Make candy shop chocolates at home

Make candy shop chocolates at home

  • By Sue Ade
  • Tuesday, September 6, 2016 6:22pm
  • LifeFood

Oh, my gosh! It hardly gets funnier than watching Lucy Ricardo and best friend Ethel Mertz working in a candy factory as inept candy wrappers. When the BFFs fall behind in their duties of wrapping candies as they speed by on the factory’s conveyor belt, the pair begins stuffing confections into their uniforms, under their hats and, with rapid fire, into their mouths.

In preparation for the iconic September 15, 1952 episode of the “I Love Lucy” show, “Job Switching,” Lucille Ball and cast trained at See’s Candies, which opened in Los Angeles, California, in 1921. I never resided in California, but I did live in Dallas, where See’s had a store. With its crisp “snap” when bitten into and the unmistakable mouthfeel of exceptional tempered chocolate, I acquired a taste for professionally made chocolates. If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where a candy shop exists, you are already familiar with the aroma that hits you the minute you walk through their door. Near where I live now, it’s like that at the Chocolate Tree, in Beaufort. The Chocolate Tree opened six years before I moved to the lowcountry, in 1980.

It was only a matter of time before I wanted to try making my own professional quality chocolates at home, and it took awhile before I got the hang of tempering chocolate, which is the art of melting chocolate so that it looks, tastes and behaves the way candy does when the pros make it. Mistakes are expensive, but most times, still make good eating.

If you think you’d like to make chocolates, seek chocolate from candy making sources that specialize in premium chocolate products. Most outlets also sell tempering machines for home use, but these are costly and can set you back well over $200, or more. Unless you plan to make a lot of chocolate, buy yourself a reliable candy thermometer for the job. When I make candy, I actually use two thermometers just to be sure I am getting true readings – a clip-on glass thermometer and an instant read digital probe-type thermometer.

Should you be intimated by the thought of tempering chocolate and don’t mind giving up the nuances that tempered chocolate provides, the recipes here may be made with chocolate that does not require tempering before use, such as chocolate candy melts, candy wafers, or “almond” bark, which actually does not contains almonds. No matter which kind of chocolate you purchase, go for the best you can afford. And, of course, should you crave chocolate and don’t wish to make it yourself, just go out and buy it – and stuff it anywhere it fits.

More in Life

Minister’s Message: What unites? Being one in Christ

It seems everywhere you look and on every level people are gridlocked

The secret to this homemade vegetarian lasagna is the addition of fresh noodles from scratch. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: The secret’s in the noodles

Handmade pasta adds layers of flavor to vegetable lasagna

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Downtime

Now here we are, two-thirds of the way through the longest month of the year

Robert “Bob” Huttle, posing here next to Cliff House, spent the night in this cabin in April 1934 and mused about a possible murder there. (Photo courtesy of the Huttle Collection)
Twists and turns in the history of Cliff House — Part 2

How much of the doctor’s actions Bob Huttle knew when he stayed in Cliff House 10 years later is difficult to know.

Achieving the crispy, flaky layers of golden goodness of a croissant require precision and skill. (Photo by Tresa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Reaching the pinnacle of patisserie

Croissants take precision and skill, but the results can be delightful

This 1940s-era image is one of few early photographs of Cliff House, which once stood near the head of Tustumena Lake. (Photo courtesy of the Secora Collection)
Twists and turns in the history of Cliff House — Part 1

Here, then, is the story of Cliff House, as least as I know it now.

Minister’s Message: What’s in a name?

The Scriptures advise, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”

Visitors put on personal protective equipment before an artist talk by Dr. Sami Ali' at the Jan. 7, 2022, First Friday opening of her exhibit, "The Mind of a Healthcare Worker During the COVID-19 Pandemic," at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
ER doctor’s paintings follow passage of pandemic

Dr. Sami Ali made 2019 resolution to paint every day — and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Almond flour adds a nuttiness to this carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: A ‘perfect day’ cake

Carrot cake and cream cheese frosting make for a truly delicious day off

Minister’s Message: A prayer pulled from the ashes

“In that beleaguered and beautiful land, the prayer endures.”

A copy of “The Year of Magical Thinking” by author Joan Didion is displayed on an e-reader. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Didion’s “Year of Magical Thinking” is a timely study on grief

‘The last week of 2021 felt like a good time to pick up one of her books.’