I hope everyone had wonderful Valentine’s day.
I made Domo-kun brownies last week but I still wanted to surprise Derek on the 14th… so I decided to make something I’ve always wanted to try.
Non-bento #31: Totoro chocolate
Created and eaten on: 2/14/2011
I took some photos while making it, so I’m going to post them here. Just like the Domo-kun brownies, I don’t think you can call this a how-to, but it’s much easier to explain the process with photos.
First I drew Totoro, chu-Totoro, chibi-Totoro and couple of Makkurokurosuke on a piece of paper. Then I put parchment paper over the drawing, and traced it with a pencil. I then flipped the parchment paper, and taped it on a piece of blank paper.
I chopped chocolate with a knife, and started melting chocolate.
Melting chocolate can be tricky. If the water is too hot it can burn the chocolate and a drop of water in chocolate can ruin the whole batch. I was a bit nervous because I’ve failed at melting chocolate before. I was very tempted to buy a fondue pot for this project but decided to go with a $5 analog thermometer.
I must say it was the best $5 I’ve ever spent!! Because of the thermometer, I was able to keep the chocolate melted at the same consistency from the beginning to the end. So if you’ve never melted chocolate before and are worried, get a thermometer! (Make sure it’s for cooking. Ideally the one that says “Deep Fry & Candy”) I just stuck the thermometer into the water, and kept an eye on it to make sure it was always around 125 F (or 51 C).
I was going to use a ziplock with a hole to pipe chocolate out but I’m not good at piping so I decided to use a toothpick.
First I used the regular chocolate to go over the outline by dipping the tip of a toothpick into melted chocolate and tracing the lines. Repeat. As you can imagine, the process is TEDIOUS, but for me using a toothpick was a lot easier and not as messy as piping.
Then I realized that Totoro’s nose and whiskers needed to be darker than the milk chocolate… Oh well. I had dark chocolate so I ended up drawing the nose and whiskers on at the end, but it definitely would’ve looked better if I drew it on the parchment paper. I put the paper on a cutting board to keep the paper flat, put it in the fridge, and then started melting white chocolate.
After the chocolate got hard, I took it out the fridge, and I scooped melted white chocolate with a spoon and gently dropped it on the white parts of the drawing. I didn’t have to be careful like I had to with the outlines since I just had to fill the rest of the space, but I had to make sure not to disturb the milk chocolate. Because if you touch too much, the milk chocolate will mix with the white chocolate.
When I was done with the white chocolate, I put a little bit of milk chocolate around chibi-Totoro. And I put it back into the fridge and waited until the surface of the chocolate was hard to the touch and not sticky. I took it out, shifted the Makkurokurosuke a little bit and it came off very easily. For the bigger ones like Totoro and chu-Totoro, I put another piece of parchment paper on top and flipped it.
I had to melt dark chocolate to add a nose and whiskers to Totoro, which as I expected came out a bit bumpy, but not bad at all for my first try! (I didn’t want to melt the dark chocolate too much because I was worried that it’d melt Totoro’s face)
I still had some melted chocolate in a bowl so I put corn flakes in it and mix them around to make chocolate covered corn flakes.
I was very happy with how the chocolate turned out, but I wasn’t sure how to give them to Derek… I didn’t want to use a cake or cupcakes for the base since it’d be too much sweets for two of us. Then I realized that I had the perfect container for the chocolate!
A couple years ago, Derek’s friend got us cookies from the Ghibli museum. The tin case that the cookies came in was so cute we kept it and stored Studio Ghibli related stuff inside. I took the stuff out and put parchment paper inside. The chocolate would melt fast when you hold it with hands, so I put corn flakes inside and put the chocolate on top. This way it’s easy to pick up the chocolate piece and looks cute too.
When Derek came home, I gave the case to him. As soon as he opened it, he went “AWWWWW” and started studying the chocolate and asking me how I did it. Even after I explained how I did it, he was still impressed and looking through the photos I took while I was making it. Yay, a success!!
This was a lot easier than I thought. All I needed was patience and a thermometer. Even the tedious part wasn’t bad at all since I could spend as long as I wanted.
Now that I’m somewhat confident, I think I’ll move onto something slightly more challenging…