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Old 12-21-2008, 10:52 PM   #91
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I'm fairly certain I'll be making these soon!

I wonder though, is there anything that could be added to the melted chocolate other than solid shortening? I'd hate to buy a package just to use two tablespoons of it, and have the rest thrown out.
I don't know whether margarine might work?? It's just to make the chocolate stick to the peanut butter balls.
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Old 12-21-2008, 11:01 PM   #92
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I'm fairly certain I'll be making these soon!

I wonder though, is there anything that could be added to the melted chocolate other than solid shortening? I'd hate to buy a package just to use two tablespoons of it, and have the rest thrown out.
I hate to sound like a know it all by answering everyone's questions because I think it would drive me nuts if the same person kept coming in and answering....but it is what I do for a living so I hope no one minds

I would not use margarine with chocolate. It has too much water in it and might not fully incorporate into the chocolate. Your chocolate will be runny and not stick to the final product. I would use unsalted butter. You could replace the margarine in the recipe with unsalted butter so that way you wouldn't have butter around that you didn't want/need. But butter won't ever go bad if you put it in the freezer so if you have leftovers you can always save it that way. But I'd say a definite no on using marg and chocolate together due to the water content.
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Old 12-22-2008, 12:27 AM   #93
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you know after looking at that recipe again, I think you could almost get away without using any shortening or butter with the chocolate. If it's just to coat the peanut butter then I can't see any reason why just plain old chocolate would do the trick.
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Old 12-22-2008, 12:31 AM   #94
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you know after looking at that recipe again, I think you could almost get away without using any shortening or butter with the chocolate. If it's just to coat the peanut butter then I can't see any reason why just plain old chocolate would do the trick.
I made a slightly different version of the peanut butter balls today and I used semi-sweet chocolate alone and it coated perfectly. My grandmother's recipe also uses chocolate alone, no butter or shortening.
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Old 12-22-2008, 12:38 AM   #95
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I hate to sound like a know it all by answering everyone's questions because I think it would drive me nuts if the same person kept coming in and answering....but it is what I do for a living so I hope no one minds
Not at all! It's nice to have the advice of a pro.

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you know after looking at that recipe again, I think you could almost get away without using any shortening or butter with the chocolate. If it's just to coat the peanut butter then I can't see any reason why just plain old chocolate would do the trick.
I was thinking that. I've made these other chocolate-coated balls before, and that recipe just called for melted chocolate. I wasn't sure what purpose the shortening would serve in this one. Although in the recipe I made, the chocolate didn't exactly go on evenly and nicely (I think it was getting too cool and sort of clumping a bit), but it didn't matter, it was only for us, and it still tasted good.


The recipe I'm referring to was really good, and super easy. You make any flavour of store bought cake mix and bake it according to directions. Let it cool, and then crumble it into a bowl. Then you add some sort of moist ingredient that has a complementary flavour to the cake mix you've chosen - for example, I made chocolate cake and mixed smooth peanut butter into it. Another suggestion was to use chocolate cake and canned cherry pie filling. You could choose practically any flavour combination you like. You put enough of the moist ingredient into the cake crumbs so that you can form it into balls. Then you dip them in melted chocolate, and let cool till the chocolate hardens. Yum!

Here's a link to the actual recipe, and suggestions for various combinations to use: http://www.bakedperfection.com/2008/06/cake-balls.html
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Old 12-22-2008, 01:13 AM   #96
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you know after looking at that recipe again, I think you could almost get away without using any shortening or butter with the chocolate. If it's just to coat the peanut butter then I can't see any reason why just plain old chocolate would do the trick.
For coating stuff I usually add a bit of butter because I find that it just looks smoother/shinier, so it's more for the appearance than anything. I think my Mom told me to do so and now I'm wondering whether it's necessary.
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Old 12-22-2008, 01:22 AM   #97
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For coating stuff I usually add a bit of butter because I find that it just looks smoother/shinier, so it's more for the appearance than anything. I think my Mom told me to do so and now I'm wondering whether it's necessary.
I totally agree with that. The shortening in the recipe in question would have done the same thing. In terms of the best shine though I'd use the trusty old ganache and just melt choc and heavy cream then dip before the ganache sets up. You can't ever go wrong.
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Old 12-22-2008, 01:49 AM   #98
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Here's a quick and easy way to make a basic truffle....minus the chocolate coating on the outside

Make a ganache....2 parts choc, 1 part heavy cream. Then take any type of flavoring you like. Mint, coconut, maple, vanilla, almond, etc. Flavor your ganache and let it set up. Once it's set use a small melon baller (or your hands )to make balls. Then coat them. You don't neccessarily have to coat them in chocolate. The only way you're going to get a chocolate coating that won't melt in your hands is to temper chocolate. So if you make a mint flavored ganache you can finely chop up a mint candy such as andes mints and roll the ganache ball into the mints. Almonds, same thing. Just finely chop them up in a food processor. I've toasted coconuts and then also chopped those up. You can also use graham cracker crumbs to cover the ganache. I love Bailey's Irish Creme so I've used that to flavor ganache and then used graham cracker crumbs to coat them. I'm not a big fan of sprinkles unless they're used in a slightly more elegant way like coating the sides of a cake or even a truffles. I hate them on top of things. So even the chocolate sprinkles would work for coating the outsides.

Here's some that I made last year...

Coconut, Almond, and Bailey's....I didn't use a food processor to chop the almonds but I think it would have looked better if I did.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:54 AM   #99
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For coating stuff I usually add a bit of butter because I find that it just looks smoother/shinier, so it's more for the appearance than anything. I think my Mom told me to do so and now I'm wondering whether it's necessary.
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I totally agree with that. The shortening in the recipe in question would have done the same thing. In terms of the best shine though I'd use the trusty old ganache and just melt choc and heavy cream then dip before the ganache sets up. You can't ever go wrong.
I don't buy butter, either. Would a few drops of canola oil have the same effect?
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:01 AM   #100
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can I just ask, anyone here tried Carob powder? is it fattening?
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Old 12-22-2008, 12:08 PM   #101
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I don't buy butter, either. Would a few drops of canola oil have the same effect?
I never used oil with chocolate but I would skip it completely or use heavy cream. Chocolate is very tricky; if you add the wrong thing to it you might not get it to do what you want it to. It's really not going to affect the final look of the product all that much. Unless you're going to give them away as a gift I don't think it's neccessary to make them shiny. And the shine you are going to get from untempered chocolate is very minimal anyway no matter what you put in it. But if you look at the picture of the small cake I posted a few days ago, that's just a cake dipped in ganache then I added some edible glitter on it. So that's about as shiny of a product you'll get.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:48 PM   #102
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Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter

It was like heaven on a plate.
I made this last weekend.

To. Die. For.

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Old 12-22-2008, 10:15 PM   #103
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It's awesome, isn't it?
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:49 PM   #104
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Old 01-03-2009, 12:06 PM   #105
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I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong, have tried a couple of different recipes and I can't get pecan pies to set up? I let them cool overnight. They taste fine if you don't mind the fact that the pie is more like soup.

Meh, maybe I'll just try some of those recipes redkat posted. I still have bags of pecans left.
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