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Making Molded Chocolates
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Making Molded Chocolates

Confectionery coating is a good choice for beginners and does not require tempering. This product comes in a rainbow of colors and flavors in addition to the traditional chocolate flavor. Confectionery coating contains vegetable fat rather than cocoa butter, which makes it much more stable, though it does not have the same rich, complex flavor as high-quality chocolate. Confectionery coating is great to use when you're making candies with kids.

Essential Equipment
First, you'll need molds. Most candy molds are made of plastic and are quite inexpensive, so you can stock up on all the shapes, sizes and varieties you could ever want for any occasion. If you want to make suckers, don't forget to get sticks when you get the molds. I'd also get some small squeeze bottles while stocking up on supplies. These bottles make it easy to fill the molds and not make a mess. If you want different colors on your candies, don't forget to get a few small paintbrushes.

How to Melt Chocolate
The most important points to remember when melting chocolate or confectionery coating are: Never let water or other liquid to come into contact with it, and do not allow it to get too hot. Water and excess heat will both cause the chocolate to separate, rendering it unusable. Chocolate melts at 80F. so it does not have to be melted over boiling water. An easy way to judge is to remember the temperature of a baby's bottle, don't let your chocolate get hotter than that.

In the Microwave
Simply place the coating in a microwave-safe bowl and zap it on high power at 10-second intervals, stirring each time, just until it's completely melted.

In the Double Boiler
This method allows you the most temperature control, and is best for higher-quality chocolate. Set up your double boiler with just a small amount of water - the water should not be touching the top pan - and set it over medium-low heat. Add your coating pieces and stir constantly just until the mixture is smooth, then remove the pan from the heat.

Multicolored Molds
To make intricate, multicolored candies, buy different colors of confectionery coating and some small, food-safe paintbrushes. Paint one color at a time onto the surface of the mold and allow it to harden before proceeding with the next color. Once each color has hardened, fill in the remainder of the mold with whatever color of chocolate you like.

Pouring Chocolate
Simply fill up each mold slowly with a squeeze bottle or a spoon. Scrape off any excess chocolate with your palate knife or spatula, making the back of the mold smooth and even. If you're making lollipops, now is the time to insert the sticks, giving them a twist so that they're completely coated with chocolate. All that's left to do now is tap the mold on the countertop (making sure to keep it flat!) in order to release any air bubbles. To make the chocolate harden quickly, freeing up the mold for more candy making fun, put it in the freezer for a few minutes. Once the chocolate is firm enough to lift easily out of the mold, just invert the entire mold onto a clean towel and twist very gently until all candies pop out.

Once your candies are complete, store them in a dry place at room temperature.



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