Apricot and vanilla chocolates
These little white chocolate domes are filled with a sweet and slightly tangy apricot filling made using dried apricots and a hint of vanilla. These two flavours mingle perfectly with the smooth white chocolate shell. The chocolate shell itself is tempered and poured into molds; tempering is a technique that can be used on dark, milk and white chocolate to give it a beautiful shine and good snap, there is more detail and step by step instructions here: how to temper chocolate.
Whatever mold you chose to use I recommend getting a silicone one and these help to give the best shine to the chocolate and make the removal of the chocolate much easier. There are loads of different shapes and sizes available online.
I have just used the amount of chocolate that seemed suitable for my mold, so you may need more or less depending on your mold. A good way of estimating how much you need is by breaking off blocks and putting them in the mold shapes and seeing how much you need and then add on an extra half of that amount.
Makes 15 1 1/2cm x 1 1/2cm sized chocolates.
For the chocolate shells:
200g good quality white chocolate
For the apricot and vanilla filling:
80g dried whole apricots
2tbsp golden caster sugar
20g white chocolate
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Begin by tempering the chocolate.
Finely chop all of the chocolate.
Over a pan of gently simmering water slowly melt 2/3 of the chocolate until it reaches 30°C. remove from the heat.
Stir in the remaining 1/3 or chocolate and stir gently until the chocolate has cooled to 27°C. Do not worry if all of the chocolate has not yet melted.
Return back to the heat and stir until it reaches 28°C.
Remove from the heat and continue stirring until all of the chocolate has melted.
Pour the tempered chocolate into the molds ensuring it is all filled.
Using a Scraper scrape off the chocolate from the surface of the mold.
Wait 1-2 minutes or until the chocolate looks like its set a little, then tip the mold upside down and allow the chocolate to pour out again, this will create the chocolate shells.
Scrape away any chocolate at the surface of the mold and place bag into the bowl.
Leave the shells to set at room temperature. Do not put in the fridge as this will ruin the shine of the temper.
Meanwhile prepare the apricot and vanilla filling.
Finely chop all of the dried apricots and place into a bowl with the sugar and 4tbsp of water.
Heat in the microwave for 3 minutes stopping every 45 seconds to stir. Heat, stir and break down the apricot pieces until the mixture is piping hot, sticky and jam like (a few pieces left doesn't matter as it will be blended later).
To achieve this consistency it may take longer than 3 minutes.
Once this consistency is reached leave to cool slightly.
Meanwhile finely cop the 20g of white chocolate
When it is just warm not hot, stir in the chocolate until completely melted in.
Next spoon the apricot mixture into a blender and blend until almost completely smooth, lighter in colour and is a spreadable consistency.Stir in the vanilla extract.
Transfer to a plastic sandwich bag and allow to chill in the refrigerator.
Pipe equal amounts of the apricot filling into the chocolate sells. set aside.
Meanwhile re-temper the remaining chocolate in the bowl.
Pour this over the top of the chocolate and spread out so that they are all covered.
Then using the scraper remove the chocolate from the mold surrounding the chocolates, this will form the base of the chocolates.
Leave to set for 1-2 hours.
Once set gently remove from the mold.
Serve or wrap up these little pretties and give them an gifts!