February 16, 2011


Every Christmas growing up that I can remember, my mom would make delicious homemade chocolates. She would make the centers, temper the chocolate, hand dip the centers, put them in little paper cups, and package them in nice white boxes tied with a gold ribbon. We always got to eat leftovers from the "reject" plate - chocolates that weren't quite pretty enough to give away. If there was any chocolate left over, she would make molded chocolate lollipops for Valentines.

Now it's my turn to be in charge of chocolate making. It's not the healthiest skill to know, but I enjoy making things that I can give away as a nice gift and make other people smile.

I've had a few people ask about how I make the centers so I thought I'd share the recipes I use. I dip the centers in Guittard chocolate which needs to be tempered. A few years ago my mom bought me a chocolate tempering machine for christmas, which makes it a lot easier to dip the chocolates. If you don't want to invest in a temperer, or hand temper chocolate, you can just use candy melts or chocolate bark.

Chocolate truffles

1 1/4 lb. sweet chocolate (about 4 cup finely chopped chocolate)
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 T. butter

Melt chocolate over low heat (double boiler). Cool slightly. Heat butter and cream to 140 degrees. Cool to 120 degrees. Stir cream and butter into the chocolate. Beat with mixer until it is pudding consistency. Let chocolate rest for one minute. Beat again for a minute or until chocolate goes about one shade lighter. Can be flavored if desired at this point. Pour into Saran-Wrap lined square pan. Refrigerate. Cut into squares and dip while still cold.

(I usually add peppermint extract and then dip them in dark chocolate. Really Really good. I also tried raspberry extract this valentines day and those were yummy too. But I still like the peppermint better.)

Cream Fondant

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup white karo syrup
4 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt

Place liquids in heavy 6-8 qt. saucepan and add sugar and salt. Stir and bring to quick boil. (After boil, cover pan briefly (30 seconds) to steam crystals from sides of pan.) After you take off the lid, clip on candy thermometer. Do not stir from this time on. (for reason why see here) Cook to 238 degrees, or softball stage. Remove from heat and pour, without scraping pan, onto a marble slab. (what! You don't have a marble slab? I hear you can also use a shallow pan, but I've never tried it) Cool until you can flick the candy with your finger and the candy takes 10 seconds to fill in the space. Add 2/3 cup marshmallow cream (you can also add flavoring and food coloring at this time if you want it all to be the same flavor) and beat until candy begins to lose its gloss - about 10 min. Let rest for 3 to 4 minutes. Continue beating until candy stiffens and completely loses its gloss. Put in container until you're ready to roll it into balls and dip. If you want different flavors, you can divide it and knead in the flavoring at a later date. It gets pretty sticky if you overwork it though. I usually do orange, lemon, and mint fondant, and tried raspberry this valentines day (as pictured). It was good.

The fondant is a bit tricky, especially if you haven't seen someone beat candy before. It's kind of the same process as fudge, with the crystalizing at the right moment. You can read about the science of it all here. Sometimes the fondant won't "turn" for me, and I use my hair dryer to heat it back up and then I try beating it again. It can be frustrating.

When I'm getting ready to dip the fondant, I spray my hands with Pam spray and roll bits into balls. I let them sit a bit to harden slightly on the outside so they're easier to dip.

I also use this recipe to make fudge, just adding some chocolate with the other ingredients.

Butter Caramels

1 cube unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream (split)
1 3/4 cups light Karo syrup
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Bring all ingredients except 1 cup cream to a boil in heavy saucepan. Add withheld cream a little at a time without reducing the boil. Cover briefly (count 30) to steam crystals from sides of pan. Cook without stirring (same reason as fudge) to 242 degrees or firm soft ball stage. Pour into Pam-sprayed or buttered 9x13 glass pan and cool. Cut into squares when cool, or, while still warm, spoon over chopped pecans for turtles.

I have found that, for me, cooking to about 236 degrees makes the caramel how I like it. The temperature you cook it to will depend on where you live and the weather. Candy stores usually keep track of each batch of candy - what the weather was like at the time of cooking, what temperature it was cooked to, and how it turned out.

If you want to come make candy sometime, just let me know!


  1. Thank you so much for putting your recipe down here. I doubt I'll ever be good enough to make them, but it makes me desire to have them even more! Thanks again for sharing your yummy chocolates with me!

  2. I seriously may just take you up on that offer one of these days. Guittard chocolate, you say? I knew you were using the good stuff.

  3. THANK YOU THANK YOU for putting these recipes out here:)


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