Ever since i bought that pretty little glossy book on chocolates by Nita Mehta, i ve been dying on and off to make them chocolates. Now, todays batch or rather day before yesterdays batch was made on a whim. I realised that planning to make them was only going to remain planning and never materialise into some yummy chocolates. So, the other day, even when the temperature was hovering a lil above 39 C, i couldnt stop myself from entering into the kitchen and chopping up the chocolate. Let me tell you, once you make chocolates at home, your conception of chocolates and cocoa will change manifold. Such is the beauty of the whole process and then the chocolate itself.
After flipping through Nita Mehta s book, for like maybe the 100th time, i zeroed in on 2 recipes. Mint filled chocolates and marble chocolates. Because i think mint is exotic and because i was bored with marble due to the extensive gorging on the marble cake that i made sometime before, i settled on mint chocolates. Also, i couldnt wait to try the mint essence that i had finally managed to discover after much huffing and puffing in Baroda. It will be a totally crass understatement if i say the chocolates were fantastic. Like one of my students said, they were out of the world. But the biggest compliment came when a friend said i could wrap them and sell them. I m not a chocolate person. No, not even a tiny one. But then even i couldnt resist these and they were terrific. I made a baby batch for i am still in the beginner league of making chocolates at home. But then there were calls for more and some more. So give it a shot and it actually doesnt take much effort or time.
Prep Time: Under 30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins to make the sauce
20 mins to melt the chocolate
10 mins to set the shells
2 hours to set the finished batch of chocolates
Yields 12 chocolates
( Choosing the right mold for your chocolates are very important. You wouldnt need a very deep one for these chocolates though. Try buying one of those silicone molds. They are pricey but the shapes are beautiful, tapping the chocolates out is a breeze and is no fuss when it comes to cleaning. You must give it the said time to set. When, melting the chocolate, make sure the pan in which you melt it s completely moisture free and that it fits exactly over the deeper pan. If you have steam coming out, then your chocolates may not be great. For more details on melting chocolate read this)
What You Need?
For The Chocolate:
Cooking chocolate dark 150g chopped coarsely
Molds of your choice
For The Filling:
Polo mint sweets 12
Sugar 5 tbsp
Corn flour ½ tsp
Fresh Cream 2 tbsp
Mint essence ¼ tsp
Green food coloring the liquid ones a small drop(optional)
Chocolate mold of your choice
Double boiler or a pan which will fit into a larger vessel perfectly but having gap between the bottoms of both.
How To Make It?
Making The Sauce:
Combine the polo sweets and sugar and blend to a fine powder in a blender.Sieve and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, add the mint sauce, cream, food color and the powdered sugar mixture and combine well.
Heat a heavy bottomed pan and pour this into the pan.
Stir continously for about a min on medium flame until you get a semi solid consistency.Dont cook for more than a min as the sauce hardens as it cools down. We dont want mint brittle here. So be easy on the sauce.
Set aside to cool.
Making The Chocolates:
Fill a large pan to half with water and bring to boil.
Place a pan over the pan of water and make sure that steam doesnt escape from the sides.
Now, add the chopped chocolate to the pan and wait for it to begin to melt.
Once it begins melting, start stirring the chocolate with a dry wooden ladle until its completely melted and the chocolate is shiny in texture. Let it cool for about 4 to 5 mins.
Making the shells:
Spoon a tablespoon of chocolate into each of the grooves in your mould.
Drop the mould gently on to the kitchen surface.
Now, invert the mould into the pan in which you melted the chocolate. All the excess chocolate comes out and you will have the sides of your grooves coated in chocolate. Now put the mold into the freezer for about 10 mins until set.
In the meanwhile, place the chocolate over the hot water.
(in my opinion, this is the time when the curious cat in you wants to open the fridge every second minute to check if it s done. But resist the urge and just think about the chocolates)
Filling The Chocolates:
After 10 mins, take the mould out and set on a kitchen surface.
Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the filling into each groove.
Once you ve filled all the grooves with the filling, pour the melted chocolates in the mold till it overflows.
Gently drop the mold on the surface.
This is to make sure that the chocolate coats the filling completely and the chocolate s sealed. It looks very ugly if you have some filling peeping out.
Now, put this in the fridge to set.
Takes about 1 hour to 1 hour and 45 mins.Mine took exactly 1 hour and 20 mins.
If you tap the chocolate on the top and if it s hard, then you know it s done.
Now, gently tap the chocolates onto a clean surface.
Transfer to a clean air tight container and keep refrigerated.
You can even wrap them up as small gifts!!