Pralines
Dessert, Vegetarian

How to make candy – Part 10: Chocolate confectionary

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Chocolate is mostly used for coating confectionery products. It’s delicious. You dip a sugary product in dark chocolate and that gives you a crisp crust with shiny brown color. If you use dark chocolate, the bitterness nicely compliments the sweetness of the candy.

But chocolate can not only be used for coating. You can also find it in the center of a praline or candy bar. That’s why I have three different recipes for you today:

  • Truffles
  • Soft Chocolate Caramels
  • Chocolate-coated marshmallow treats

There are many more recipes for candy with chocolate but, for me, this series is not about giving you every single candy recipe there is. Once you’ve understood the basic principles, you can start to experiment and come up with your own recipes.

Do you like chocolate-coated marzipan pralines? You can make them at home. Cut the marzipan into cubes and coat with chocolate. That’s it.

However, most candy bars and pralines are more complex than that. They have several different elements. Think of a Snickers bar. It has a layer of peanut caramel on top of a layer of nougat. The candy bar is coated with chocolate. It’s quite a bit of work to assemble all the elements needed to produce a Snickers bar. But it is no rocket science.

Snickers bar
A Snickers bar consists of three different elements.

My recipe for chocolate-coated marshmallow treats will give you an impression of how to approach multielement candies. The marshmallow treats consist of a nougat layer on top of a waffle layer and are coated in chocolate. In Germany, this is a popular candy for kids. It takes effort to make it yourself but it isn’t hard to do.

In my recipes, I call for tempered chocolate. If you don’t know how to temper chocolate, please refer back to my post on how to temper chocolate.

Truffles

Truffles are among the easiest and tastiest pralines to make. The filling is a ganache which is a mixture of heavy cream and dark chocolate. You can use this filling for all kinds of pralines. You can put any flavorings you like into it. If you like orange-flavored pralines, simply add a few drops of orange extract to the ganache. Chopped nuts are also a great addition.

The thing to consider when making these truffles is that your hands will get dirty. I recommend wearing lightly-oiled gloves because soft chocolate is sticky. If you ever feel like the truffles are too soft to work with, then put them in the freezer for a few minutes. That way they will firm up quickly. This recipe produces a soft ganache. If you want your ganache firmer, simply reduce the amount of heavy cream.

Instead of forming the truffles by hand, you could also pour the ganache into a silicon mold and then chill or even freeze the truffles before unmolding them. That way you can create for example star-shaped pralines. Yummy!

Truffles taste best if you use the highest possible quality of chocolate that you can afford. I don’t recommend cheap and plain baking chocolate for these. Instead, buy a regular bar of dark chocolate from your favorite chocolate producer.

Soft chocolate caramels

These are soft caramel candies coated with chocolate. What if you prefer toffee over soft caramel? Well, then simply prepare some toffees and coat them with chocolate. Any chewy candy can be coated with chocolate.

Chocolate-coated marshmallow treats

Chocolate-coated marshmallow treats are very popular in Germany. The nougat layer on the inside is very airy. It’s not elastic and spongey like an American marshmallow. What is the difference between nougat and a marshmallow? Well, there is no hard distinction. In general, you could say that industrially-produced nougat is made with egg whites and industrially-produced marshmallows are made with gelatin. But what if you use a combination of egg whites and gelatin? Then it’s both nougat and marshmallow. Because of the gelatin which is a little more unusual in nougat, I call these marshmallow treats.

This recipe is simple to follow but you need to invest time to prepare all the different elements. Complex candies are easier and more cost-effective to prepare on a large scale in a factory. But nothing beats the homemade version when it comes to taste.

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