I finally did it. I made my first hand dipped chocolate, whiskey salted caramels! This is something I have been wanting to try since making my first batch of caramels last year. Yes, it is labor intensive and yes they do go quick. But they came out so amazingly perfect, it was worth every minute of work. Will’s grandma turned 93 this year. She likely has the world’s largest sweetest tooth, eating a chocolate every morning with her glass of water and one or two in the afternoon. Will has stories of brownies for breakfast and dozens of pies being made and frozen for surprise guest visits. So I decided that this year I would skip purchasing someone else’s chocolates for her birthday and make her some myself. She is a connoisseur after all and at 93 you deserve a little luxury. I trimmed those precious sweeties and packaged them just like they would be from the shoppe. Handmade and hand delivered, there is nothing sweeter. I guess you could say that I am quite proud of my little chocolates and the accomplishment that they were.
- At least 1 pound of chocolate (I used Callebaut milk chocolate blocks)
- Whiskey Salted Caramels (Recipe Here) I made a double batch and 1lb of chocolate was enough to cover 2/3 of the caramels
- Accurate chocolate or instant-read thermometer
- Double boiler, or a bowl fitted on top of a saucepan
- Rubber spatula
- Make Caramels and cut them using the above recipe. Refrigerate until ready.
Chop your chocolate. It is best to use at least 1 pound of chocolate, as it is easier to temper (and retain the temper) of larger amounts of chocolate. If this is more than you need, you can always save the extra for later use. Be sure that your chocolate is in block or bar form, not chocolate chips. The chips have additives that allow them to retain their shape at higher temperatures, and so they will not temper properly.
Melt 2/3 of your chocolate. Place it in the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water. Securely clip a chocolate or instant-read thermometer to the side of the boiler to monitor the chocolate’s temperature.
Stir gently but steadily as the chocolate melts and heats up. Use a rubber spatula, not a wooden or metal spoon.
Bring the chocolate to 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 C) for dark chocolate or 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 C) for milk or white chocolate. Do not allow the chocolate to exceed its recommended temperature. When it is at the right temperature, remove it from the heat, wipe the bottom of the bowl, and set it on a heat-proof surface.
Add the remaining chunks of chocolate and stir gently to incorporate. The warm chocolate will melt the chopped chocolate, and the newly added chocolate will bring down the temperature of the warm chocolate.
Cool the chocolate. Once the chocolate gets below 84 degrees F (29 C), remove the remaining chunks of chocolate. They can be cooled, wrapped in plastic wrap, and saved for another use.
Reheat the chocolate briefly.Place the chocolate bowl over the warm water in the double boiler for 5-10 seconds, remove it and stir, and repeat, until the temperature reaches 88-89 degrees F (31 C), or 87 F (30 C) for milk and white chocolate. Do not leave the chocolate over the hot water, or allow it to exceed 91 degrees.
Your chocolate should now be tempered! To make sure it has been done properly, do a spot test: spread a spoonful thinly over an area of waxed paper and allow it to cool. If the chocolate is shiny and smooth, it is properly tempered. If it is dull or streaky, it has not been tempered correctly.
- Remove the caramels from the refrigerator. Drop a caramel into the chocolate and, using a dinner fork, turn it to coat. Lift it out of the chocolate and tap the fork several times on the edge of the bowl. Scrape the bottom of the fork against the edge of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate.
- Place the coated caramel on the empty baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining caramels, using the first baking sheet when the second sheet is full and making sure the caramels do not touch. Let sit until the chocolate sets. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Tempering Recipe from About.com