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Dutch visitors expect to be served a luxurious chocolate with their tea or coffee during the festive season. Fortunately, you can shop for a wide range of luxury chocolates from leading brands, such as Merci and Ferrero, at online Dutch supermarket, Holland at Home. However, if you want to surprise your Dutch guests with something truly special, then why not treat them to a delicious homemade chocolate? They’re far easier to prepare than you think!
Homemade chocolates: the basic recipe
Most chocolates are made from just a few basic ingredients, with the addition of one or more flavourings. If you prefer dark chocolate and want yours to be as pure as possible, then use cacao butter and (unsweetened) cacao powder as the basic ingredients: gently heat 100 grams of cacao butter “au bain-marie” and, once melted, stir in 100 grams of cacao powder. To sweeten, stir in one or more teaspoons (according to personal preference) of honey or pouring syrup. Lovers of milk chocolate on the other hand, are best using 100 grams of condensed milk and approximately 50 grams (or more) of cocoa powder as a base, perhaps with the addition of some biscuit crumbs for extra crunch.
Flavouring your homemade chocolates
Once you’ve created your basic chocolate recipe, you may wish to flavour it. Popular chocolate flavourings include vanilla powder or vanilla sugar, walnuts, pistachio nuts, almond paste, desiccated coconut and candied orange peel. You can either stir these directly into the chocolate, or use as a topping after you’ve poured the chocolate into your chosen chocolate moulds (e.g. an ice cube tray). As well these “standard” flavourings, you can also experiment with more exotic ingredients: try giving your chocolate a spicy kick by stirring in a small amount of sambal for example, or for a healthy twist, mix in a handful of goji berries. Finally, place your chocolates into the fridge and leave to set for a few hours before serving.
Tip: The chocolates will be easier to remove if you pre-line the mould with a small amount of butter or coconut oil.
Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants.