A week ago I received an email with a video of Jacques Torres, überchocolatier, making a gorgeous chocolate gingerbread house. I watched for over 13 minutes, thinking “I can do this.” I nearly bought the silicone chocolate gingerbread molds and then I remembered something about myself…I don’t enjoy tempering chocolate and it is critical to temper chocolate if you are going to build a chocolate gingerbread house.
What the video reminded me of was a chocolate gift box I used to make around the holidays. Is it something Jacques would serve? Never. Will everyone you give it to love it? Absolutely, unless you happen to know Jacques Torres and have the chutzpah to give one to him. If this is the case, then I do not know how it will be received.
What I do know is that the Delectable Gift Box is a really fun family project to do together. Think about it…what could be more enjoyable than noshing on the excess pieces of chocolate, using chocolate as glue and letting your imagination run wild when it come to decorating. Even going to the grocery store and deciding which candies to use is a blast.
So give yourself the “gift” of making these delectable gift boxes.
|Delectable Gift Box|| |
- Per box:
- 3 – 1.55 ounce Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars
- ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
- Bowl of ice
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Variety of candies for decorating and filling such as:
- M&M’s (variety of kinds and colors)
- York Pieces (blue and white)
- Hershey Kisses (pick the colors you want to use)
- Peeps in the shape of snowmen
- Gumdrops in the shape of bells, cut in half vertically
- For the box:
- Melt the chocolate chips until partially melted. Stir until they are completely melted. Set aside.
- Divide all three chocolate bars in half. The halves will be used for the bottom, top and two of the four sides of the box.
- The two end pieces of the box will have to be cut down. Place a half piece on a parchment paper lined pan. This will be the bottom of your box.
- Put another half piece perpendicular to the short side of the bottom piece so that one side is lined up evenly. Cut the excess of the second piece off. Repeat with another half. Now you have the two “short” sides ready to be attached.
- Now the decision needs to be made if you want to decorate the sides or leave them plain. If decorating them, do this before attaching the sides. Use the melted chocolate to glue the decorations to the sides. Also, glue a Hershey Kiss or Peeps Snowman to the top chocolate half that will be the top of your box, remembering to glue to the smooth side of the chocolate piece.
- Hold an ice cube in your hand for about 20 seconds. Dry completely. Set the ice aside. This reduces the temperature of your hand thereby reducing the rate that the chocolate you are handling will melt.
- Use a metal spatula or small brush to apply melted chocolate to one of the short side bottoms, with the Hershey logos facing into the box, cut side down. Attach to one of the short sides of the bottom piece. The pieces are attached next to the bottom piece, not on top of the edge of it.
- Hold in place for about 20 seconds.
- Repeat process with the other three sides, attaching in the following order: short side, long side, short side, long side.
- Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer some of the melted chocolate into a plastic freezer storage bag. Cut a small tip off a corner and squeeze the melted chocolate into the corners of the box to fill them in. Refrigerate again to set. If the melted chocolate begins to harden, add more chips to the bowl and repeat melting process.
- Scrape the edges down so that they are smooth. Dust the top and sides of the box with confectioners’ sugar.
- Fill the box with candy pieces and then place the top piece over the box.
- Betsy's tidbits:
- Any kind of chocolate bar will do; dark, milk or semi-sweet.
- Let your imagination run wild when it comes to decorating your box. We went into the grocery store and picked the candies that we thought would work well.
- Don’t limit yourself to making a Delectable Gift Box at Christmas or Hanukkah time. They make great birthday gifts and think of the possibilities for Valentine’s Day!