Making chocolate is an interesting and absorbing hobby that can be enjoyed by all members of the family - most of whom will enjoy the manufacture and all of whom will enjoy the sampling. The basics are simple and if instructions are followed there is no reason a quality product cannot be produced at home. The quality and taste of your finished chocolates will be affected by the excellence or otherwise of your chocolate base. It is important that you use the best ingredients if you wish to produce chocolates of the highest quality.
It is better not to attempt to make chocolates in very hot or humid conditions as these circumstances can cause your finished product to lack shine and glaze.
Always use a china bowl in which to melt your chocolate. This should be placed over a saucepan containing about 1 inch of water at a temperature just below boiling point. It is best to boil the water and then remove from the source of heat To melt your chocolate base - put the bowl containing the solid chocolate, which you have broken into pieces, over the saucepan holding the very hot water. The chocolate will be slowly melted by steam directed at the base of your bowl. This ensures that there is no direct heat that could burn the delicate chocolate
You may use a microwave oven to melt your solid chocolate but you must watch the melting process very carefully.
Set the microwave to 100% power and microwave the chocolate for about 2 minutes per 200 gr. - check frequently that the chocolate is not too hot and to prevent burning.
The chocolate will appear solid until stirred.
Keep a wooden spoon to hand to test when your base is ready for use.
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