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The box is chocolate too.

The box is chocolate too

The intricate appearance of these heart-shaped chocolate boxes belies their simple construction. They get their professional look from heart-shaped molds. You spread melted chocolate inside the mold, chill it, and pop the chocolate box out. Filled with chocolate trusffles, mousse, or fresh berries, the boxes make an impressive custom-made gift or dessert.

Various types of heart-shaped molds are available. Inexpensive plastic forms with one or more depressions come in several sizes. These molds, designed for candy making and easy to use, are sold in cookware and candy supply stores. You can also use a valentine candy box (line it with foil), or a cooky cutter open on both sides.

To avoid melting chocolate boxes in your hands, handle them quickly. If boxes are flawed or break, remelt and start again.

Chocolate Valentine Boxes

8 ounces chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (not chocolate baking bits), chocolate candy coating, or white candy coating (not white chocolate)

In the top of a double boiler, stir chocolate over hot (not simmering) water until half of the chocolate melts. Remove pan from water and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.

Use plastic molds, straight-sided boxes lined smoothly with foil, or straight-sided metal cooky cutters.

The chocolate will make 1 box 6 inches wide and 1 inch deep with lid, or 2 boxes 4 inches wide and 1 inch deep with lids (measure the molds at their widest point). Wipe inside molds with a clean, soft cloth to remove moisture and dust. If the mold doesn't include a box lid, make a pattern for one: Cover a rimless baking sheet with foil and fold foil snugly under pan. Using the box mold as a guide, trace onto the foil a heart that is slightly larger.

How to make chocolate boxes and lids

To make a box using a plastic mold or foil-lined box, pour about 2/3 of chocolate into a 6-inch mold, or divide this amount between 2 molds each 4 inches wide; reserve 1/3 of chocolate for lid making.

Tilt mold to coat bottom and sides with chocolate. If needed, use the back of a spoon to push chocolate up the sides (not over rim). Sides of box should be about 1/8 inch thick; if chocolate slides down and makes thinner sides, pour excess chocolate from bottom of box into a bowl and hold at room temperature. Tap the mold lightly on the counter to release air bubbles. Chill box just until firm. Scoop excess chocolate onto the back of a spoon and spread it on box sides, using all. Chill until firm, about 15 minutes.

To make a box using a cooky cutter, cover a rimless baking sheet with foil and fold foil snugly under pan. Place cooky cutter on foil and tape in place.

Set aside 1/4 of chocolate for lid. Pour 1/2 of the remaining chocolate into a 6-inch-wide, 1-inch-deep cutter; or divide amount between 2 cutters each 4 inches wide and 1 inch deep. Use the back of a spoon to push chocolate over bottom and up the sides (not over rim); chill just until firm. Hold remaining chocolate at room temperature, then pour this chocolate into the chilled box and, with the back of a spoon, spread over bottom and sides. The bottom should be 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Chill until firm, about 15 minutes.

To make lids using a plastic mold, pour all the reserved chocolate into the 6-inch lid, or half into each 4-inch lid. Tilt molds to coat bottom and sides. Chill until firm, about 15 minutes.

To make lids using traced outlines, pour all the reserved chocolate into the center of a large pattern, or half into each of 2 small patterns. With a spoon back, spread chocolate to edges of outline. Chill until firm, about 15 minutes.

To release boxes and lids from molds, invert forms on a flat surface; tap gently. If needed, peel off foil. If chocolate is too soft to come out easily, chill longer; if too hard, boxes get brittle and may break.

To remove cooky cutter, cut tape from foil; release foil from pan sides. Peel foil from bottom of box, then gently push box from base through cutter.

To release traced lids, remove foil from pan, then peel foil from chocolate.

If made ahead, cover and chill chocolates up to 2 weeks; freeze to store longer.

Photo: Elegant and edible, chocolate boxes for Valentine's Day hold chocolate mousse garnished with minced almonds for dessert (above) or gift of truffles (right)

Photo: Heart molds you can use to create chocolate boxes include plastic forms (some also make lids), a foil-lined box, and a cooky cutter open on both sides

Photo: Tilt mold to coat bottom and sides with melted chocolate; chill until firm. Place inverted mold on flat surface, then gently wiggle and tap to release box
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Feb 1, 1986
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