How To Create Stunning Shibori Chocolates!

recipe

Shibori Chocolates Tutorial

Chocolate Artisan Jessica Pedemont commits to a theme. When holding her Shibori chocolates class featuring the stunning blue and white finish reminiscent of Japanese dying technique she wears a silk shibori printed chef's jacket, an earring that reads "yum" and another that has a baking mitt. Even her eyelashes are blue.

Shibori Chocolates Tutorial

This is not my first class with Jessica. I first met her at Planet Cake where the former kickboxer/wrestler was demonstrating how to make pretty handbag cakes. That was seven years ago. Now she has her own studio and holds cake decorating and chocolate making classes. Last year I did a buttercream flower class that was fantastic - the kind where you step back and say "Wow I actually did that?". And when I saw her shibori chocolates on her instagram account I knew that another visit was in order.

Shibori Chocolates Tutorial

You may have been the Shibori pattern in stores and online. It is a fabric dying technique using indigo. Cloth is stretched, bound, compressed and twisted to create a series of patterns. And you can replicate this beautiful effect in chocolate. To colour chocolate requires intermediate techniques but the good news is that the rest is basic chocolate techniques.

Shibori Chocolates Tutorial

In this tutorial we will cover:

1: How to Temper Chocolate

2: How to Colour Chocolate

3: How to Create The Shibori Effect

4:How to Fill and Close Chocolates

5: How to use Cocoa Cutter Transfer Sheets

6: How To Remove Chocolates

Let's get started!!

One: How To Temper Chocolate

Jessica starts off with tempering some couverture chocolate. Tempering chocolate involves melting it to a certain temperature and then cooling it to another temperature. But each brand has its own recommended temperatures to take it to and these must be adhered to.

Jessica uses Felchlin, a Swiss brand and she notes that the white chocolate is less sweet than other brands. She explains that couverture chocolate needs to be tempered in order to get a glossy finish and a crisp snap.

You can temper chocolate three ways:

a. Direct warming when chocolate is carefully melted with gentle heat not beyond 32C/89.6F.

Vaccination/addition/seeding method of tempering chocolate

b. Vaccination or addition method where part of the chocolate is melted and then some chopped, shaved or grated chocolate is added (seeded) into the melted chocolate. This can be used if chocolate is slightly overheated.

Tablier or tabling method of tempering chocolate

c. Tablier or tabling chocolate where 2/3 of the melted chocolate is poured onto a marble slab and then cooled using scrapers spreading out and pulling back the chocolate.

Tip: No matter which method you use, Jessica's tip is to get a small amount on a knife and keep it in a cool place to check for the set and sheen.

Two: How To Colour Chocolate Using Cocoa Butter

The best way to colour chocolate is by using cocoa butter, the natural fat of the cocoa bean. Cocoa butter is light yellow in colour and is usually obtained by the hydraulic expression of the cocoa nib and has a distinct brittle fracture below 20C. Cocoa butter is a mixture of several forms of fat and there are four types of crystals in cocoa butter each with its own melting point and different properties of stability. The aim of tempering is to transform the cocoa butter crystals into a stable state.

Shibori Chocolates Tutorial

Jessica melts the cocoa butter to 40C-45C and then adds some fat soluble colour (no more than 30g/1oz powder per 100g/3.5oz cocoa butter) to the mixture. To completely emulsify the colour into the cocoa butter and avoid speckling, use an immersion blender. You can then use it as it is or add some white chocolate to it if you want it to be thicker.

Three: How To Create The Shibori Pattern

She also has some white chocolate that has already been coloured and she uses these to make up the shibori colours using 3-4 in total including a cream or white coloured chocolate that has some titanium dioxide added to make it whiter.

Shibori Chocolates Tutorial

We take our molds (we are using a stone mold, a sphere, diamonds, pyramids and a giant shoe) and then using a tablespoon we flick patterns into the cavities of the molds. Any excess is scraped off using the flat scraper and we try this with white then medium blue and dark blue to create patterns.

Shibori Chocolates Tutorial

You can also use a pastry brush to create patterns or your finger to smudge the pattern. She also uses a toothpick to create a "scratch" surface. We allow these to set. We then do a final touch of shimmer powder to bring out the white against the white chocolate shell.

Shibori Chocolates Tutorial

Using a toothpick to create ridges and scratches

Shibori Chocolates Tutorial

Adding shimmer

Four: How To Fill and Close Chocolates

Shibori Chocolates Tutorial

Once the shibori pattern has set we pour in a layer of tempered white chocolate and then pour out the excess scraping the tops and the sides of the chocolate molds. Jessica recommends refrigerating the chocolate to give the chocolate a head start to setting but this should be no more than 10 minutes as it can attract moisture from the fridge.

How to fill a piping bag (and use lollipop molds-bonus!)

Next comes the filling. We are doing an overnight set so this allows for a more creamy, liquid ganache filling. We make a white chocolate ganache filling with blueberry ganache inside. We use a piping bag to pour it into the each cavity and then this is set overnight at room temperature.

Shibori Chocolates Tutorial

Five: How To Use Chocolate Transfers

The next day we reconvene back at her studio and it's just a matter of closing the chocolates and applying a cocoa butter transfer pattern layer. She has a range of transfers in different patterns including some custom designs. These are heat sensitive and are made to go straight onto the chocolate.

Shibori Chocolates Tutorial

Two part diamond mold

First we close the chocolates by pouring some tempered white chocolate and then scraping the excess by holding the scraper at a 45 degree angle while the mold is held horizontally. The excess goes back into the bowl and the sides are scraped. Then we pipe some chocolate along one side and then down the middle into a T shape.

Shibori Chocolates Tutorial

Pyramid mold

We press the transfer sheets onto the edge. The transfer sheets have been cut to the size of the mold precisely so that they don't go over the edge. We press it down and then scrape off the excess from the sides. We then allow these to set completely.

Shibori Chocolates Tutorial

3 part stone mold

Six: How To Remove Chocolates

Shibori Chocolates Tutorial

Swiss Alps mold

Once these are set you can slightly twist the polycarbonate molds like an ice cube tray. You then give them a firm but gentle whack against the table and they should come out easily. Make sure that if they don't all come out in one go then you whack them down on another part of the table to avoid crushing the existing ones.

Shibori Chocolates Tutorial

Then using cotton gloves place them in boxes. Always store chocolate, colours and cacao butter in a cool, dark, dry place wrapped well and away from strong foreign odours.

Shibori apron and silk chef's jacket by Karmme and Unveiled Couture

How To Make Shibori Chocolates {full video}

So tell me Dear Reader, do you like the shibori pattern? Have you got anything shibori patterned? Which mold did you like best?

P.S. Check out my Not Quite Nigella Youtube channel for some bonus videos with Jessica on how to make a small piping bag and how to join chocolate halves too!