Skip to main content

Solid Dark Chocolate Almond Hearts

Decided to do a few Valentine's Day orders this year.  I'll make a few more things to fill out my box assortments, but here's the first recipe.

Stacey's Dark Chocolate Almond Hearts Ingredients:
24 oz Guittard 64% dark chocolate couverture
11 oz local farmers' market almonds, toasted and chopped
Heart Molds

I think this recipe has a few too many almonds - I'd probably scale it back to something like 8 oz for next time.  Usually I eyeball it, but I wanted weights for my blog.  I toasted the almonds first for 15 minutes at 350F since the almonds came straight out of the freezer.  Make sure your almonds are around 90F when you add them to your tempered chocolate.

Tempering Chocolate (Seed Method)

The counter tops were at 62F.  This is important.  If you are tempering chocolate, make sure that the ambient temperature (as well as working surfaces) are less than 70F.  Otherwise chocolate will not temper.  I learned this the hard way the first summer I worked with chocolate.

If you are using molds, also make sure you use a soft cloth to polish them (usually I do this right after washing so it's still damp) to remove water spots.  This will help the resulting chocolates be as shiny as possible. Avoid using anything rough that can scratch them.

Other tips? I keep my molds and spoons in the microwave until I'm ready to use them (I do NOT turn the microwave on). The microwave is warm, and that way the molds and spoons don't make the chocolate set as soon as it touches them.

I use the seeding method and a microwave to temper my chocolate.  I put my couverture in a pyrex bowl and microwave at 30 second intervals until it's about 100F, using my trusty KINTREX IRT0421 Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer with Laser Targeting.  Then I add my seeding chocolate and stir until it reaches 90F, removing whatever hasn't melted from the seed chocolate afterward.  

Then I threw in the 90F chopped almonds.

This is a mold with 1/2 oz hearts so I use teaspoons to fill them.  After filling each cavity, or every other cavity, I jiggled the mold on the counter-top fairly vigorously (it makes quite a racket). This releases the air bubbles in the bottom of the mold, and flattens what will be the bottom of the chocolates.

After waiting a few hours for the chocolate to set (I actually waited overnight for this batch, which is usually best because I can be sure it will break free easily), I was ready to break them out.

I use a baking sheet lined with a layer of plastic wrap and turn the mold upside down and bang it on the sheet.  These are tough poly-carbonate molds, so they can take some beating.  There seem to be some from Amazon (Paderno World Cuisine Polycarbonate Chocolate Mold, Rounded Heart) but I think I got mine from Tomric.com.

So I turned the mold over, rapped it against the sheet, and picked up the chocolate as it fell out.


If you don't pick up the chocolates as they fall out, it's really easy to accidentally hit them with the mold and dent them.  I know... I've done it, sadly.

Tah-dah, heart shaped chocolates!

Comments

  1. Looks great. We make chocolate almonds all the time (no molds though) and use a blend of Scharfenberger 99% and 79% and use a homemade double boiler to melt the chocolate.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love chocolate & almonds together! They came out perfect! :o)

    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, guys! :) @Mark - oooh super dark.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Chocolate Chunk Cranberry Cookies

I'd been wanting to try out a recipe with chocolate chunks instead of regular chips and thought I'd give this one a shot. Result: rave reviews from the BBQ I went to at my friend's house.

Ingredients
(weight not volume)
10.1 oz flour
0.5 oz cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbs (1.5 sticks) butter
7 oz light brown sugar
3 oz granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla bean paste (you can use regular vanilla extract if you want)
9 oz dark and white chocolate chunks (I chopped up a 70% bar and used white chocolate disks 6oz:3oz dark:white - you can use whatever mixture you like, or use chocolate chips)
1/3 c dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350F.

Soften butter in the microwave. Beat sugar, egg, vanilla, and butter until fluffy.  Add dry ingredients and mix.

Drop about 2 tbs of dough at a time on the cookie sheets,  about 2" apart (I used a 1 oz scooper).

Bake for 10-12 min, rotating the pan once after 6 minutes until edges are starting to brown (and if you're …

Throwing some shade

Ombre Flowers

So I wanted to try that new ombre cake frosting trend.  I used whip cream here on an eggless chocolate cake I made for a potluck at work (for those egg-free individuals on my team).  Everyone was sufficiently impressed.  I was a little disappointed at the messiness of the blue/purple end, and I kinda ran out of cream, but it tasted good. Anyway...

Eggless Chocolate Cake 2 c sugar
1 3/4 c flour3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1/2 c sunflower oil, organic
1 c whole milk, organic
1 c boiling water 1 tsp salt 3 tbs flax seeds
Roses 2 c heavy cream 1/4c sour cream 1 tsp vanilla ½ c powdered sugar food coloring (if desired)
Pre-heat oven to 350F. Soak flax seeds in milk for an hour or overnight (or use flax meal). Blend (I used a stick blender). 
Mix dry ingredients. Mix in wet ingredients, with boiling water being last.
Pour into cake pan (9x13). 
Bake for 30 min, rotating once. 
Let cake cool at least an hour.
Whip creams and then mix in powdered sugar and …

Photo -> Ink Drawing #1: Picnic

I went out to have a picnic with two of my best friends, Ester and Young out in Napa.  We brought Ester's dog Fergus and I took a picture.


I've started a new hobby of trying to turn my photos into drawings (and maybe paintings someday when I have the time).  Here is my first (and perhaps only) attempt at an ink rendition.


I did pencil first, since I tend to have problems with proportions, then filled in later with ink. You can click on the images for larger versions.