These mini chocolate love hearts are the perfect handmade gift for Valentine’s Day!
I bought these super cute mini moulds in Aldi a while ago knowing that they would be useful in the future. I’m fairly sure they only cost a couple of quid.
The idea I had for Valentine’s was to make some custom chocolates for my sweetheart. I really wanted to have a go at dyeing the chocolate and produce an ombré effect on them.
I did a bit of research and discovered that dyeing chocolate is not as easy as it sounds! Water based food colourings do not work as they alter the compound of the chocolate too much, so you must use an oil based one, which I discovered can be quite hard to come by (as in Sainsburys’ doesn’t sell them).
The other important thing that I learnt was that when using the food colouring with the melted chocoate is that they both need to be the same temperature when mixing. This avoids the chocolate becoming grainy.
Good quality white chocolate – 400g makes around 24
Oil based food colouring in desired colour
Silicone mini moulds in heart shape (or other design)
Thermometer (not essential, but if you have one, great!)
Place a pan half filled with water on the hob and bring to a simmer. Break the chocolate into cubes and place in a bowl over the simmering water, ensuring the bowl does not touch the water, and the water does not boil.
When melted, leave to cool slightly and place the food colouring bottle in the warm water to heat up slightly.
Divide the melted chocolate between as many bowls as shades you want to produce, in this case I wanted 4.
Using a teaspoon, add the food colouring in small drops to each bowl, increasing the volume used each time to create the ombré colour, and mix until evenly distributed and the colour you want is achieved.
In the first bowl, I added just one drop of colouring, the second bowl was two, the third bowl was half a teaspoon and the final bowl was almost a full teaspoon.
In my case, I didn’t use oil based food colouring (damn you Sainsburys’!) and because of the quantity used on the darker colours you can see it did start to make the chocolate grainy. I had to abandon two attempts, and I wasn’t sure if I’d got the same temperature for the colouring and the chocolate as well, a thermometer would help here.
Once all the colours were mixed and still melted, I used a teaspoon to spoon the mixture into the silicone casings, trying to ensure they were as level as possible. When you turn them out, your top would be the bottom of the chocolate, so you need it to be flat.
I then cooled in the fridge until solid, and then turned them out of the moulds. Et Voilà! I was chuffed with my first attempt at this, and I hope my sweetheart will be too come Valentine’s Day.