt a large quantity of chocolate and keep it warm - perfect for creating dipped treats! Here's how to melt chocolate using a slow cooker:
- Set your slow cooker to the lowest temperature you can and pour in your chocolate buttons.
- When they start to melt, stir the chocolate with a rubber spatula until completely melted.
- Use the 'keep warm' setting if available, if you want to keep your chocolate liquid for dipping.
The key piece of information to remember when using any of these methods is not to let any water come into contact with your chocolate. This will cause the chocolate to seize up and become a thick, crumbly mess that's very hard to come back from! This can even come from dipping fruit, so make sure anything being immersed into your chocolate is dry.
How Can I Add Colours Or Flavours To My Chocolate?
While plain chocolate is delicious on its own, you can make it something special by adding extra colours and flavours to the mix! This is done while the chocolate is being melted, so you'll need to have your chosen flavours or dyes ready to add as you mix your melting chocolate.
Adding Flavours To Chocolate
Chocolate pairs so well with dozens of flavours, but certain ones work well with particular types of chocolate. Dark chocolate and orange, milk chocolate and peppermint or white chocolate and raspberry are all famous combinations you can make at home using flavour oils. When adding these oils to your melted chocolate, add one drop, mix through and taste to see how you like it - these oils are potent so you won't need much!
Adding Colours To Chocolate
White chocolate takes to colouring wonderfully, but make sure to avoid any water-based food colouring. Oil-based dyes and powder dyes are ideal - add powder dyes as the chocolate starts to melt, while oil-based dyes can be added after it melts.
*If you add cold dye to warm chocolate it may seize up, so warm your oil-based dye bottle in a small bowl of hot water before adding.
Unfortunately, the dark brown colour of milk and dark chocolate means they cannot be coloured like white chocolate - at best, you will get a muddy version of the added colour once it sets. To colour these chocolates, you can create a thin white chocolate 'shell' coloured to your specification using a chocolate mould, then adhere it to a cooled chocolate shape by heating the shell slightly and sticking it on.
How Do I Use Chocolate Moulds?
Once you have melted your chocolate it's time to help it take shape using a chocolate mould! No matter what kind of mould you choose to use, make sure it is clean and completely dry before using. Here's how to use chocolate moulds:
- Use a spoon, piping bag or funnel to transfer your melted chocolate into your moulds. Do not overfill your moulds - instead, leave a small gap to create a clean finish on the bottom of your chocolate.
- Tap the edges of your mould gently to bring any potential bubbles to the surface and disperse them.
- Place your mould into the fridge for up to half an hour. You can also let your chocolate set out in the air, as long as your home isn't too warm or humid.
- Turn the mould over into baking paper and tap gently to release your chocolates.
Don't stress if your chocolates don't come out right the first time - simply re-melt the chocolate and try again! If you want to see how to use chocolate moulds in real time, try making this mould candies project here!
How Do I Use Chocolate Making Tools?
Chocolate making tools can help you take your chocolate creations to a professional level. Create detailed designs, perfect pours and delicate drizzles with tools like:
- Drizzle scoops - a drizzle scoop is a specially-designed funnel spoon that will ensure you can create even, perfect drizzles over your creations.
- Dipping tools - these helpfully-shaped tools will assist you in lowering your snacks into chocolate and bringing them up without fear of falling or piercing your creations.
- Squeeze bottles - squeeze bottles are great for filling with melted chocolate and being used to write or create delicate designs. Keep your chocolate warm by resting the filled bottle in a jug of warm water between uses.
- Icing knives - helps you smooth melted chocolate evenly over a surface.
- Silicone scrapers - these paddles come with cut sides to help you carve even patterns through a layer of melted chocolate.
Create your designs as the chocolate cools - too soon and the chocolate will melt back into place, but leave it too long and your chocolate may be too hard to work with!
Where Can I Find Chocolate Making Supplies?
For chocolate buttons, moulds, tools and more, check out Spotlight's dessert-making category online or in-store! We have a fantastic range of chocolate making tools and equipment, as well as delicious cake and confectionary projects you can apply your new chocolate making skills to!
Don't forget to check out our huge range of supplies for creating other scrumptious desserts like our quality bakeware and dazzling edible decorations.