Have you ever wondered what the process of making chocolate bars is like? Well I have, for sure. I’ve especially been curious about dealing with softer fillings. So, I have decided to learn! Hence, this project.
I actually made these bars in the midst of VERY busy times, so I had to space the process out over a couple of days. It really wasn’t that hard to make them, though. And I think they are just splendid.
For my first time making this type of chocolate bar (I have made hand dipped fudge bars before, but that I think is a little different), I chose to make Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars. They are made with a homemade raspberry jelly as the top layer and a sort of chocolate peanut butter mousse as the bottom layer. The bar is then coated in dark chocolate. I would have liked to decorate these a little, but when time is a’ crunchin’… Well, you just don’t want to bother. So I didn’t. Next time, however, I think I’ll try to make a little more room in my schedule for the project.
Here’s how I made them!
To start off, I needed raspberry puree for the jelly. So rather than buying that, or raspberry juice, I bought some fruit! I wanted to remove as many seeds as I could though, so I pressed the berries with a spatula through a wire mesh sieve. I had *just* enough fruit… Wow. It was a close one. And I really had to mangle those raspberries to get that much juice out of them. But whatevs. Mission accomplished!
To make the jelly, I had to cook the puree with sugar until it reached a certain temperature, then add pectin and lemon juice. I almost forgot to add those last two ingredients (crazily enough), but thankfully I caught myself just in time to correct my mistake.
Once the jelly had been cooked and properly heated, I poured it into a baking pan, greased and lined with plastic wrap. I let this set overnight.
Note: What is plastic wrap made of??? Seriously, the stuff doesn’t melt. It’s amazing. Anyway. Back to my story…
The next day, when I *finally* got back into the kitchen to work on this, I made the next layer of filling! It was made with peanut butter and chocolate, tempered, combined, and poured over the raspberry layer. My tempering skills are still a little wanting…. But that’s okay. Good enough for now, and I know practice is what really makes perfect. So I’ll just have to make more again soon! 😛
Once that layer had been poured, it had to set. So, off I went to other adventures… Until it was time for the next step.
Now, since these bars are only two different layers of filling, the next step was to coat the bottom of the chocolate bars. So, I spread the top of the whole thing (yes, the top) with a layer of dark chocolate, and let that set.
When that was done, I inverted the whole pan onto a nice big cutting board, removed the plastic on the outside, trimmed the edges, and cut the pan into bars. This was a little delicate, since the filling was soft… But not too bad, for sure. I had a good time with it.
(Note: If I say I had a good time, I mean it went well. If I had not had a good time, you can imagine me half crying, and desperately trying to painstaking paste back together pieces of mangled chocolate bar… Thankfully, however, that’s not what happened. This story has a happy ending! Yay!)
From there, I set the bars over wire racks, poured chocolate over top of them to coat them, and decorated the tops of the bars by touching the surfaces with a knife to make that pattern in the chocolate. Then the bars were removed from the racks to set on wax paper.
Cool process, eh? Care to see the finished product? Well good news: You can!
…Tomorrow. This is a “To be continued” post. 😉
Thanks for reading! I’ll be back with a review on this goodness and photos of the finished bars tomorrow.
Bye for now,