Saturday, February 15, 2014

Box of Chocolates

This is a homemade box of chocolates I made for my boyfriend for Valentine's Day. Why buy a box of chocolates from the store when you can easily make one yourself, and make the box edible too? Well, that's how feel because I am creative and ambitious and like to make everything homemade that is possible, so this was fun for me. Unfortunately though, now I've set very high standards for myself, and I will never be able to give storebought chocolates again. Just kidding, I'm not at all bashing commercial chocolates, as some are incredibly delicious, and chocolate is chocolate right, any type is better than none? But I wanted to try something new and make homemade chocolates with a homemade box, as I saw the idea for this in two of my favorite chocolate cookbooks. Obviously I didn't make the actual chocolate myself from scratch using cocoa beans and cocoa butter, but I did completely compose the box and chocolates inside. 

The box is made of tempered dark chocolate, though most types of chocolate as well as chocolate melting wafers would also work. I tempered the chocolate, then spread it out and chilled it. Then I tried to cut out the rectangles that compose the box. Originally I was going to go with a cube-shaped box, that way I could easily cut out six equally-sized squares of chocolate, but I ended up being a little short on chocolate to do this. I also think I may have chilled the chocolate a little too long, so it did crack in some places when I went to cut it, which explains the lack of symmetry in the sides. However, I was able to cut out a base, four sides, and a top, and I think the unevenness of it gives it more of a rustic, homemade look without appearing too choppy. I was just really happy the box actually stayed up and together. This is accomplished by using a small amount of additional melted chocolate and a pastry brush and "painting" the hardened sides together, then quickly chilling the box again to stabilize it. 

Once the box is made and hardened, it is quite stable to move, but if the sides are thin it may crack if not handled carefully. I then filled the box with some homemade chocolates I had made; which I will likely feature more on within the next few days. The outside of the chocolate box may also be decorated with additional melted chocolate piped on, but again I was a little short on chocolate. One think to remember for next time is chocolate making requires a large quantity of chocolate! 
Does anyone have any Valentine's chocolate left or is it gone already? 

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