Being prepared, having everything you need at hand BEFORE you start your candy making projects-recipes will make the process easier and lots more fun.
Preparation is very simple and the tools are few.
COOKIE SHEETS OR BAKERS TRAYS
Cookie sheet or large cookie trays. Some use ½ sheet bakers trays (if the fit in your fridge.
PARCHMENT OR WAXED PAPER to line cookie or baking trays
SILPAT: A silicone based liner that withstands extreme heat (toffee and brittles for example) Can be used over and over. Cleans like a charm! Can be found in gourmet kitchen stores or restaurant supply stores as well as online.
CHOCOLATE CHUNKER OR LARGE KNIFE; To chop your chocolate into uniform almond size chunks. You can find the chunker in gourmet kitchen stores or online. Be extra careful when using a knife as chocolate can be very hard to chop. Take it show, break off tiny amounts at a time and keep your fingers AWAY from the blade.
CANDY THERMOMETER with low temps of 70 degrees. Must have lower temps when working with chocolate
DIGITAL THERMOMETER. Super accurate, easy to read. Costs approx. $35.00 and can be found in gourmet kitchen stores or restaurant supply stores as well as online.
Rubber spatulas- Several! You can never have too many. Have an assortment of sizes on hand.
Great for working with chocolate. Easier to use than a flat spatula
HEAVY PLASTIC OR RUBERMAID SPOONS. Much better than metal spoons
Heat resistant bowls for microwaving. Heavy plastic, food safe.
Glass or plastic bowls for mixing, and prepping ingredients
Plastic bowls for storing unused tempered chocolate.
MICROWAVE SAFE BOWL test:
Using the right kind of container reduces the risk of overheating chocolate in the microwave.
Use this test before using any bowl for the first time:
Put 1 cup of water in the empty bowl. Put in microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. The water should feel very hot. If the bowl still feels cool, it’s perfect for use when working with chocolate. Rubbermaid and Tupperware are just two brands suitable. Also find professional grade plastic bowls at a restaurant supply store.
Any kitchen scale is great. Digital is fast and easy to read.
Make sure it is accurate and that when you are measuring ingredients you subtract the bowl holding your ingredient.
MICROWAVE OVEN Know the temps and sensitivity of your Microwave BEFORE you begin melting chocolate. Start with 30 second intervals and increase as necessary.
A good way to melt chocolate but often hard to find in today’s modern kitchen. A saucepan nested within another saucepan can work but may be a bit unstable. Test your theory FIRST before actually using with premium products. I have used a Pyrex bowl on top of a heavy duty saucepan. This too works but again, test it steadiness before you work with your delicious premium chocolate or heavy creams. A word about chocolate and water. They DO NOT mix. Steam and water droplets will ruin your chocolate. It’s very easy to have steam droplets end up in your chocolate…so be extra careful.
A nice candy making tool that many beginners use. My preference is to do everything by hand-with my fingers, A Dipping folk will reduce messy fingers and keep things nice and tidy (who wants that?) A dipping fork will also save chocolate waste (whats left on your fingers when you are finished dipping)…
SMALL PASTRY BAGS – DECORATING BAGS
Great for decorating your gourmet candies. A nice addition as it saves on product and gives you great control in your decorating process.
The decorative possibilities are endless.
MELON-BALL shaper. Great for making uniform truffle centers. Have 2-3 various sizes on hand.
PASTRY SCRAPER Wide metal scraping tool, excellent for scooping chocolate as well a creating decorative chocolate curls.
SOFT POLISHING BRUSH
This is absolutely NOT required but often nice for brushing out small blemishes on your fine chocolate molded creations. A Badger brush is ideal and can be found in fine gourmet kitchen stores.
If you are making truffles or bite sized bon-bons placing them in their own candy cup will preserve their appearance, make them easy to handle/transfer. Size: 5-A or 6-A are the standard Truffle sizes. You can find them at any hobby craft store or gourmet kitchen supply store.
CANDY MAKING MOLDS
Pre washed and totally dry. Remember, even a small amount of water will ruin your chocolate.
Keep a set of assorted painting brushes just for your candy making projects. They are great for adding color contrast and details to your beautiful Chocolate confections. Make SURE your brushes are completely dry before introducing to your chocolate.