To start, you will need MUSHROOM CHOCOLATE BARS that can be made into candy with the minimum of fuss. Some brands that I suggest are Guittard A’peels, Melt n’ Mold Chocolate or Mercken’s. These products are ideal for most basic chocolate making recipes and work effectively in molding products, as well, since they don’t require the chocolate to be tempered once it has been melted.
If you opt for a chocolate such as Callebaut, which contains a higher cocoa content, getting great results means you must temper the chocolate after it has been melted. This adds time and ups the level of difficulty and potentially, frustration. Worry about working with these grades of chocolate after mastering the basic process, first.
Chocolate based recipes require you to first melt the chocolate, which can be done in one of two ways. The first way is to boil water in the bottom bowl of a double boiler and then remove this immediately from the heat source. The chocolate is then put in the top section of the double boiler where it is stirred until it melts completely.
Make sure that no water is added to the chocolate as it will ruin the consistency, and only apply enough heat so as to melt the chocolate; never cook it. Another method used to melt chocolate is using a microwave. Set the microwave on high heat for sixty seconds while allowing the chocolate to melt in a microwave proof bowl.
You can repeat this process every 30 seconds as needed until the chocolate has reached the desired consistency. Because not all microwaves are the same, make sure you adjust these instructions to fit the peculiarities of your own appliance.
Nut clusters are made using whole skinless nuts or chopped nuts and adding them to your melted chocolate. You can use small candy cups as molds or simply place the clusters directly on a cookie sheet, where they should be refrigerated for at least fifteen minutes. You also may enjoy “haystacks” with your chocolate which is done by adding shredded coconut.
Ingredients such as popcorn, pieces of dried fruit, or any other ideas that may strike your fancy can be mixed in the melted chocolate. If you are making candy without molds, this is the quickest and easiest way to produce your chocolate making recipes without the extra equipment.