I will also be making the covered pretzels & dipped oreos using the molds which will be my little project and want the best possible result since i may give these as gifts. Would you recommend i buy the Merckens online for those or should i could temper the real chocolate such as Dove brand which is my favorite. The money isnt really a factor i just want a great smooth taste.
I havent tried Merckens but hear everyone speak highly of them. It would be around $25 or $26 for 5 pounds which includes shipping.
Any info you can give me on your experiences would be appreciated.
Since cost is not an issue to you, my favorite chocolate brands to work with are; Valrhona, Callebaut, and Guittard. I usually get these at Whole Foods.
A thermometer is necessary!!! Any really accurate instant-read would work.
If you want beautiful chocolates without bloom, you have to temper the chocolate you use. Chocolate is actually crystals, and when you melt it, they go askew and that gets you bloom. You need to bring it to a specific temperature for the crystals to realign properly so the chocolate regains its sheen and "snap." Just melting it isn't enough (this I know from experience: I made the UGLIEST chocolate-dipped cookies once, using chips and only melting). The easiest way to temper chocolate, called "seeding" is to melt the amount you'll need; melt to no more than 120 degrees F for dark chocolate or 110 for milk or white. Then stir in one-quarter as much (chopped) until it's all melted. Keep stirring until the temperature falls to 85 degrees F for dark chocolate, and to 83 for milk or white chocolate.
To make the candies (pops), chill the molds, pour in the chocolate, let it set briefly, then turn the molds over to drain out the excess. Then turn them back upright to finish setting. The chocolate should set fine at room temp (well, not if it's really HOT in the room, of course) and chilling is only if you want to rush the project. Chilling can make the chocolate more brittle though.
To cover the cookies and pretzels you can use a ganache of equal parts of chocolate and cream.
I hope this helps!
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