Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Make your own vegan holiday chocolates

choc special red.jpg
Vegan specialty chocolates are expensive!  Making your own chocolates from molds is so easy I'm not sure I should share the secret.  Especially because we're trying to eat less sugar.

In less than 1/2 hour you can have a special yummy handmade vegan
gift for your mother, your child's teacher, or any other loved one.  

Got a whole hour?  You've got an impressively rich dessert treat for a party.  And your children can join in the fun.

You need:

  • Chocolate molds
  • Vegan chocolate
Chocolate molds

A chocolate mold is a tray with the shapes for your chocolate.  Each one will cost you less than a box of chocolates and you can use them to make hundreds and hundreds of chocolates over the years.

You can buy molds at homeware shops.  Novelty flexible ice cube trays can often be used as chocolate molds. (I want the strawberries and the Legos!)

Molds which have simple shapes and small to medium size chocolates are best for beginners.  General purpose shapes are good value for money.

My molds

  • Easter eggs
  • Flowers and leaves
  • Santas, candy canes and snowmen
  • Stars
  • Train set
  • Numbers and animals
So I can handle:

  • Christmas - Santas, candy canes and snowmen/Stars
  • Birthday Boy - Train set/Stars/numbers and animals
  • Birthday Girl - Flowers/Stars/numbers and animals
  • General Gift - Flowers/Stars
  • Easter - Easter eggs/Flowers
choc belgian.jpgVegan chocolate

We have Pams brand vegan chocolate (which contains palm oil).  I recently scored a bargain on vegan Belgian chocolate from our bulk store, and I suspect I'll struggle to go back to Pams!

1.  Melt chocolate

I first melted my chocolate using an everyday bowl, plate to cover, and a few minutes in the microwave.  So easy!   

Recently, I had some failures with this method and the choc ended up dry and crumbly - unknown problem (new chocolate?  new microwave?  old memory?)  It was frustrating and wasteful enough that my husband created a double boiler with a small metal mixing bowl and a small saucepan. choc double-boiler1.jpg

The double boiler method is quick and just about foolproof.  I don't even worry if the water touches the bottom of the bowl - it works anyway.  Make sure water doesn't get into your chocolate as you stir it into smooth perfection.

2.  Spoon into molds

You don't need to be perfect - you will still get nice chocolates even with slightly under or overfull molds.  Nobody has complained yet.

Less is more when you're first learning.  Fill about 2/3 of the mold and gently tap the tray until the chocolate settles into the shape.  Add more slowly as needed. 

If you overfill, don't worry!  A bit of flat edge around the shape is no big deal.  And you can either wipe away spills on the tray or leave them to crack neatly away after the chocolate is cool.

3.  Chill out

choc flowers small.jpg
Make some flat space in your freezer (recommended) or fridge.  This can be on top of other stuff.

Put any unused chocolate back into the double-boiler while you wait.

Chocolates will be ready after about 10 minutes in the freezer.  Look for a smooth surface all the way across - partially chilled chocolate will look different in the middle.

4.  Tap out your treasure choc stars.jpg

On a clean surface (I use a plastic chopping board), turn over the molds and gently tap and wiggle until the chocolates fall out.  (This can be the trickiest part.)  You may want to use a clean paper or cloth towel so the chocolates can't break when they land.

Store immediately in layers separated by paper towels or waxed paper.  Store in a cool place - in this climate and season, the fridge is the best bet.

Then watch everyone try to get on your "nice" list!

choc flowers.jpg 5.  Cleaning up

Warm water is vital for cleaning hardened chocolate from bowls, trays, and utensils.  Don't scrub!  Apply warm water and then wipe away the chocolate like magic. 

  1. If you used a double boiler, you will have some warm water all ready.
  2. If you lick... I mean scrape all the chocolate off your bowls and stuff while it's warm, cleanup is much easier!


  1. I'll try it with Whittaker's Dark.

  2. I know I've used Whittaker's before and it worked... let me know how it goes!

  3. Oh this is great!! I would love to try this out someday!