3/9/12

5 Candy Making 101: Chocolate Mint Sandwiches

When I saw these little chocolate chocolate and mint flavored discs at Orson Gygi, I knew what I needed to make!

These little discs are Compound Coatings and are also known as: 

Chocolate Melties
Chocolate Snaps
Milk Chocolate Wafers
Almond Bark
Molding Chocolate
Summer Coating
Bon Bon Coating
Rainbow Wafers
Smooth-n-Melty
Pastels
Ice Caps
A'Peels (Guittard Green Mint A'Peels is what I used for this recipe)



What is the difference between chocolate and compound coating?

Chocolate is made with cocoa butter and compound coatings are made with vegetable oil.  They are less expensive than chocolate, melt at a lower temperature, are easier to work with, and will set up more readily.

I have used the white chocolate melties (found at Winco) for a caramelized white chocolate sauce, which is excellent as a topping or used in making White Chocolate Ice Cream.  I also used these white chocolate discs for molding my Caramel Nut White Chocolate Squares.

I am learning that making candies are a lot like making bread.  You have to try, make notes, try again, consult the Internet, make more notes, observations, and repeat the process until you have perfected the product.

Don't be afraid.  Don't be nervous.  Go for it!

Here is my first attempt.  Sad, isn't it?



Observation #1:  Chocolate was difficult to cut.  It basically broke into shards.  Tasted just fine.  It will be great as a topping on a bowl of ice cream or tossed into a milkshake!

Lesson Learned:  Don't wait 3 hours for chocolate to set into a solid block.

This is what I was able to salvage.



Observation #2:  White, grainy film on top of chocolate.  Info on the Internet tells me that it is called "bloom."  Because this is a compound chocolate, it is more specifically called, "sugar bloom."  What caused it?  One reason is dampness or condensation.  I put this tray of chocolate in the microwave to keep it away from my cat, who will eat anything.  I am sure that the warmth in a closed environment caused condensation to form on the top layer. 

Lesson learned:  keep all forms of moisture away from chocolate.  That means water, steam, and condensation! 

Here is my second attempt and how I did it, step by step.

Measure your chocolate.  I used 60 wafers for each layer, which is a heaping cup, or around 5 ounces.  I don't have a double boiler, so I used DRY microwave safe bowls that fit nicely into a small sauce pan.


When you put water into your saucepan, make sure it doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl.

Bring the water to a boil, and REMOVE THE PAN FROM THE STOVE.


Place the bowl of chocolate onto the pan and stir until the chocolate is almost dissolved.  If using a spatula, make sure it is DRY and heat resistant.

Make sure that NO STEAM escapes from the saucepan, as it will enter your chocolate and cause it to streak or seize.

It only takes about 2 minutes to melt ...


Melt all the bowls of chocolate and put them onto an absorbent kitchen towel to mop up any steam that may be on the bottom of the bowls.


I have a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and an offset spatula ready.  The slight "bend" in the spatula make it easier to spread.  If you don't have one, try a small pancake turner or even a rubber spatula like my red one, above.


Pour the melted chocolate into the middle of the parchment paper.  Spread to a 1/8" thickness, or about a 10"x7" rectangle.


You will know the chocolate is "set" when it has an almost matte (non-shiny) finish.  Don't wait too long, or else the next layer won't adhere to the chocolate...


Pour the mint layer on next, spread to the edges, and let it set to an almost matte finish.

Repeat with the next layer of chocolate.


When the top layer has a matte finish, move the chocolate onto a flat surface for cutting.

Using a thin, sharp knife, make your cut.  I began cutting too soon, as the chocolate stuck to my knife and began to pull ... telling me it needs a few more minutes to set.


How long does it take to set?  It depends on how thick your layers are.

Don't wait three hours like I did ~  Here is a perfect cut!


Not too shabby, huh?

Chocolate Mint Sandwiches
(4x6 recipe download)     (full page printable recipe)
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