home made chocolate bars with filled centres
I want to make my own chocolate bars (flat 3.5oz slabs) at home, using a couple of polycarbonate bar molds. But I want to give them soft filled centres.
From research online I see that commercial chocolatiers use automated machines to inject filling into each square, but I haven't found any suggested techniques for doing this by hand at home.
I guess I could either, for a soft filling, brush the mold 1/3 full with chocolate, let it partially set then use a piping bag to pipe small amounts of caramel and other soft fillings into each square, let it set then cover with more melted chocolate.
Or for harder fillings (nougat, etc) try to chop them into tiny squares and repeat as above, putting in the squares instead of piping the filling in.
But not sure whether there's a better way to get a standardized amount of filling into each square in the slab of chocolate? Any suggestions?
Already know how to temper, etc. just not sure about the filling/soft centred part.
Try using 2 PVC pipes -- one smaller in diameter than the other.
Insert the smaller pipe into the larger one.
Fill the outer circle with chocolate.
Then fill the inner circle with your choice of filling.
Then remove pipes.
Your first method would be fine. I found a pictorial that shows how it works but I'd ignore the directions on melting the chocolate because they don't temper it.
If you want the filling more standardized, you could freeze them in the right shape (so they're harder but not frozen) and pop that into the chocolate while soft.
I would treat them like a traditional filled chocolate mold: , fill with chocolate, tamp to get the bubbles out, turn the mold upside down and pour most of the chocolate out again, scrape, let set upside down, pipe filling into the squares and top with more chocolate. If you're looking for more definition between the square (a space with no filling) you could pipe a grid of chocolate and fill between with your soft center, let it set and spread more chocolate on the top. There is a good explanation of how to do this (with pictures!) in my favorite book on chocolate: Chocolates and Confections by Peter P Greweling CMB .
Thanks for all the replies. Ipsedixit, I think you're thinking of candy bars, not slabs of chocolate.
I was thinking that perhaps rather than trying to fill the individual squares of a chocolate bar with a piping bag or other method, what if I could find a polycarbonate mold that is pretty flat, with the squares/lines just etched on the surface (i.e. scored to help you break pieces off, but not actually ridged squares/lines)? Then I could coat it in a layer of chocolate, chill to set, cover the set layer with a layer of semi-liquid filling (caramel, etc), chill to set, and then top with another layer of chocolate? I could actually practice this with a silicone sheet mold, since it's really just a layered chocolate slab with filling in the middle. Hmmm. Chocolate for thought!