Monday, September 21, 2009
I made these seashell white chocolate candies for my daughter's Little Mermaid birthday cake. The best thing about this type of candy making is that the possiblilities are limitless. You can make them in a variety of shapes and colors and flavors. You can find candy molds for any occasion everywhere from your local cake and candy making supply store to the Walmart craft department. Wilton's carry a wide range of candy molds, melt colors, and flavor extracts and you can buy them right off of their website.
I've made quite a few of these candies, or mints, as we call them in my family (because we usually flavor them with mint) for weddings and showers. I even made the mints for my own wedding. They freeze well, so I'd do a few trays at night after work or when I had a free moment and then I stored them in plastic containers in the freezer until our wedding day. Hundreds of edible pink and white hearts, doves, and wedding bell candies graced the cake table at our reception. I'm biased of course, but I have to say that it was lovely. Until now, I've only made solid color candies. This time I wanted more color, more depth. I decided to paint the candy molds to create these pretty sea shells.
The melts (chocolate discs ideal for melting) come in a wide range of colors. I was prepared to color white chocolate to create the colors that I wanted for my shells. However, I found this bag of multi-colored melts at my local candy making supply store. If you decide to color white chocolate for candy making, be sure to use the powdered candy coloring. Regular food coloring or decorator's paste is not oil-based and will make your chocolate clumpy. You also need some decorator's paintbrushes,dishes in which to melt your chocolate, and the candy mold that you intend to paint.
This is my latest candy making purchase. This candy melting plate set me back about $3.00. Well, worth it, if you ask me. It's very similar to a the paint tray I use for art projects. I love that you can melt so many colors at once, right in the tray.
You only want to melt the chocolate in 20 second intervals at 40-50% power. If you melt the chocolate too quickly or get it too hot, it becomes clumpy and un-usable. After each heating interval, stir. I used a toothpick to stir these small amounts of chocolate. Once the chocolate is smooth, it's ready for painting.
Now paint the molds however you like. If you've got kids, this is a fun project for them. My daughter and a friend really enjoyed painting these. "I want the seahorse, you take the starfish." They were both so proud of the finished product. Only use one color at a time on the molds. Once the first color dries, you can paint over it with another color...or two...or three...
Here are the painted molds ready to be filled with more chocolate...
except for the very last seahorse. See it there? My daughter had to go to bed before we finished up. She made me promise to save the final seahorse for her to finish in the morning. I let these sit overnight before filling. Totally not necessary, but I was tired. You can fill the molds as soon as the "paint" is dry.
Next, I heated the white chocolate, again at 50% power in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth.
I poured the white chocolate into a melting/decorating squeeze bottle. This makes it so much easier to fill the molds and creates less mess. I like to keep my bottle in some warm water to prevent the chocolate from hardening. These bottles are also nice, because you can reheat the chocolate right in the squeeze bottle. They're microwave safe. Love it!
Squeeze white chocolate into the painted molds.
Fill to the top of each mold, but do not overfill.
I put mine into the freezer to chill and harden.
Here are some of the shells fresh from the mold. These store well in the freezer. Use them to decorate cakes or cupcakes, put them on trays and serve at parties, or wrap them up pretty and give as gifts. My sister used to have the kindergarteners in her class make them for Mother's Day gifts. You've gotta try this at home!
Check back this week to see how I used these on Ariel's Castle!