OK, I’ve wanted to make artisan chocolates for a long time. I even had some very-amateur chocolate trials for the past two New Year celebrations, which turned out to be not-so-bad, but I still wanted to learn some real stuff on how to make artisan chocolates. So, I ordered “Making Artisan Chocolates” by Andrew Garrison Shotts, which is a very informative book about chocolate making. After reading some introductory info and seeing the delicious photos in the book, I decided to try some recipes.
Hand-dipped chocolates are made by dipping ganache-squares into tempered chocolate*, which is an easier process than making molded chocolates, where you pour the tempered chocolate into molds, a messy job. So, I decided to make hand-dipped ones as a beginning chocolate maker. This was actually a recipe with jasmine tea, but I changed it slightly by adding my favorite chocolate-accompanies: hazelnut and raisins. I also put Earl Grey tea instead of jasmine tea to try something different and feel the bergamot in my chocolates.
(* Chocolate tempering is a process where the chocolate is heated and cooled to specific temperatures to give chocolate a shiny look, avoid cocoa butter seen on the surface, and to make the chocolates harden in much lower temperatures.)
As I am thrilled by the word “butter” (an old habit from my past diet days) and try not to use it if it’s not so necessary, I did not put butter into my ganache. But you can feel free to add 2 tablespoons for a smoother taste. (By the way, I used heavy cream and it is nearly the same as butter. But I still don’t want to use butter! Heavy cream is enough to add the desired taste I think!)
I obviously messed the whole kitchen making the chocolates, tried to temper the chocolate without a thermometer and burnt it, so my hand-dipped chocolates look really ugly, as seen from the photo. But the thing is, they taste wonderful! I am still working on making “better-looking” chocolates, but this is an easy & delish recipe, believe me!
Hand-Dipped Chocolates with Earl Grey Tea, Hazelnut and Raisins
adapted from Making Artisan Chocolates
makes 48 chocolates
- 273 gr (9 ¾ ounces) 55-65% bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup Earl Grey Tea
- ½ cup hazelnuts, chopped
- ½ cup raisins
- 147 gr (5 ¼ ounces) 30-40% milk chocolate, melted (for the foot, which is to be spread onto the ganache squares to get a smoother surface)
- 906 gr (2 pounds) 30-40% milk chocolate, tempered* (for dipping)
* Make sure you use a thermometer to temper the chocolate, or you can burn the chocolate like me! So, I couldn’t temper the chocolate, and it does not affect the taste. If you are lazy to temper, just don’t!
In a saucepan, mix the heavy cream, water and tea, and cook until it gets to medium-heat. Wait for 5 minutes to allow tea give its flavor. Stir the mixture through a strainer into a bowl with chopped bittersweet chocolate, and mix until all the chocolate is melted, and you get a smooth ganache.
Cover the bottom of a square pan (small to medium-size) with a plastic wrap, and pour your ganache into the pan. Spread the ganache with spatula, and cool it in the freezer for at least two hours.
Take out the hardened ganache-rectangle from the freezer, and remove the plastic wraps. To make the foot, spread a thin layer of melted milk chocolate over the ganache with spatula, and freeze for an hour.
With a sharp knife, cut the freezed ganache to 48 squares. Using a fork, dip each one into the tempered chocolate, and make sure that all sides of the ganache-squares are covered with the tempered chocolate.
Place the chocolates onto a parchment paper. Freeze for another two hours.
Keep your chocolates in a cool place.