I never met a chocolate I didn't like.
June 22, 2010 8:08 PM   Subscribe

I want to coat or encase an approximately DVD case sized object in chocolate. How?

Difficulty: I've got two hours tomorrow.

I've got regular kitchen stuff including a double boiler and electronic probe thermometer. My cooking with chocolate experience is limited to chocolate chip cookies. The object won't be harmed by chocolate or boiling water.

I've thought of Vacuum forming a mold but I'd have to make a larger form table and a blank which would probably take more time than I have.
posted by Mitheral to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can actually do this with a paintbrush and chocolate the consistency of chocolate chips. A friend used to do it to make chocolate-coated violets. The big deal will be to make sure that you make the object somehow tacky enough so that the chocolate won't just flake off [i.e. if it was a DVD case you'd need to buff it with sandpaper or something]. Do you need to be able to open the case or otherwise manipulate the object once it's coated?
posted by jessamyn at 8:19 PM on June 22, 2010

Best answer: I would do it in 2 steps. Find a pan a little larger than the DVD case--a 6x6 baking pan would probably do, check your local supermarket to see if they have foil disposable pans that would fit. Bonus: if you buy a foil pan that's close to the right size but not quite, you can cut it and tape it well and customize it to be the size you need.

So melt your chocolate, and pour it about halfway up the sides of the pan. Place the object on top of the chocolate. Hopefully it's not too heavy so it won't sink straight to the bottom, but rather will embed itself in the chocolate just a bit. Place the pan in the fridge to set the chocolate, and once it's set, pour more chocolate on top to cover it completely. Fridge again, set, and then unmold.

If you want it to be shiny and stable at room temperature you're going to need to temper the chocolate, which involves a chocolate thermometer and real chocolate (as opposed to chocolate chips.) If it'll be in a cooler room, or you don't care if it gets a little soft or dull, you can use any chocolate (including chips) and simply melt it in the microwave or over a double boiler.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 8:19 PM on June 22, 2010

Response by poster: jessamyn writes "Do you need to be able to open the case or otherwise manipulate the object once it's coated?"

It a kinder egg kind of thing, the chocolate covering is intended to be destroyed/eaten.

Bella Sebastian writes "If you want it to be shiny and stable at room temperature you're going to need to temper the chocolate, which involves a chocolate thermometer"

Is there something special about a chocolate thermometer? My probe thermometer reads to a 10th of a degree.
posted by Mitheral at 8:37 PM on June 22, 2010

What's the range of your probe thermometer? Some thermometers don't go low enough to temper chocolate--you'll need it to go down to 80*F. If yours gets down to that range, no problem, it's just that many thermometers people keep in the kitchen (candy/deep fry, for instance) don't have the right range or degree of sensitivity.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 9:04 PM on June 22, 2010

May I suggest melting the chocolate in a double boiler, placing a ziploc sandwich bag into a greased and floured baking pan, pouring chocolate over the whole thing, allowing it to set (put it in the fridge, then spatula-ing free and inverting your circular chocolate puddle, placing it bag side up in the baking pan, and coating the other side in the same manner. After you firm it up a second time, warm a knife and cut off the round edges, pull the baggie out and use the chocolate sheath. you can seal the open end with some melted choc. You'll have what's basically a chocolate padded envelope.

I suggest this method because the chocolate won't easily peel off a cd case necessarily. Perhpas if you grease it first, but it's still kind of dicey.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:06 PM on June 22, 2010

Or, let's see, rather than a ziploc bag, a piece of one cut to the right size (width and height of the object plus a bit.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:08 PM on June 22, 2010

Response by poster: That sounds good Ambrosia Voyeur but, and this is probably a head slap, won't the flour adulterate the chocolate in some undesirable way? Or will it not stick to the chocolate?

Bella Sebastian writes "What's the range of your probe thermometer? Some thermometers don't go low enough to temper chocolate--you'll need it to go down to 80*F. "

-(something ridiculous) to well over 400F. I'll give it a try.
posted by Mitheral at 9:13 PM on June 22, 2010

If it were me, I'd pour a puddle of chocolate on a piece of wax paper or a silpat on a flat pan and let it set. Then I'd make a fairly thick balloon chocolate bowl (google for instructions, they're pretty easy) large enough to cover the object and let it set. I'd trim the top of the bowl so it was a relatively thick, flat edge. I'd put the object on top of the flat of chocolate, paint around it with some additional chocolate, and invert the bowl on top of it. Once it's all set together, I'd trim the edges around the circle with a knife.

I would definitely do all of this with chocolate in proper temper.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:25 PM on June 22, 2010

Best answer: Well, if you've got a silicone square cake pan like I have, you wouldn't have to worry about greasing the pan at all. I don't know for sure all the things chocolate will and won't adhere to but silicone's a pretty easy one to remove it from.

Or, you know, you could wrap your object in saran and coat it pretty easily. I just don't think applying melted chocolate directly to something DVD case shaped and hoping it will come off edibly is a very good bet.

As for tempering or not, I'd just double boil, get it smooth, and then trim and polish it afterwards.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:40 PM on June 22, 2010

We've been making chocolate-coated Oreo balls for the holidays for years at my house, and the recipe suggests incorporating Gulf Wax or another edible paraffin wax into the chocolate as you melt it in a double boiler. This a) makes the chocolate shinier and b) helps it remain solid at room temperature (i.e. it can be picked up without immediately melting and getting all over your fingers). The wax is totally edible and doesn't affect the flavor of the chocolate at all. I can't remember exact proportions, but it's something like 1/4 bar of Gulf Wax to 2-3 squares (4-6oz?) of baking chocolate.
posted by josyphine at 7:26 AM on June 23, 2010

The least messy way might be to build a box out of chocolate the way this woman is building a chocolate cottage. Just put the flat side of the 5 oz bar to the outside. I'd have a few chocolate bars on hand in case there are complications.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:41 AM on June 23, 2010

Oh, um...follow-up to discuss how to actually coat the object, since I apparently forgot that bit - if you go with melted chocolate, you might try putting the liquid chocolate in a shallow baking dish big enough to fit your object, dipping the object to coat it and then laying it on wax paper and chilling it in the fridge until the chocolate solidifies. Wax paper will peel free of hardened chocolate pretty easily, and if the face-down side needs another coat, dip that side again and chill with the already-coated side face down this time.
posted by josyphine at 7:58 AM on June 23, 2010

For an entirely different approach - what about putting the object in the freezer for a couple of hours, then pouring Magic Shell over it? Instant chocolate coating! Just make sure to keep it frozen before presenting.
posted by platinum at 2:28 PM on June 23, 2010

I think you are overthinking this, unless I'm missing something (entirely probable). What's wrong with the standard method of melting chocolate (in a container large enough to hold your object), immersing the object, and then fishing it out with two forks, letting it harden on wax paper or a silpat? Other than the size of the object requiring more chocolate than your average truffle, that is...
posted by kumquatmay at 3:33 PM on June 23, 2010

Response by poster: Here's what I ended up doing:

I purchased a set of three disposable foil containers with lids. My local store only had the square ones which turned out to be slightly to small. I reserved the aluminum pans for later use and used two of the lids, a #1 PET plastic.

It was ~31C(88F) in my kitchen so the tempering didn't go so well. I tried using a cool water bath which resulted in hardened chocolate against the pan and still overly warm chocolate in the centre. Obviously my cool water was too cold. I thought about measuring the temperature but I've only got the one immersion thermometer and I didn't want to risk getting water in the chocolate.

NP I remelted the hardened chocolate. I then poured about 2/5ths of it in one pan and the remained in the other. I placed the object in a Ziploc bag and then pushed the object down into the fuller pan until it was about half submerged. I placed that pan in my freezer for ~40 minutes at which point the chocolate was hard. I popped the hardened chocolate + object out, broke off some flash, and then placed it object down into the other pan of still melted chocolate. I pushed it down firmly a little too firmly, I cracked a loonie size button down in the centre which I patched with some melted chocolate that had oozed up at the edges) until the melted chocolate oozed up the side. Back into the freezer until it hardened.

It looks pretty good but dull. It would have been better if I could have found a rectangular pan as the square lids I had were slightly to short in the long direction.

Ambrosia Voyeur would polishing fix the dullness and how do I do this. I've searched around but I nothing but results for Polish Chocolate rather than polish chocolate.
posted by Mitheral at 4:49 PM on June 23, 2010

Chocolate, when it's in temper, takes the surface of whatever you harden it on. So, if you want it to be smooth and shiny, you mold it in something smooth and shiny. If your chocolate isn't in temper, there's not much of anything you can do to make it shiny.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:03 PM on June 23, 2010

You can make it shiny with a confectionary glaze, or give a little smudge of veggie oil a try.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:19 PM on June 23, 2010

Um..Michael's, the craft store, or even Walmart in their craft section sells this meltable, microwavable, good chocolate. Get that, get a baking dish for, like, brownies (9X12) and use that. Put it on wax paper when you're done and let dry.
posted by Polgara at 8:44 PM on June 23, 2010

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