Thursday, 27 January 2011

Ginger Chocolates

Tempering chocolate is one of the things I have kept putting off; it all seemed rather complicated and difficult. I was determined, however, to try it before the year was out. Not having a sugar thermometer or a microwave, I made a very basic attempt just before Christmas.  These chocolates were destined for Christmas presents, so I did looks were fairly important. Luckily, it seemed to work, but whether this was pure fluke, very good chocolate or I actually did the right thing, I do not know. I used Chocolate by Trish 74% for cooks and her 38% milk chocolate - both of which I had used before and was already impressed with.
  • Chopped cubes of crystallised ginger into small pieces and placed these at the bottom of 24 small round chocolate moulds.
  • Melted 110g dark chocolate (74% buttons used for chestnut brownies) in a pan over near simmering water.
  • When melted added a further 40g and removed the bowl from the pan. 
  • Resisted the temptation to stir until these had also melted - then stirred until smooth.
  • Spooned enough of this over the ginger to fill the moulds.
  • Melted 100g milk chocolate - I had intended to use the same method as for the dark chocolate, but for some reason I couldn't get it to melt properly. It could be that my kitchen was very cold, because it melted beautifully when I first used it in the lemon balm ganache.
  • Spooned the melted (but not tempered) chocolate over the remaining ginger pieces.
  • Licked out the bowl of lovely warm chocolate - yum.
Lovely shiny dark chocolates - my first ever and I was very excited. It didn't work as well for the milk ones, but a partial success was good enough for a first attempt and they all tasted truly delicious. Ginger and chocolate is one of my favourite combinations and proved to be popular with friends and family too. As a milk chocolate lover, these were my favourite, but I would have been quite happy polishing off the lot myself. This year, by hook or by crook, I want to master the art of tempering or at least become adept at it. Any tips you have to offer would be much appreciated.

29 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness these look good, I had a couple of ginger chocolates in my specially for me box of chocs at Christmas and I am now a complete convert to the loveliness of them. I am going to give these a go.

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  2. These are my Mum's favourite things in the whole world - how great to have a recipe. I've aways been put off by tempering too - let us know how you get on...

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  3. Oh ginger and dark choc is my fav too. I love the way the ginger is not fully enrobed - asserting itself!

    My tip for tempering: ask the local tile shop for a marble tile ... one from a discontinued line even. This is a great way to cook the chocolate once melted.

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  4. I love the way the chocolate has flowed around the ginger pieces, but not covered them completely. One of those things which you might not have intended, and probably wouldn't happen again, but it really makes the chocolates look unique!

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  5. looks great - I have no clues about tempering but would be fascinated to learn about it from a true chocolate lover like yourself

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  6. I spent a fortune wasting chocolate and getting the mildew like results from commercial sweetie brands or using it too hot.

    For me, it's Callebaut all the way - and a chocolate melting pot. I haven't used a thermometer with it to date - but have been getting good results and sheen.

    Your chocolate gingers look yummy !

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  7. well they look like jewels... i'd be more than happy to be given them!... such a delightful post x

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  8. looks too good...loved the ginger flavour...

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  9. Congratulations ! You did it!

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  10. delicious flavours can't remember if I have had this combination

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  11. you have done it congrats! tempering i have never dared to try ...u have got it so perfectly i can see the gloss on the chocolate ...looks very beautiful :)

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  12. Looks like it worked to me. I don;t find tempering chocolate hard, just time consuming and I think that might be what puts a lot of people off, but its pretty simple to do and it gets great results like this!

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  13. I love ginger and chocolate. These look wonderful!

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  14. Congratulations on your first tempering experience! These look great! I hope to master it someday too. I, and most food scientists including Heston, swear by Harold McGee's 'On Food and Cooking'. It has an incredible amount of information and I know for a fact that there's a few pages about tempering in there!

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  15. wowzer, these are the real deal! Gorgeous and with my favourite ginger too!

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  16. They look perfect! I am totally impressed.

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  17. Candy making is not the easiest thing in the world to accomplish. Your morsels look delicious. That chocolate and ginger combo is hard to beat. These sound delicious. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  18. I'm very impressed - they look great. I keep meaning to have a go at tempering chocolate too, but haven't yet got round to it. Perhaps this year... I'll be following your attempts with interest. Chocolate and ginger is always a winning combination too!

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  19. Kath - ginger and chocolate is a real winner. But I guess I would say that wouldn't I ;-) Glad you had your very own box of chocolates to enjoy - anything else of note?

    Liz - it's my mother's favourite combination too. I've been trying to find a chocolate course in Cornwall, but have had no luck so far - a simple one for home bods like me.

    Gillian - thanks for the tile tip - I now feel completely terrified ;-0

    Suelle - thank you, it's nice to get encouragement for my rather bodged attempt. But actually, I quite like the pieces of ginger showing too.

    Johanna - thank you. Let's hope I learn something to pass on ;-)

    Sarah-Jane - yes I hear from others that Callebaut is the way to go, but it seems you can only buy it in really large quantities. Any recommendations on a good chocolate melting pot?

    Dom - you know how to schmooze. Feel great now, thanks ;-)

    Sushma - thank you. Ginger and chocolate seems to be popular with so many people.

    Joanna - thank you. It was more by luck than judgement and I have no idea if I'll be able to get such good results a second time!

    Torview - you must try it, ginger and chocolate go very well together.

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  20. Ananda - thank you. I was really pleased with these, but don't know if I will be as lucky a second time.

    Chele - maybe I can come around to you for lessons - simple to do? Really?

    CityHippy - I just keep thinking of your great tempering post and know I have a long way to go.

    Busy Nest - thank you

    Hazel - thank you and thanks for the book recommendation.

    Janice - thank you. Maybe we should start a ginger chocolate fan club; there are so many of us out there ;-)

    FoodyCat - thank you. "Totally impressed" has filled me with pride - dare I do it again and fall flat on my face?

    Mary - you are so right there, I haven't found it at all easy. But will hopefully get better.

    C - thank you. I really do want to try and master it. I won one of Celia's chocolate moulds and really want to be able to use it - moi? Scared? Will be interested to see how you get on, if and when you do give it a go.

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  21. So shiny, Choc! They look most fine! I always find milk chocolate harder to temper than dark (milk is a bit more temperature sensitive at both ends - as it's heating and again when cooling). My tip? Buy a digital probe thermometer, you'll never look back. :)

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  22. Celia - thank you. I've looked at thermometers in the shops but have only seen jam ones and they are huge. Will have a look for your digital probe.

    Kitchenmaid and Mr Pineapple - thank you

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  23. one of my favourite combinations - they look amazing.

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  24. Thanks BVG, I was pleased with them.

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  25. Mr OC knows how to keep me sweet. There wasn't enough cherry chocolates this year though. But I was surprised at how strangely addictive the violet and rose creams were. I let them have the occasional one or two (well one actually).

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  26. Kath - I'm rather envious of those violet and rose creams, especially the rose ones - yum! Now I know you must be a generous woman - you wouldn't catch me handing out anything from a "specially for me" box of chocolates, well, unless they were coffee ones.

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