The Rare Norm a couple of weeks ago Share Tweet Pin Share Video source: So Yummy. Link Just a few notes: This is different from the things I typically post here, but I saw this video and thought it contained some neat ideas. I’ve tried a couple of these (the ice chocolate cup and the chocolate balloon tricks) and they do work–you just need a steady hand and a cool kitchen with relatively low humidity. And in the case of the balloon, I found that it helped to double-coat (or just be prepared to lose some of them, because the chocolate is brittle and sometimes they collapse when you’re removing the balloon). You can alternate between white and dark chocolate if you want to make an interesting pattern. Other tips: When melting chocolate, don’t let it get too hot. If it gets too hot it could burn or separate and then you’re screwed. Melt it at around 100F (and don’t go over 115F). Don’t melt it covered with any kind of lid, because condensation dripping back into it can cause it to seize. Two reliable methods are using a double boiler and using a microwave for short bursts. Another thing that can be handy is to temper your chocolate–and you can do this without a thermometer. Melt 2/3 of your chocolate and then stir the last third into it until it’s all incorporated. This will leave you with a chocolate that will harden properly and look nice and shiny. Make sure you let the chocolate cure for long enough–that means letting it set so it is fully hard. You can cool it down quickly by putting it in the fridge, but don’t let it stay there for long–if it gets too cold in the fridge it will start to sweat. Finally, consider finding alternatives to breaking chopsticks in half–I find that they can shed splinters and it can be a pain. I’ve used sections of cake dowels before and that works. If you do use chopsticks maybe try cutting them with shears instead of breaking them as you’ll have less splintering. I’m sure others in here will offer their chocolate tips as well! Oh, and if you don’t like the look of ice cube trays, consider investing in some silicone moulds. I have some I use for candy and they’re not that expensive–and they’re very easy to work with.