Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Sweets for the Sweet
As promised: Chocolate Therapy
I like to work with imported Mercken's chocolate since it's so creamy, it costs about $8.10 per batch and I get 4 boxes per batch. It's a yummy splurge. We traditionally make them at Christmas time and for Valentine's Day.
You will need to gather the following:
jelly roll pan, wax paper (cut 4 inches longer than the pan), peppermint oil (not extract), 3 oven safe bowls with 10.5 ounces of chocolate in each one, spatula, sharp paring knife and a yard stick
Set the oven to the lowest setting (100 to 150 degrees) and place the bowls of chocolate inside to melt for about 20 minutes
Remove the first bowl and dab chocolate under each corner of the wax paper to secure it
Add 7 drops of peppermint oil to the melted chocolate
Spoon chocolate onto waxed paper and working quickly, spread in an even layer
Remember, work quickly
As soon as you've spread it, grab each end of the pan and pound repeatedly on the counter top. (I have video of this if anyone wants to see it, it's the therapeutic part of the activity unless you count actually eating the chocolate, but its extremely noisy). This gets the little air bubbles out of the chocolate and smoothes out the layer. Let it set until it loses its shine, then repeat with the middle layer of chocolate. Add 7 drops of flavoring, stir, spoon it out on top of the first layer.
Quickly spread it out (notice in the right hand corner what happens if you push hard or work too slowly - the chocolate layers will blend) and pound, pound, pound!
Green layer has lost its shine and is ready for the final layer
Add 7 drops of peppermint oil and stir until smooth, pour over chocolate and spread smoothly and lightly with a spatula
Layer is spread and ready for pounding - go ahead, pound the tar right out of it.
All pounded out and almost ready for cutting
After marking your pan every 1 1/2 inches on the long sides and 1 3/8 inches along the short sides, use a T-square or yardstick to guide a sharp paring knife as you make your cuts. (You can begin cutting as soon as the chocolate loses its shine).
Admire your lovely straight lines, put on gloves and...
Package in cute little gift boxes
You can also use cookie cutters for a fun mint shape, but you might want to dip them in softened butter for an easier release.
To check out other craft ideas, see Scribbit's Winter Bazaar