At my April baking class, we made white chocolate cups, decorated with transfer sheets. I think these are so darn fancy, and yet...they are incredibly simple to make. Come along (motioning with my arm for you to follow me), let me show you!
Here is the sample I made, prior to the class. I wanted something to show the gals, and made this earlier in the day:
Now the fun starts with this little baby; the Tempering Unit. Just a quick review....tempering chocolate is the process of precisely heating AND cooling, so that the chocolate will set up into it's original state If you want to make chocolate candies, bark, decorations, or dipped strawberries that have that crisp, sheen...you'll need to temper your chocolate.
Melting chocolate is great for dipping, but it wont "set up" like tempered chocolate.
You can temper by hand, I did it at chocolate school, and it sure made me appreciate my machine. Hand tempering involved heating the chocolate to a specific temperature, and then adding solid ("seed") chocolate, and having it cool to a precise temperature, and then it is ready to use. This is a fragile process and it's easy to mess it up.
Many people, rather than tempering real chocolate, resort to fake, waxy, chocolate flavored wafers. They arent bad, but they are NOT chocolate! :)
So, this machine is amazing...it will temper the chocolate fairly quickly. You can walk away once you get it going, as it does all the work, and beeps when it's ready. It doesnt get hot, at all....it's kid friendly, and mom-brain friendly too!
So, to get it going, you "prime" it, by rubbing chocolate on the rubber spatula and inside the bowl. This will help it run smoothly.
Once you prime it, you can select the setting; milk, dark or white. The process is so delicate, that it has a different setting for the different types of chocolate.
Then, walk away and go aboutyour business. Or, stare at it, because it's your new best friend! See how the solid chocolate is on one side (you can add up to 1.5 pounds) and the tempered chocolate remains on the other side. The "baffle", which is the bar in the middle, is attached to the rubber spatula, which goes around and around and around, making you dizzy! Dizzy with EXCITEMENT!!!
Now, it was time for the class to select their design. We use "transfer sheets", which are colorful and decorative. They are plastic sheets that have cocoa butter designs. There is no taste, and they are fun and easy to use.
I have Prairie (looks like grass), Blue Flowers....
There is Kiwi or Daisy
Bonnie is going to be using our Heart design.
These transfers are often used to make candies (they come in a variety of holiday and special occasion designs too!)..but when I saw them used for these cups..well, I couldnt wait to do this at my baking class. You simply cut them into a rectangular shape, approx. 2" X 4", and put them on parchment paper.
The tempering is done! It took about 15 minutes, and it gave a cute little "beep" to let me know it was ready. The chocolate will harden if left in the bowl, and white chocolate sets up (hardens) the quickest...so, let's get to work!
Im using my ladle to put some on Bonnie's transfer sheets.
***FOCUS ON THE PROJECT PLEASE. I see your eyes wandering, and this is not the "muffin top" class, it's the "Decorated White Chocolate Cups" class....pay attention!!
Bonnie spreads the chocolate onto the sheet, making a thin layer. It's ok if it goes off the sides, it's on parchment paper, making clean up easy.
Sheila, our class photographer, is making 2 sets, one in Kiwi and one in Daisy..perfect for an Easter celebration!
Once the chocolate is spread, you simply put them in the fridge for about 3 minutes.
It might be best to do this project alone. If you have chatty friends, or a chatty baking class instructor, or just someone that is rambling on and not paying attention, you may forget to take your chocolate out of the fridge, and it might be "set up" (too hard) to work with. Im not saying it happened here, and if it did, it was probably Melissa's fault, as she is a real talker.
After a few minutes in the fridge, bring them out and shape them. The chocolate will be tacky, but you can still bend the transfer sheets nicely. Here we pinched the sides together and stood them on end. We were able to move the pliable transfer sheets and get the center of the cup to take shape.
Then, we put them back in the fridge for another 20 minutes, until they were completely solid. The transfer sheets will come right off when ready to eat.
Now, if you are wondering what you can do with these pretty things..well, you can pipe in some mousse, fill them with beautiful berries. Close your eyes and imagine if you will, **dont really close your eyes, I need you to keep reading**...that you are having friends over, or a ladies brunch....you have your favorite dessert plates, which you accent with a few drops of a dessert sauce..just to make things special. You set out a cup, pipe in some mousse, and Wa-laaa....you are so Top Chef-ish!
Arent these amazing? And it took us less than 45 minutes, from start to finish! If you want to see a more professional version...scroll down a bit. Our catalog shows them off in the Kiwi design, with the mousse already piped in. GORGEOUS!
By the way, Tammigirl asked me to show some of the Easter Chick cake pops that were made with tempered white chocolate (colored yellow)...here they are:
I had made more, to give to all my kids' teachers, but my youngest kept stealing them!!! No kidding!! They do look tempting :)