Looking to learn to make chocolates
September 24, 2012 4:07 PM   Subscribe

I want to learn to make some serious chocolates, like the kind you buy in a heart shaped box but even tastier. I need technique and recipes to take me from learning to properly melt chocolate to making the creamy insides. Do you have books, videos, or websites that could help me?
posted by Foam Pants to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I *just* read a review of this today and added it to my Goodreads. Not out yet, but it was a good review and I plan on trying it:The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook
posted by PaulaSchultz at 4:12 PM on September 24, 2012

I don't know where you're at, but if you're anywhere near So Cal, I'd first pay a visit to Jane's Cakes & Chocolates Supply in La Canada. The owner will gladly spend a lot of time helping you in your endeavor.
posted by zagyzebra at 4:19 PM on September 24, 2012

Elaine Gonzalez The Art of Chocolate. Probably not as much on the creamy insides as you want, but it pretty well covers working with the chocolate itself, including tempering, dipping your truffles, decorating the top. And making the container you deliver the chocolates in out of chocolate itself, and decorating that...
posted by straw at 4:39 PM on September 24, 2012

Paul A. Young's Adventures in Chocolate has many non-truffle recipes, but a bunch of great truffle ones as well. I found his explanation of the techniques to be quite thorough and helpful.
posted by sparklemotion at 4:55 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's a bit pricy, but: Ewald Notter's The Art of the Chocolatier. I went to his pastry school in Orlando, and he's a bit of a perv, but damn the man knows his chocolates.
posted by firei at 6:38 PM on September 24, 2012

I have a number of the books recommended above, and I have to say my #1 recommendation is Chocolates and Confections by Peter Greweling. There's also a Chocolate and Confections At Home version with more home cook-friendly versions of the recipes. His recipes are really well-written and I think his chocolate instructions, in particular, are much more clear than, say, the Elaine Gonzales book.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 8:31 PM on September 24, 2012

I made these chocolate earl grey truffles a few years ago, with no candy making experience, and found it to be a nice introduction to the art. These guys get rolled in cocoa powder instead of coated in a hard chocolate shell, which makes them a good introduction to making truffles. The tempering process to get a good shell around the candies is, I gather, the most difficult/complicated part in most truffle recipes. For this recipe you get to skip it, so you don't get overwhelmed with your first attempt. And they're insanely delicious.
posted by vytae at 6:46 PM on September 25, 2012

I'm late to this thread, but I can contribute. I've been making chocolate on a semi-pro level for a while - doing commissions and orders for friends and friends-of-friends, but not certified for full distribution.

I use four books. Elaine Gonzalez' The Art of Chocolate, as straw mentioned, is one of my go-tos. It has excellent technique coverage, though it's light on fillings.

Book #2 is "Truffles, Candies & Confections: Techniques and Recipes for Candymaking", by Carole Bloom. It is a good companion to Gonzalez, because while it covers technique *almost* as well, it goes heavy on centers, listing a wide array of very good types, and then listing 2-4 variations on each. Some of the favorites that I offer are those variations. It also covers non-truffle, chocolate-heavy confections pretty well.

"Chocolate Obsession" by Michael Recchiuti & Fran Gage is an expensive book because it's gorgeously illustrated, but it has by far the fanciest fillings. I've pulled a few 'staples' from this book that are almost always the favorites in my collections ... and this book's recipes use liquid invert sugar a lot, which seems almost like a trade secret - it's not easy to find in a store, but is a major difference between homemade truffles and many professional truffles.

Finally, I picked up a book called "1001 Chocolate Treats," by Gregg R Gillespie, secondhand. It doesn't focus much on truffles above anything else, but you can get some really crazy ideas by mixing and matching its recipes -- try making some of its mousse or creme recipes into the filling for a soft-center truffle or an open cup.
posted by peripatetron errant at 2:22 PM on September 30, 2012

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