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.
- Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe plastic container. Chocolate should be broken up; it will melt faster and more evenly in small pieces.
- Microwave on high for one minute. Stir.
- 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.
- Chocolate should appear smooth, shiny and free of bubbles, grainy consistency or lumps. The melted chocolate is in temper and ready to be used!
- Heat SLOWLY! Do not overheat. Even though it seems as if the chocolate is melting too slowly, 5 seconds will make a significant difference!
- White chocolate will melt slower than milk chocolate
- Dark chocolate the slowest
- Use high quality chocolate for all cooking projects — the better the ingredient, the better the results.
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
- 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
- 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.
- Stir in the salt
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Store in a single layer in an airtight container.
Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates
2132 N. Rock Road, Ste. 100
Wichita, KS 67206
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.