Completely inspired by this Meringue Girls video, I thought I’d try my hand at making my own marbled chocolate bars. I’ve melted plenty of chocolate in my time but I’ve never been hugely into chocolate moulding, so whilst I knew how to temper chocolate to get that shine and snap, I hadn’t tried it much before. I’m more a fan of sticking the chocolate in the microwave for short bursts and waiting until it’s melted that way: the bain-marie-melt-chocolate-over-hot-water method always seems a bit of a faff.
If you’re trying any kind of chocolate moulding, it’s important to temper chocolate correctly. To get scientific, tempering is the means of controlling the melting process of chocolate to make sure that it retains a glossy sheen and a crisp snap once it’s solidified again, and the key to this is keeping the temperature low. If the chocolate gets too hot, the cocoa butter becomes unstable and crystals of different sizes form, making for crumbly, unpleasant chocolate.
It is all a lot easier than it sounds. The Meringue Girls give a method of tempering in the microwave but I don’t like it, so for me, the faffy yet more reliable bain-marie-melt-over-hot-water is the only way forward.
There’s only one ingredient you’ll need for these marbled chocolate bars; white chocolate. It really does not need to be anything special like couverture or cooking chocolate- regular white chocolate will be fine (I used Morrisons white chocolate, 91p for 200g bar). For equipment, you’ll need some plastic or silicone chocolate moulds. These can be whatever shape or style you like, but I opted for a traditional bar mould (mine came from eBay). You will also need something to colour your chocolate with, and if you opt for food colouring, it’s essential you get oil-based colours. If you add any water based product, the chocolate will seize and form one giant ball. I’ve used Wilton candy colours, but these can be quite difficult to get hold of in the UK. You can use CandyMelts instead, which are available in Hobbycraft and Lakeland (and I think Tesco, but I don’t live near one so I can’t double check), or any sort of coloured chocolate you can find in the baking section. Milk chocolate and white chocolate marbled work just as well too if you aren’t really feeling the psychedelic coloured chocolate design.
You will also need anything else you fancy adding to the chocolate- this is optional, and you can add sweets, hundreds and thousands, smarties. I dusted the moulds with some edible gold glitter for added sparkle.
Begin by setting up your bain marie. You’ll need a saucepan filled with water, and a glass bowl that will sit securely on top. Do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Put this on the hob on a low heat. Break up the slab of chocolate and use the heel of a sharp knife to chop it finely. I found shaving the edges of the chocolate worked best (and did the least damage to the knife!), but you could also use a grater if you’ve got the time for that. When the water in the pan is simmering, add two-thirds of the chocolate to the glass bowl, and keep the heat turned down low. Stir the chocolate with a plastic spatula until it just melts. This won’t take long, but it will depend on how finely you’ve chopped the chocolate and the amount you’re melting.
You need it to reach a temperature of about 40°c, which is just over body temperature. This is usually when it has just fully melted. Remove it from the heat, add the remaining chocolate and stir gently until smooth. This will bring the temperature of the chocolate down again, to about 25°c.
Dye about 1 tbsp of chocolate pink using the food colouring, or melt the CandyMelts following the instructions on the packet, so that you have melted chocolate in two colours.
Use the handle of a spoon to splatter the coloured chocolate across the mould to make the marbled effect. Leave this to one side whilst it cools and the chocolate hardens (you can wash up whilst this is cooling!), then pour over the white chocolate to fill the mould and smooth over with a palate knife. Tap gently on the worktop to get rid of any air bubbles. Leave them to cool overnight, then pop out of the mould and wrap in cellophane or tinfoil to keep fresh.
Put a bar of this marbled chocolate in a Christmas mug along with a few sachets of hot chocolate, or add them to a hamper with teabags, jams, and biscuits for thoughtful yet really easy christmas gifts!