Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chocolate Gingerbread Men

Trim your trees this holiday season with edible ornaments. These sweet little gingies make a charming tree decoration as well as a nice treat on Christmas day. Follow the tempering instruction below and wrap in a clear cello bag tied with ribbon. Attach to your tree with florist wire. Enjoy!

(Note: Do not place them on your tree touching your Christmas lights, they will melt!)
Tempering Chocolate

Tempering Chocolate
1. Melt out all existing fat crystals
2. While agitating it, cool the chocolate to a temperature at which both stable and unstable crystals form rapidly.
3. Rewarm the chocolate to melt out unstable forms, leaving only crystals to seed the chocolate.
4. Maintain the chocolate at the proper temperature during use.

Finely chop your chocolate and put 1/2 in the bowl of a double boiler, with water in the base of your double boiler, melt chocolate over low heat until it is around 122 degrees F (feels warm but not HOT). Remove from heat and slowly start to add small amounts of the remaining finely chopped chocolate. Stirring vigorously, keep seeding in small amounts of chocolate until it reaches about 89 degrees F (does not feel warm or cold to the touch). To test if the chocolate is in temperature swizzle a spoon with some chocolate and set a timer for 3 minutes. If the chocolate is set within three minutes it is ready to use. If it is not set, you may need to seed a bit more chocolate to bring the temperature down and/or continue stirring to agitate the chocolate further.

To Make Chocolate Gingerbread Men

Using tempered chocolate, fill a plastic pastry bag 1/2 full and cut tip. Fill mold with chocolate about 3/4 full and tap gently to remove any air bubbles from the chocolate. Chill in refrigerator until chocolate pulls away from mold. Invert gently onto table with a small tap. Using another plastic pastry bag (cut a fine tip) decorate with tempered white chocolate.

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