I have a confession to make – researching this article made my mouth water, and I realized it should probably contain a warning, so here it is: If you don’t have a craving for chocolate right now, you will by the time you finish reading this post. You might want to have some chocolate on hand before you continue reading. Grab some Hershey’s kisses, or break open a bag of chocolate chips – anything will do – just in case!
Chocolate is a worldwide obsession. Everybody has a favorite. The purists prefer their chocolate free of any added ingredients. Some crave nuts, caramel, or coconut with chocolate, but others passionately insist peanut butter and chocolate make the ultimate combo. While the debate continues, candy makers tantalize the chocolate-loving public with their latest creations. It all starts with a seed…
Seeds Growing upon Cacao Trees
Turning cacao seeds into the delicious chocolate treats, we have come to adore, is time consuming. For the DIY candy makers, manufacturers have simplified the process by creating small chocolate wafers called candy melts, which are available in milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and assorted flavors, such as peppermint and strawberry.
Milk Chocolate Candy Melts
Melted Milk Chocolate
Chocolate is melted in a double boiler. When it reaches a smooth, creamy consistency, it can be poured into molds similar to the one shown below.
Milk Chocolate Hearts
After refrigeration, the chocolates are unmolded and ready to eat. The solid milk chocolate hearts in the above photo are the easiest, beginner-level of chocolate candy making.
Assorted Gourmet Chocolates
With practice and a little creativity, you can graduate to the next level.
Do you have a gourmet sweet tooth? Chocolatiers, such as Lindt, and Godiva, are excellent choices, but can be expensive. Making these decadent truffles takes a little more effort, but it’s still an easy process. Instead of filling the mold all at once, it is done in layers. The first layer forms the outer chocolate shell. Coat the mold with chocolate. Next the filling is added. Popular favorites are hazelnuts, butter cream, peanut butter, caramels, chocolate liqueurs and cream fillings. A piping bag can be used to make filling easier. Refrigerate the mold to allow the filling and chocolate to solidify. The last step is adding another layer of chocolate to fill any remaining voids and seal the top of the mold. Refrigerate and carefully un-mold. Your candy making skills will be the envy of all your friends and family.
If gourmet chocolate isn’t your style, there are simpler options…
Chocolate & Vanilla Fudge
Assorted Chocolate Barks
Crispy Chocolate Caramel Bar
Have you ever eaten a 100Grand candy bar? It’s a delicious combination of crispy chocolate with a gooey caramel center. Making your own is simple: Melt milk chocolate wafers and stir in Rice Krispies. Spread half the mixture in an 8×8 pan. Pour caramel sauce over the top, and then cover with the remaining chocolate mixture. Refrigerate to harden the chocolate and cut into bars. Don’t be surprised if the pan magically empties.
Chocolate Covered Cookie
Chocolate Covered Marshmallows
Chocolate Covered Cake Pops
Undecided whether to have chocolate or cake? Have both with chocolate cake pops.
Chocolate Covered Apples
If soft, gooey, caramel and decadent chocolate were people, they would be best friends. For gourmet apples, dip fruit in caramel first, followed by chocolate, and roll in sprinkles, crushed nuts, or anything else your taste buds desire.
Chocolate Caramel Popcorn
What more do you need on movie night?
Hot Chocolate & Red Velvet Cake
Perhaps beverages are more to your liking? There’s no need to wait for cold weather. Crank up the air conditioner, we’re having hot chocolate!
Chocolate Fudge Pie
Who could resist the rich, creamy taste of chocolate mousse?
Brownie a la Mode
Solid Chocolate Cell Phone
No phone plan is needed here. Hold all my calls! This is going to take a while.