Friday, November 9, 2012

White Chocolate Skulls with Walnut Brains

So during the week before Halloween, I thought it would be fun to recreate something I'd seen on Pinterest. I didn't see a recipe for it, so unfortunately no link for that, but the construction was simple enough. Here's the picture that inspired me...

Chocolate skulls with walnut brains! Spooky.

I decided mine would be white chocolate, and I'd use pink-tinted white chocolate to glaze over the walnuts to look like a brain. The silicone mold I used was bought at Wal-Mart for ninety-nine cents and was supposed to be an ice cube tray, but I figured it would work the same.

If you've been following my blog, you may remember that I used to have trouble melting chocolate. I can now melt it perfectly fine, however I cannot temper it. I read somewhere that tempering could be achieved by melting a bit of the chocolate and then adding small chunks one at a time until it was all melted. I tried this, and it didn't work. The chocolate turned out tasty enough, but it had teeny-tiny crystalline particles which, while not altogether unpleasant, aren't what you expect when biting into a piece of chocolate; additionally, it melted VERY quickly and did not have that beautiful shiny exterior that chocolate is supposed to have.

Oh, and did I mention the trouble I had getting my skulls out of their mold? After pouring the liquid chocolate into the mold, I sat it in the fridge for five minutes and then brought it back out and let it set on the counter overnight. I had read somewhere (and I sure wish I could find the website I used for this information) that any longer could cause the sugar in the chocolate to adhere to the mold and make it stick. Well, the next morning I found that my chocolates had STILL not set. I finally got agitated and figured "to hell with it" and put them in the freezer. This solved the problem - they fell right out of the mold (with a little bending and twisting).

I sliced off the tops of their skulls right above their eyes and placed a small dab of pink-tinted white chocolate to serve as glue for the walnuts. Originally I'd thought walnut halves were what I needed, but as small as the chocolates turned out to be I only used a fourth on each skull. After letting that set for a moment, I used a small paintbrush to glaze over my brains.

See the rough surface? Boo.

In retrospect, I should have added more red food coloring to the chocolate. It looked pink enough in the pan and I didn't want it to look red which is why I stopped when I did. Hindsight's 20/20, though.

In conclusion, this is a VERY cool project that had lots of potential, though due to misinformation and lack of tempering knowledge it could have turned out better. I think I'll use a better mold next time, as well. Preferably one that's more three-dimensional.

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