Sometimes my kitchen experiments go drastically wrong. Not usually as bad as this:
But still . . . I’m prone to such catastrophe.
So in addition to making my boss Amanda a baby gift, I’m also planning the shower for her at work this week. “You must be CRAZY,” you say. And indeed–I’m crazy. In love. I love working for Amanda, and her baby is kind of a miracle, so I want her to have the best baby shower EVAR. But nothing seems to be going that well in preparation, including my kitchen experiments.
While shopping at the HoLo the other day (Hobby Lobby, my personal heaven), I was browsing the cake and candy aisle while shopping for another project. I stumbled upon some very cute heart-shaped candy molds that looked they’d make very multi-functional chocolate lollies. WHEEEE! I love lollies, especially when they are massive and chocolate. And these heart lollies were pretty substantial. So I thought, hey, I could use these for Amanda’s baby shower. How hard could it be to melt chocolate and then pour it into a mold?
I began with these supplies, available at any craft store.
I also bought some plastic sleeves for wrapping the lollies, with gold bread ties to secure them (not shown here). All in all, it was NOT the cheapest experiment I’ve ever tried.
So first, I cleaned the squeeze bottle and filled it with the chocolate wafers.
The squeeze bottle’s directions suggested I only fill it halfway.
Microwave the squeezie bottle (without lid) for 45 seconds on DEFROST. After that, microwave at 15-second intervals until the chocolate is smooth and melted.
Things began great! I started filling the molds with ease. I’m thinking, Wow! This is kind of fun!
Using the tip of the squeeze bottle, I smoothed the chocolate globs out to create a smoother texture. After melting some more chocolate to fill these large molds, I wound up with a promising looking set of lollies.
So then I waited. And waited and waited. Played on the internet, chased our cat, thought about doing laundry. And after a late-night jaunt to Maggie Moo’s for a Banana Beach concoction, I returned to what seemed like hardened, set-up chocolate lollies.
Except they looked disgusting.
Have you ever had chocolate that you’d kept for a while, and a gross-looking white film had crusted the exterior? Well, apparently it’s called “fat bloom,” and it’s the result of actual FAT crystallizing on the surface of your chocolate. It’s still edible, but it sure as howdy-doody looks nastay. My lollies looked like they’d been in the cabinet growing fat bloom for a year.
And to make matters worse, they weren’t coming out of the molds. And a couple of them broke off the sticks. At this I scream FIASCO!
Rather than chucking it all (I’d already invested twenty bucks, for crying out loud), I broke up the FAILED lollies and re-melted the chocolate. This time, I set the chocolate in the fridge to set up, and made certain that the sticks were imbedded further into the lollies. The difference was like MAGIC.
One of these things is not like the other. (Does one look better to you? Yeah, me too.)
So things went smoothly for a while–melting chocolate, squeezing chocolate, molding and setting up chocolate. But it kept occurring to me that this was taking a LONG time, and that even though I was getting better at it, it wasn’t really worth the time or money.
Until . . .
The squeeze bottle inexplicably clogged. And when I opened it up to see what was the matter, I found this: globby, burned, disgusting brownie-looking nastiness. I had burned the chocolate. And then I KNEW that this was definitely not worth the time or the money.
To my chagrin, cleaning out that squeeze bottle was also a pain in my you-know-what. So to finish up my project, I used a glass instead to melt the remaining chocolate. And as it turns out, it was probably easier and faster for this project to just spoon the damned chocolate into the molds. Like so:
Turns out, the squeeze bottle was just making my life difficult.
Some other mishaps that occurred while I attempted chocolate lollies:
- I broke a glass.
- Our cat stole the squeezie bottle’s cap, and I had to go looking for it to make sure he hadn’t eaten it. Twice.
- Our cat tried to paw the melted chocolate.
- I seriously dirtied the kitchen.
- I ate a lot of melted chocolate. A LOT.
- Now I have to clean it all up (because as of today, I still haven’t done so).
The end result: I learned some things, I wasted a lot of time, and I managed to make about a dozen lollies for the party. They ended up looking pretty cute, I guess.
Was it worth it? Not really. Would it be better next time if I tried it again? Probably. But let’s just say–if any of you are interested, I have a heart-shaped chocolate candy mold that I might be willing to give away.
Cheers, and happy weekend!