Help: Chocolate Types, Melting Chocolate, Tempering Chocolate
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- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
- 2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped (about ¼ inch pieces)
- 14 ounces (about 3⅓ cups) shredded or flaked sweetened coconut
- 4 ounces semisweet or, bittersweet chocolate
- 2 tablespoons shortening (optional, not used if tempering chocolate)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine melted butter, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, confectioners’ sugar, pecans, and coconut; stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until well mixed. Cover filling and refrigerate until well chilled, 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
- Shape filling into small balls, about 1” in diameter, using about 1 tablespoon of mixture for each ball. Place balls on prepared pan. Tip: A small ice cream scoop is ideal for making uniform-sized candies. Cover balls and refrigerate until well chilled, 1 to 2 hours or overnight.
If you don’t want to go through the steps of tempering the chocolate, the following directions are for melting chocolate (not tempering.)
- Line 2 large baking sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper or wax paper.
- In top of a double boiler over hot water, melt chocolate. Or, melt chocolate in a small heavy-bottom pan over low heat; stir constantly until melted so chocolate does not burn. Remove pan from heat. Or, place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, use 50% power and stir frequently just until the chocolate is melted; do not overheat as chocolate will burn easily. Stir in the shortening. Set aside to cool. Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Turn the heat off and place a glass bowl, stainless steel bowl, or ceramic bowl on top of the hot water; the upper pan should not touch the water.
- Place the cooled bowl of chocolate over a pan of hot water to keep the chocolate a liquid consistency for dipping.
- Place one ball at a time in the chocolate, gently turn it over with a fork or candy dipping fork. Use the fork to lift the ball out of the chocolate and tap the fork on the rim of the bowl to allow excess chocolate to drip back into the pan, and then draw the underside of the fork over the rim of the pan to remove any drips of chocolate. Gently place the chocolate coated ball on the prepared baking pan, pushing the ball off the fork with another fork. Let balls sit until the chocolate is dry and firm. Tip: refrigerate chocolate coated balls about 30 minutes for the chocolate to become firm. However, if the chocolate has been tempered the balls do not need to be refrigerated as the chocolate should set quickly.
- Store in an airtight container so they won’t dry out. Candies dipped with tempered chocolate can generally be stored in a cool place or at room temperature. Candies dipped with melted (untempered chocolate) should generally be stored in the refrigerator.