Sweets for the sweet: Be ready for Valentine’s Day with homemade chocolate

How to say ‘Be my Valentine’ with homemade chocolate

Ina Garten

With Valentine’s Day coming up, perhaps you’re grasping for ways to properly say, “I love you.”

In the past, one of the most popular (and cliche) ways has been with a box of chocolates though that has been met in recent years with scorn from the health conscious.

But homemade chocolate – who can resist? Making it yourself is easier than you think and there are plenty of resources on the web in terms of how-to videos. So log on and check out the following videos certain to make you a passable chocolatier in no time. But no pressure – you still have more than a week to get good at it.

In “How to Make Ina’s Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=zK-xm1wihg0), Ina Garten of Food Network’s “Barefoot Contessa” walks viewers through the steps in making the title confection from boiled cream, bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, coffee, Frangelico and, of course, hazelnut – which, she says, you can swap out with Grand Marnier.

If you’re feeling more ambitious, you can try your hand at filled chocolates with Paul A. Young Fine Chocolates’ “Chocolate Whiskey Truffles” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=BL_1w8XjJ2w_), which employs a mold, a water ganache and a generous pour of Scotch – because if you’re going to use whiskey in a recipe, you might as well be able to taste it.

Less complicated is N’Oven’s “Home Made Chocolate Recipe With Only Four Ingredients” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tOr4F7hJiM), which uses powdered sugar, powdered milk, cocoa powder and coconut oil to produce liquefied chocolate suitable for molding into any form you see fit.

Even simpler is Laura in the Kitchen’s “Three Ingredient Sea Salted Chocolate Pretzel Bark” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=U22EEAK_VLc), in which host Laura Vitale makes chocolate-covered pretzels from melted dark chocolate, sea salt and pretzels. The recipe is in the title.

Fruit and chocolate can be an irresistible combination for some, and Hercules Candy’s “Family Secret Chocolate Covered Maraschino Cherry Recipe” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwNKyTMcgP8) shows how to do it in a process so painstaking you’ll never look at these confections the same way again.

If the mechanics of actually making the chocolate interests you, Howcast’s “How to Temper Chocolate” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv3ywLHgICc) takes you through the sometimes tricky process of melting and mixing, explaining what the chocolate should look and feel like as it cools. The goal, they say, is to get the chocolate to set up at room temperature and without the need for refrigeration.

Molds are also an integral part of chocolate making. Chef Rachida’s “Homemade Molded Chocolate” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbfJBZ0vh9A) demonstrates candy making using a number of different molds that are available and she includes links on her website (www.chefrachida.com) where they can be purchased.

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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