Ooooh, this recipe has been a long long time in coming. I've been dreaming about this for ages and am so excited to finally have it here to share with you all! These dark chocolate spiders are disturbingly realistic and disgustingly delicious all at once!
I do have to warn you, cocoa spiders have a season. Becuase of their sweet chocolate shell and their crunchy marshmallow centers, they are a treat best served…and made…in the cold...which means they're perfect for Halloween!
These guys, with their delicate little legs, are very fickle about warm temperatures and will happily melt into a puddle of chocolate goo if exposed to anything too warm, including your hands…which is why I can’t suggest enough that you make these guys when the weather is cool. Plus, they’re best when they’re dunked into a mug of hot milk, and nobody wants to drink hot milk in the summer.
Step 1: Find Your Spider and Gather Your Materials
The first thing you have to do is find the right spider. Luckily I had a large white spider left over from last Halloween that was perfect!
In order to mold your spider, you’re going to have to do a little disassembly. Cut off the legs as close to the body as you can. It looks painful, but keeping the legs on and trying to mold the entire thing in chocolate at once is even more painful.
Follow my 2 part tutorial for the body here and here. For the legs, follow this tutorial. I know it's covered in the tutorials I'm linking you to, but remember to always use food-safe silicone when making your molds. I prefer to use Reynold's Smooth Sil 940.
You should end up with a separate mold for your body and your legs.
Step 2: Filling Your Molds With Chocolate
Melt your candy melts by zapping in the microwave for 30 seconds, followed by 15-second intervals until they’re melted and liquid smooth.
Fill your molds with chocolate to the top. For your legs, leave the mold filled up. For your body mold, fill it up and then tip upside down and drain out the excess. You just want a coating of chocolate on your body mold, you don’t want it to be a solid piece.
Step 3: Stuffed Full of Sweet Marshmallow Goodness
Tilt your body mold upside down over a piece of parchment paper to drain and harden. Once the body is fully hardened, leave it in the mold and fill with mini-marshmallows.
Pour a second coating of chocolate OVER the marshmallows in your spider mold. You want to seal them into your spider body.
When that hardens, carefully pop free of the mold.
Step 4: Get Ready to Cry
Your legs should be nice and firm by now as well. Carefully…very carefully, pop them out of their molds.
Be prepared to break them. All of them. Repeatedly. And be prepared as well for them to start melting as soon as you touch them. The chocolate, because it’s so thin, is incredibly sensitive to temperature. Keep a small batch of melted chocolate next to you as you work and use it to glue broken legs back together. I suggest also keeping booze nearby. Trust me, you’re gonna need it.
If you look closely you can see the seams where I had to glue broken legs together with melted chocolate and the salty boozy tears of my frustration.
Once you get the damn little legs out of the mold, it’s time to start assembling your cocoa spider.
It’s easiest to do each side at a time. Goop on some melted chocolate, gently press on a leg, curse for 30 seconds and then move onto the next leg. Once that's done, I suggest another thin layer of chocolate on the bottom of your spider to really glue the legs in place and provide a bit more stability.
Six hours, two bottles of vodka and half a bag of candy melts later, you should end up with a cocoa spider like this...
Boring, right? Let’s add some color.
Step 6: Let's Make It Look Real...
Using some cocoa powder, a little vodka, and your black food coloring, add some color and depth to your spiders. I like to paint the legs and body black and then dust the joints and abdomen with a dusting of cocoa to really bring out the look of an actual tarantula.
A little black on the eyes and the fangs really gives it that extra touch of life...and before any of you naturalists ding me for the number of eyeballs, I know...I know...normally they have 8, but this is a plastic spider from China that came with only 2. If you want to add more, knock yourself out.
Because these are cocoa spiders, feel free to make them any color you want…go wild! Have fun! Enjoy!
Step 7: SO MUCH FUN!
Have fun hiding your cocoa spider around for your friends to find.
Once you’re done playing with your spider, enjoy crunching into it and horrifying anyone who might be watching…or, for a truly decadent treat, pop your spider in a mug and pour hot milk over it… As it melts, the eggs inside will rise to the surface.