Chocolate lollipops are one of the easiest homemade confectionery gifts as they require only one ingredient: chocolate. The key to perfect lollipops, however, is in the original quality of the chocolate, and in the chocolatiers patience and willingness to temper the chocolate. Tempering chocolate is what gives it a hard crack-able texture and a shiny smooth appearance. Without tempering, moulded chocolate will be soft and dull in hue. Though the taste is identical, tempering chocolate can mean the difference between a professional looking lollipop and a soft chewy one.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Good quality chocolate (as much as you are willing to make into lollipops)
- Lollipop sticks (available at craft shops)
- Lollipop moulds (available at craft shops)
- Double boiler
- Glass bowl and spatula
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, or create a double boiler by placing a glass bowl above a sauce pan filled with water. Bring the water in the pan to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Place all of your chocolate in the bowl or fitted double-boiler pan and stir (constantly) until it is silky smooth (completely melted).
Temper the melted chocolate by transfering it to a room temperature glass bowl. Working quickly, add two to three 56.7 g (2 oz) size chunks of solid chocolate to the melted chocolate and stir vigorously until the chunks have completely incorporated. This method of tempering is known as "seeding" -- opposed to the traditional method of spatula tempering chocolate on a flat surface.
Wait for the chocolate to cool to its tempering temperature. Dark chocolate should cool to 31 to 32 degrees Celsius (88 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit), milk chocolate to 30 to 31 degrees Celsius (86 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit) and white chocolate to 27 to 28 degrees Celsius (80 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit). Only at this temperature is it ready to be moulded.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium sized rounded tip with the tempered chocolate. Pipe the chocolate into each lollipop mould (found at craft or confectionery shops) to the rim of each mould. Holding the edges of the mould, tap it straight down on the worktop to help it settle and release any air. Place the lollipop sticks directly onto the back of each mould slot -- lollopop moulds will have indented spaces for the stick to fit into.
Freeze the moulds for 15 minutes lying completely flat in the freezer -- preferably on a rack or the straight on the floor of the freezer. Remove from the freezer and check for hardness. When it is set it will release itself from the plastic mould. If they are not set, return to the freezer for five more minutes.
Invert the lollipops over a piece of waxed paper or clean towel. They should release on their own, but if they do not, lightly tap the bottom until they fall out.
Wrap each lollipop in a clear piece of cellophane and tie a small colourful ribbon around the stick. Create bouquets, give as gifts or enjoy all on your own. Store in a cool dry place.
Tips and warnings
- Wash your chocolate moulds by hand rather than in the dishwasher to preserve quality.
- If you mess up your lollipops don't worry -- restart the process from the beginning. Chocolate can be melted time and again and still maintain its quality and taste.
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