Grasshopper chocolates

Another attempt at making chocolates (and the poor self-sacrificing taste testers at my house are helping me out with “market research”!)

These have alchohol in them, and it isn’t cooked out, so be aware of that if you need zero blood alcohol!

Grasshopper chocolates

Grasshopper chocolates

Shells:

225g white chocolate, plus a handful of white chocolate buttons to use in the tempering process;

Filling:

1/3 cup cream;

1 tbsp liquid glucose;

190g white chocolate;

1 tbs creme de menthe.

With this recipe you will get twelve largish chocolates, plus have a bit of the grasshopper filling leftover, I put this in an airtight jar and store it in the fridge.  You can then save it for another time (if you accumulate enough differing types of fillings you can make some mixed chocolates later, or you can use the filling as dessert sauces if you heat it up.  Due to the alcohol in this, microwaving to reheat is not recommended, heat gently over the stove if you want a pouring sauce later – to use as a filling you only need it to be room temperature, so take out of the fridge in ample time and stand the jar in hot water to gently bring up to room temperature).

Make the filling first so that it can cool to room temperature while you are making the shells.  If it is too hot, of course it will melt the shells.

For the squiggly decorations, I used a tube of “handwriting icing” and just made random patterns in the mould before I put the white chocolate in.

Place the cream and glucose in a small pan and bring to simmer.  Pour over the white chocolate in a heatproof jug and beat until smooth and creamy.  Add the creme de menthe and mix through.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

To make the shells – follow the method for the espresso chocolates – remember the temperature ranges for tempering white chocolate are to heat it to 40-45 degrees celcius, then bring it down to 28-30 degrees celcius to work it.  Pour into moulds, tap to remove air bubbles, leave to harden a minute, then upturn over the bowl of chocolate to let the excess dribble out.  I usually put the mould into the fridge to allow the chocolate to set, I know you shouldn’t store chocolate in the fridge, but this is only for a little while.  Once the chocolate is set, pipe or spoon in enough filling so that the filling is only about 1 millimetre below the top of the shell, and refridgerate until firm.  Remelt the remaining white chocolate and fill in the bottom of the shell, scraping to get a smooth finish.  Put back in the fridge until set, and then unmould.

Espresso chocolates, after dinner mint chocolates

It has been sugar overload in our house recently while I practice chocolate making.  I am SO looking forward to getting some proper moulds, so my efforts can be more “professional” looking, but these weren’t too bad.  The espresso chocolates (the white ones) were particularly impressive, and were my favourite of the two.

Espresso chocolates, mint chocolates

Espresso chocolates, mint chocolates

 

I described the procedure to temper chocolate in relation to the salted caramel chocolates.  That was milk chocolate however, the temperatures required for dark and milk chocolate are different for dark chocolate, you need to melt the chocolate and get it to 40-50 and then bring it down to 32-33 before you try to mould it.  For white chocolate, it is 40-45 degrees then 28-30.

For both of these, I started with a 200g block but had some “buttons” on standby for tempering.  If you have leftover chocolate once you are finished, you can pour it into a small container, and use this to start with for your next effort (if there is only a little bit left, you or someone else can disappear somewhere quiet and lick the bowl, I won’t tell anyone).

The white chocolate is a vanilla one (it has tiny flecks of ground vanilla in it) and the dark chocolate was an 85% variety – it was very dark but the bitterness was offset by the mint filling.

 

I won’t go into how the tempering and moulding is done, as you can refer back to the method for salted caramel chocolates, I will just give you the recipes for the fillings.  You should get more than you need, you can either use the remainder as a pouring sauce in a dessert, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge until you need it.

Espresso filling:

60ml cream;

125g milk chocolate;

1 heaped teaspoon espresso powder.

Place the chocolate (either buttons or small pieces) in a heatproof bowl or jug which is large enough to hold all of the ingredients.  Heat the cream with the espresso powder in it in a small saucepan until it is near the boiling point.  Pour over the chocolate and mix until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.  Allow to cool to room temperature and either use straight away or store in the fridge in an airtight container until required.  This will keep for several weeks if the seal is good.

Mint filling:

60ml cream;

125g dark chocolate;

1 tablespoon peppermint tea leaves (or a tea bag if that is all you have).

Place the chocolate (either buttons or small pieces) in a heatproof bowl or jug which is large enough to hold all of the ingredients.  Heat the cream with the tea in it in a small saucepan until it is near the boiling point.  Pour through a strainer over the chocolate and mix until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.  Discard the tea leaves.  Allow to cool to room temperature and either use straight away or store in the fridge in an airtight container until required.  This will keep for several weeks if the seal is good.