If you’ve been inspired by the likes of Nigella or Kirstie and fancy giving some indulgent and bespoke gifts this year. Look no further, these luxury, artisan chocolates are deceptively easy to make. They look expensive, yet cost realativly little to produce. The biggest outlay will be your time and even that is minimual. You can purchase ingrediends to suit a theme, or with a particular recipient in mind. Or simply utilise what you have in the pantry. It’s an ideal way to use up any dried fruits, nuts or peel left over from making a Christmas cake.
Ingredients and equipment.
-Chocolate. Dark, milk, or white, you’ll need a few of the sharing bars, sufficient for the quantity you wish to make.
-Dried fruits, (cranberries, raisins, mixed peel, crushed nuts (allergies permitting)
-Cake decorating sprinkles, chocolate chips, curls, sugar shapes edible glitter etc.
-food flavour essences and colours.
Use grease proof paper, or baking parchment (cling film even) to line a shallow baking tray. Depending on any variations in flavours or decoration, you can do several smaller trays, or even disposable foil take away trays, if you wish to make smaller, individual bars of chocolate.
Now the fun begins. Break the chocolate up into small pieces; at this point keep the different chocolates separate. Decide on your combinations, I started with white chocolate as my base. I carefully melted the chocolate in the microwave, or use a ban Marie if you prefer.
Once the chocolate had melted and looked like rich, liquid velvet, I added a few drops of orange essence. Other fantastic flavours are vanilla and mint.
Pour the chocolate into the lined tray and using a spoon, roughly spread it about. Using the same melting method, drizzle over dark and milk chocolate, sprinkle with candied peel and chocolate strands. Once you’ve built up to a level and consistency you’re happy with. Place somewhere to cool and set.
Variations are easy, take time to swirl one colour, then another to create a marble effect, or use a few drops of food colouring in white chocolate for an extra contrast.
The combinations are endless. Once fully cooled and set (a good couple of hours in a cool place, or overnight) it’s time to destroy your creation. Use a toffee hammer, or even just your hands. Break the chocolate slab into rough chunks. Not too small, this is an indulgence after all. It’s really satisfying!
Bag up the chocolates, I used cellophane bags, but little boxes, stockings, or served on a platter, your artisan chocolate, your choice. Finished with a pretty bow, they are quite literally, good enough to eat.
It’s so easy, ideal for adding that personal touch and a great project to entertain children.
- Lady Sky