Create some of your chocolate box favourites at home – strawberry and orange creams and delicious after dinner mints.
My new found favourite thing to do in the kitchen is making chocolates. I love it!
I recently shared my recipe for caramel filled milk chocolates and to get some inspiration for what to make next I asked for suggestions in my Facebook page. The one I decided to go for was dark chocolates filled with mint fondant.
The method for making these mint chocolates is exactly the same as for making other fondant filled chocolates, so I thought I might as well whip up a few strawberry and orange creams too. I’ve sadly not been able to make my favourite fondant filled chocolate – the coffee cream, as I didn’t have any coffee flavouring. I tried using regular coffee but the flavour wasn’t strong enough to notice it was there, so I need to keep an eye out for something more concentrated.
If you read my recent recipe for caramel filled milk chocolates you’ll notice that the method is very similar. However I’ve repeated it here just to keep things simple.
The fondant filling
For these chocolates I’ve decided to make marshmallow fondant. It’s really easy to make, basically just mixing together melted marshmallows and icing sugar. It also has a nice texture for a chocolate centre, soft but not runny.
I wouldn’t recommend simply using ready made fondant. It’s too hard and it doesn’t have nearly as nice a flavour as marshmallow fondant.
How to make fondant filled chocolates
What you’ll need – To make the fondant
Marshmallows, icing sugar and a little water
Flavourings – I’ve used this set of specialist chocolate flavourings from Lakeland. It includes orange, strawberry and peppermint.
Food colouring (optional) – If you like the nice pink and orange colours inside the chocolates, I used Sugarflair colourings (which I also use in all of my cake decorating).
Weighing scales, a bowl, a wooden spoon and a sieve
What you’ll need – To make the chocolate shells
Good quality chocolate – To make these I used Green & Black’s 70% cocoa dark chocolate (as it was on special offer!). However any good quality dark chocolate will work.
To make 15 chocolates I used 300g of chocolate. This is far more than you actually need (each chocolate has about 8g of chocolate in it). However, due to the way the chocolates are made it’s much, much easier to do it if you have more than enough chocolate to hand. Don’t worry, the extra chocolate won’t go to waste, you can pour the melted chocolate onto some greaseproof paper, leave it to set, then wrap it up and save it to use again another day.
To make my caramel chocolates I used this square chocolate mould from Lakeland. I could have used the same mould again, however I decided my chocolate box would look a bit boring with all square chocolates. I therefore splashed out on this chocolate box shapes mould which has all sorts of different shapes to make my chocolate box look interesting.
Unlike the square mould, this moulds made of silicon which is very flexible. I found that this had some advantages and disadvantages over the solid square mould:
- The mould is flexible, which helps when you’re trying to pop out any slightly stubborn chocolates (you just need to push them gently from underneath).
- The inside of the mould is extremely smooth, meaning that you end up with a really beautiful shine on your chocolates.
- This mould is much cheaper at about half the price of the solid moulds.
- The flexible nature of the moulds makes it tricky to tip out the excess chocolate. I did end up in a bit of a mess which didn’t happen with the solid mould. It’s also trickier to scrape any excess chocolate from the top of the mould with a knife to ensure that they end up neat and tidy.
Something to melt the chocolate in
I usually melt mine in a small saucepan directly over a very low heat. However, many websites recommend using a bain marie (chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water). You can also melt chocolate in a microwave, but it’s difficult to control the heat and ensure that the chocolate melts evenly.
If you choose to use a bain marie, then be extremely careful not to get any of the water from the pan into the chocolate, as a single drop can ruin an entire batch.
A cooking thermometer suitable for chocolate.
You need to temper the chocolate, to give it its shine and ensure it comes out of the moulds easily (don’t worry, it’s really pretty straightforward to do). I prefer to use a thermometer when I’m tempering as it takes any guesswork out and makes it highly likely you’ll get the right results every time.
I use this Thermospatula from Lakeland, which checks the temperature while you stir the chocolate (and it can be used for lots of other things too).
I’ve found that the thermospatula is great for stirring the chocolate. However, it’s quite stiff so it’s useful to have a more flexible rubber spatula to hand too to scrape the pan and make sure you don’t have any waste.
To cool the chocolate in.
Fondant filled chocolates nutritional information per chocolate
This is the estimated nutritional information per chocolate. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you want to learn more about how this is calculated.