Introduction: Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Hearts - and Ways to Fix and Avoid Chocolate Problems.
There's a story behind this instructable. Well, isn't there always, I suppose.
See, I had a plan. A best laid plan. Which was slightly foiled by the realities of dealing with that cantankerous substance known as chocolate. So even though these didn't exactly come out the way I envisioned them at the start, they came out even better and more chocolatey in the end, so it all works out.
My original plan was was inspired by the molded crayon stub instructable - those looked like they should be edible, so let's make an edible version. And punch it up by adding dots, stripes, and layers in the mold, too.
So I'm including how to do that in this instructable.
However, I had a slight issue -- not thinking I stuck the molds in the freezer, and ended up with chocolate bloom (that dusty looking layer that you find on chocolate when the cocoa butter separates and rises to the surface). So they really were not that attractive - though still tasty. Chocolate is just tricky to work with.
So this became the Instructable on chocolate dipped chocolate hearts! And now they are very pretty and even chocolatey-er than before!
So experiment on your own, and don't be afraid of chocolate!
And if you like this, don't forget to vote for it!
Step 1: Materials
Mold for chocolates - I used hearts. Silicon molds are nice.
Double boiler (or Metal bowl & Saucepan that can work like a double boiler), or microwave and pyrex
I tried white, semisweet, and dark in both chip and block form.
I also used unwrapped hershey's dark chocolate kisses (raspberry flavor) for a contrasting flavor in the outside coating.
Sprinkles or sugar decoration if desired.
Step 2: Melt Your Chocolate.
Basically you nuke your chocolate for about 30 seconds, stir, 30 more seconds, stir*, and as soon as the chip are beginning to melt, you pull it out and just keep stirring with a silicon spatula or similar until they are melted-they will melt with just the residual heat.. It is VERY easy to over cook your chips, particularly in the microwave.
*depending on the amount of chocolate, keep repeating the 20-30 second zaps until the chocolate starts to melt
Put a little water in the bottom pot of your double boiler. bring to a simmer. Place your chocolate in the top bowl. When the chocolate starts melting, remove from heat and stir until melted. DO NOT let steam or water get in your chocolate!
Personally, I think the stove top method is better and easier, as long as you ensure no water gets in the bowl, but I've done both.
Chocolate is 'tempered' when you buy it. If you don't get it too hot in the melting, then it will remain tempered. Otherwise it will not come out as pretty unless you temper it again, and that's a pain to do.
It should look smooth as it melts (see picture of metal bowl). If it looks fudgey (that glob in the plastic container), it's probably seized up and is no good to you for this purpose.
Do small batches. That way if you mess up, you haven't ruined a whole batch. Believe me :)
Do not get any water in your chocolate or it will seize up, and you'll have to start over.
To thin your chocolate, add a little oil or shortening.
Step 3: Put Into Molds
You have several options here.
I melted several different kinds of chocolate so I could play around with decorations. I did some layered, some with dots of different colored chocolate, some with squiggles.
Or you can just do plain.
For adding dots and squiggles, you could of course use a pastry bag, but a quick and dirty way of doing it is to use a medicine dispenser syringe, just suck up your chocolate and dot it back out again. I found that White chocolate dots on regular chocolate worked pretty well, but dark chocolate embedded in white chocolate did not 'stick' as well. I suspect that it would work best if you used different colors of tinted white chocolate, so you wouldn't have the issue of different consistencies.
Just pipe your dots, etc into the mold, let set briefly, then pour/spoon over another color.
For layers, just pour or spoon in a small amount, let set, then spoon over a second layer, let set, then a third.
For a 'hidden' center, fill the bottom with color A, spoon a dollop of color B in the center, then completely cover with color A.
Step 4: Let Set Until Solid. Unmold.
Don't rush this step, and avoid temperature changes.
It will take several hours depending on the thickness, or you could just let set overnight to be sure.
When solid, remove from mold.
As you can see, mine just weren't as pretty as I envisioned. I think heated the chocolate too much when I melted it and it lost temper, or chilled it too fast.
Step 5: Double Chocolate Coating
If you like the effect of your molded chocolately, and you haven't had any bloom issues, you can stop here.
But if you want even more chocolatey goodness, you can coat them in an additional layer of chocolate.
Follow the melting instructions from before. You'll likely need to thin it out a little bit.
Dip your hearts in the melted chocolate using small tongs, spreading around the chocolate with your spatula if its pretty thick. When you have it thoroughly coated, place in a small dish filled with candy sprinkles (or optionally, directly on wax paper). Sprinkle candy sprinkles on top. Let set briefly, then remove to wax paper. Careful, it will take a while to solidify, so don't touch!
One nice thing about adding the candy sprinkles, is that they hide a multitude of sins if you have any chocolate issues in the outer coating!
Step 6: Give or Enjoy!
After they are fully dry, store in an airtight container, or package up for gifts!
Mmmmm... eat chocolate!