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Thinning chocolate for truffles

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm planning on making some cherry cordials today, but I only have unsweetened chocolate. I will
sweeten the chocolate with sugar, but this will thicken it considerably, so it will not be pourable
even when fully melted. What can I use to thin it so that it will still harden for use as coating
chocolate; shortening, butter, something else? I know it would be easier to buy semisweet chocolate,
but I'm trying to use what I already have.

-Adam
post #2 of 6

Re: Thinning chocolate for truffles

"Adam Schwartz" <swordams@NOSPAMmchsi.com> wrote in message
news:YoUMb.45410$xy6.115590@attbi_s02...
> I'm planning on making some cherry cordials today, but I only have unsweetened chocolate. I
> will sweeten the chocolate with sugar, but this will thicken it considerably, so it will not
> be pourable even when fully melted. What can I use to thin it so that it will still harden for
> use as coating chocolate; shortening, butter, something else? I know it would be easier to buy
> semisweet chocolate, but I'm trying to use what I already have.

I would recommend using cocoa butter.
post #3 of 6

Re: Thinning chocolate for truffles

at Tue, 13 Jan 2004 15:46:00 GMT in <YoUMb.45410$xy6.115590@attbi_s02>,
swordams@NOSPAMmchsi.com (Adam Schwartz) wrote :

> I'm planning on making some cherry cordials today, but I only have unsweetened chocolate. I
> will sweeten the chocolate with sugar, but this will thicken it considerably, so it will not be
> pourable even when fully melted. What can I use to thin it so that it will still harden for use
> as coating chocolate; shortening, butter, something else? I know it would be easier to buy
> semisweet chocolate, but I'm trying to use what I already have.
>
You're in for an elaborate procedure, because in order to get the chocolate and the sugar to
integrate smoothly and without ruining the texture, you'll have to use candymaking technique. If you
expect granulated sugar to dissolve in melted chocolate you're in for a BIG surprise (and panic)
because it won't. Rather, you will need to dissolve the sugar in some water, bring to a vigorous
boil, then cook to hard-crack temperature. Then you'll need to stir it into the melted chocolate -
and this could just as easily create problems because without very careful stirring the sugar is
likely to solidify as it hits the much cooler chocolate, resulting in unsweetened chocolate with
lumps of sugar in it. At lesser cooking degrees, it'll mix in slightly more smoothly with the
chocolate, but the overall result will be soft, more like fudge.

Using powdered sugar won't work, either, first, because the grind still isn't fine enough for the
result to be silky smooth, and second, because it contains cornstarch which will turn the whole
thing into a sticky, lumpy mess.

Bottom line: you don't realize how very much easier it will be for you to buy semisweet chocolate.
What you're proposing to take on takes expertise and practice to get right, and isn't worth the
effort even then. It's always tempting to use what you already have, but there are times when you
need to recognize that you're trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. There are things for
which it doesn't pay to substitute and chocolate is one of them. The unsweetened chocolate will keep
for a while. Use it in some other application another time.

--
Alex Rast ad.rast.7@nwnotlink.NOSPAM.com (remove d., .7, not, and .NOSPAM to reply)
post #4 of 6

Re: Thinning chocolate for truffles

On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 15:46:00 GMT, "Adam Schwartz"
<swordams@NOSPAMmchsi.com> wrote:

> I'm planning on making some cherry cordials today, but I only have unsweetened chocolate. I
> will sweeten the chocolate with sugar, but this will thicken it considerably, so it will not be
> pourable even when fully melted. What can I use to thin it so that it will still harden for use
> as coating chocolate; shortening, butter, something else? I know it would be easier to buy
> semisweet chocolate, but I'm trying to use what I already have.

Do let us know how this turns out. I never use bitter/unsweetened/baking chocolate for anything but
recipes that call for it specifically.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Re: Thinning chocolate for truffles

"Adam Schwartz" <swordams@NOSPAMmchsi.com> wrote in message
news:YoUMb.45410$xy6.115590@attbi_s02...
> I'm planning on making some cherry cordials today, but I only have unsweetened chocolate. I
> will sweeten the chocolate with sugar, but this will thicken it considerably, so it will not
> be pourable even when fully melted. What can I use to thin it so that it will still harden for
> use as coating chocolate; shortening, butter, something else? I know it would be easier to buy
> semisweet chocolate, but I'm trying to use what I already have.
>
> -Adam
>
>
Well, I went ahead and tried to make the chocolates using unsweetened chocolate, butter and
sugar, and it pretty much went exactly as Alex stated in his reply. The chocolate tasted good,
and it cooled solid, but the sugar did not dissolve, so the final product was grainy and
maleable. The chocolates could not be unmolded, because the sugar interfered with the chocolates
cohesiveness. I'm still glad I tried it, because I learned how not to make chocolates.

-Adam
post #6 of 6

Re: Thinning chocolate for truffles

"Adam Schwartz" <swordams@NOSPAMmchsi.com> wrote in message
news:YoUMb.45410$xy6.115590@attbi_s02...
> I'm planning on making some cherry cordials today, but I only have unsweetened chocolate. I
> will sweeten the chocolate with sugar, but this will thicken it considerably, so it will not
> be pourable even when fully melted. What can I use to thin it so that it will still harden for
> use as coating chocolate; shortening, butter, something else? I know it would be easier to buy
> semisweet chocolate, but I'm trying to use what I already have.
>
> -Adam

Good golly, Adam! Run, do not walk, to your nearest chocolate source and buy the right chocolate for
the job. I'm pretty darn sure you will be disappointed with the results if you attempt to make
cherry cordials with unsweetened chocolate that you've added sugar to yourself. First, sugar doesn't
dissolve in melted chocolate....in order to get the sugar to dissolve you'd have to raise the temp
of the chocolate past what I would consider burning, or at the very least, scorching the chocolate.
Second, if you melted the sugar first, the sugar would most likely crystallize- at least in part-
when you add it back to the chocolate because of the difference in temperature. Third, unless you're
going to conch the chocolate yourself, which is very time consuming, you won't likely be very happy
with the gritty grainy results. Get a good couverture chocolate, and you don't need to thin it. When
tempered it will be the right consistency for dipping. In my experience, the darker the chocolate,
the thinner the chocolate when melted. If you ever do want to thin chocolate, use a small amount of
cocoa butter. Too much, and your chocolate will not set up hard. Get the real thing, and save the
unsweetened for a buttercream or a flourless chocolate cake or some brownies.

kimberly
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