Chocolate candy and caramel

Today’s candy recipes come from Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates in Wichita.

Microwave Chocolate Tempering

Chocolate must be carefully tempered (or pre-crystallized to achieve the luster, proper melting properties, and stability of quality chocolates). The technique is quite easy if practiced with care and patience.

Here is a quick method to achieve a beautiful temper to your chocolate without specialized equipment. Chocolate may be melted in the microwave. The cooking time will vary with the kind of microwave and the amount of chocolate.

  1. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe plastic container. Chocolate should be broken up; it will melt faster and more evenly in small pieces.
  2. Microwave on high for one minute. Stir.
  3. Use rubber spatula to coax remaining soft pieces to melt. Continue to stir and if necessary, continue microwaving in 5-10 second increments until melting is complete.
  4. Chocolate should appear smooth, shiny and free of bubbles, grainy consistency or lumps. The melted chocolate is in temper and ready to be used!

Hints

  1. Heat SLOWLY! Do not overheat. Even though it seems as if the chocolate is melting too slowly, 5 seconds will make a significant difference!
  2. White chocolate will melt slower than milk chocolate
  3. Dark chocolate the slowest
  4. Use high quality chocolate for all cooking projects — the better the ingredient, the better the results.

Soft Caramel
¼ cup water
1 cup sugar
½ vanilla bean, split and scraped
2/3 c. sweetened condensed milk
½ c. light corn syrup
6 T. unsalted butter
½ t. salt

  1. Combine the water, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and pod, condensed milk, corn syrup and butter in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly
  2. Continue stirring while cooking until the batch reaches 245°. This is a good estimation of the required temperature. When the thermometer reads 240°, begin testing the caramel using the spoon technique. The cooled caramel should be firm but not hard when the caramel is properly cooked.
  3. Stir in the salt

For Turtles:

  1. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place toasted pecan halves in groups of 5 to resemble a turtle — it’s legs and head. (5 cups of pecans should make 60 turtles).
  2. When the caramel has cooled to a thick but fluid consistency (140° to 150°F). spoon a table spoon on each group of pecans to form the body of the turtle. All the turtles to cool completely.
  3. Spoon or pipe tempered chocolates (1 # of good quality dark chocolate), leaving the pecans exposed. Or dip the entire piece in tempered chocolate using a dipping fork.
  4. Store in a single layer in an airtight container.

Links:
Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates
2132 N. Rock Road, Ste. 100
Wichita, KS   67206
316.866.2906

Chocolate Resources — these are great online resources for fine chocolate. You can also purchase chef-grade chocolate at Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates or William-Sonoma in Bradley Fair.

Chocosphere
World Wide Chocolate
Baker’s Catalogue

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