Saturday, 5 October 2013

WCC: Chocolate Arcane Eye Truffles

   My third piece for my WoW Crafting Challenge: Chocolate Arcane Eyes. Before I start, however, I have to give a special shout out to my friend Vicky over at VividPlease for being a star and printing that screenshot for me. I printed it myself but it came out pink. Yes, pink. I wouldn't have had a backdrop for this picture if not for her, and while I could have tried to edit the screenshot in behind it, I'm not sure it would have gone well. So thank you Vicky!

   These were a pain to do. I've made chocolates a hundred times before, but I've never done them quite like this. Usually they consisted of milk or dark chocolate, since white chocolate is the least healthy chocolate in terms of cocoa (those 'happy chemicals' in chocolate only actually exist in dark and raw chocolate. The greater the cocoa %, the healthier and happier it is, and you can't get much more concentrated than raw chocolate), and I'm not as keen on it, but it would have been a true challenge to colour milk chocolate light blue.
   Coating chocolates in chocolate - or anything in chocolate - is difficult because of the tempering (heating and cooling process) the chocolate goes through before it makes it onto shops' shelves. I had heard of Candy Melts by Wilton some time ago, but never bothered with them because they were white chocolate - in truth, they're not really chocolate, but they taste like white which doesn't appeal to me too much. But for this, I decided to get some. They're designed to be melted and then cool again. If you melt a chocolate bar and cover something in it, it won't set quite properly. It'll melt much easier once it's hardened which makes for messier products. The Candy Melts, however, were made with this in mind, and are totally solid after cooling.
   I was planning on buying white ones and colouring them, but just so happened to find some in the perfect shade of blue, which saved me £3 on food colouring, and messing around trying to get the shade right, and cleaning the blue stains afterwards. I also bought 2 bottles of lustre dust in Ice Blue and Ocean Blue, though I only ended up using the former.
   I also used three Galaxy milk chocolate bars and a bit of heavy cream to make the ganache filling.

   First, I made the ganache, with one part cream to three parts chocolate (I used one cup of double cream and three 114g milk chocolate bars). It's super easy, you just heat up the cream and then pour it over the broken up chocolate and mix it until the chocolate has melted. Finding a recipe for it is easy and they're mostly all the same.
   I put it in the fridge, but as you can see from the picture, I was impatient and made a ball a bit too soon. It was still too soft so I chucked it back in. I left it in the fridge over night, but to be honest it would have gone better if I'd left it in there for maybe 2 days instead of one.
   As you can see, it's quite firm even after just one day.

   Next I scooped chocolate out with a teaspoon and made 1 inch balls. They were quite soft and stuck to my hand a bit, and needed rerolling after a few hours - I left half of the mixture in the fridge, unrolled, for another day, which is why I now know it was better to wait and have more patience. I stuck them on cocktail sticks (they ended up sliding down them) and put them in the freezer to harden them faster, and when they'd set again, I rerolled them. They tidied up better this time. You'll also see from this picture that I coated them in cocoa powder. I did this to keep them from sticking to my hand which gave them a rounder shape, but it proved to be a mistake as I tell you later on. Most of the chocolates you see at the end were actually chocolates made from the 2-day cooled chocolate.

   Next I melted the Candy Melts. They kept the same blue colour, but the problem was that they were quite thick. I've looked this up and it's common for them to be very thick, and I read that adding oil to them can thin it without compromising taste and texture, though it did reduce their hardness at the end - they were still hard, but because I wanted them to be coated smoothly all over, I needed it to be thinner. If I was just putting them on a plate and covering them to look more gourmet, then I wouldn't have needed to thin the chocolate and the shell would have been much thicker. The oil did not make the chocolate oily or even remotely weird, it was quite good.
   The Candy Melts can be remelted, and to be sure I had enough to dip into I melted the whole bag. When I was done, I spread it all over clingfilm and put it away. It hardened and I was able to break it back up and put it back in its bag and melt it a week later over a cake.
   The chocolates kept coming off of the cocktail sticks, so I ended up using a soon to spread the chocolate over rather than dipping them in, and I ended up giving them three coats since the chocolate was thinned. Then I put them back in the freezer. The weight of the chocolate shell weighed the chocolates down and some of them slid back down the cocktail stick, but they were easily corrected once they had set. I took them off of the sticks and added a little bit of the melted chocolate to the top to cover the hole, let it set and that was that.
   The reason the cocoa powder didn't work was because it mixed into the melted chocolate once I put it on there. I should have expected this. It left brown, chocolatey streaks through the coat, which was very difficult to correct. The chocolates that had been allowed to set a day or two longer before being rolled had a rounder shape even without cocoa powder, and didn't suffer from the brown streaks.

   When they had fully set, I took out the lustre dust. I could have bought edible paint but that cost more for just one colour, and I had used the dust before, so I knew what could be achieved. However, they didn't take well to the chocolate. What I did was take a clean, unused paint brush and painted a line with water onto the ball for the iris. It let it dry a little bit then put some of the ice blue powder onto it. I used the wet brush to spread it around into the shape of the iris, and it took much better. Once that had dried, I added more powder and was able to darken it. I did this on each of the chocolates. Not all of them worked - it was annoying and tedious so some of them went wrong by human error, but I was happy to have most of them work, and I picked five of the best (yes, those were the best five - this project did not go as well as I had hoped, but I know I couldn't do it better).


  1. They look amazing! I want to eat them all... :D

  2. Thank you ^^ I'd liked to have had more, but my dad and boyfriend got to them before I could dig in!! One of the plus sides of being the baker is that YOU'RE supposed to get first dibs :(

  3. disqus_u5aXIqsYtH6 October 2013 at 00:08

    Holy arcane sugar-tooth, those are amazing!! Now to get off my big tail and make them! Wonderful

  4. Mmm they look yummy!

  5. A few years ago we did a Brewfest/Halloween party and these would have been PERFECT on the menu! Probably a bit too fiddly for my drunk ass to make, though! They look awesome, well done :D

  6. Oh that sounds like an awesome party! They're not that hard to do - it's coating them in the melted chocolate that's hard, it's difficult to get it smooth, so I failed on that front, but at the end of the day, they tasted good :P I'd probably try them again but make Darkmoon Eyes instead.

  7. Taste is the most important thing! I might try them for Blizzcon this year. It starts at 1am our time so we'll no doubt need the sugar high to stay up for the whole thing!

  8. Well good luck with them! If you need a hand, give me a shout. Alternatively there's a lot of advice online about coating chocolate truffles that is more experienced than what I could offer.


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