There are countless ways for chocoholics to indulge their passion, but there are those among us who hold a special place in their hearts for cream-filled chocolates, and Cream-Filled Chocolates Day has been created with these people in mind. There’s just something about snapping through the outer layer of chocolate and letting that luscious creamy centre melt on your tongue; nothing else compares! Whether it’s strawberry, butterscotch or peppermint you crave, there’s a flavour to satisfy anyone’s taste. So is there any reason not to celebrate this most delicious of holidays? We think not!
The History of Cream-Filled Chocolates Day
The concept of cream-filled chocolates was actually based on the first, simple pralines made in the 17th century by a sugar industrialist named Marshal du Pessis-Praslin. At the time, cocoa (and therefore chocolate) was relatibvely unknown in Europe, and so the pralines of the day were mostly just nuts coated in a layer of carmelized sugar. Due to the many new ingredients available from the New world, slowly but surely pralines began to evolve and get ever more creative and fancy as the years went by. The first cream-filled chocolates as we know them today were made in 1912 by Jean Neuhaus II, a Belgian chocolatier, and soon these chocolate contained everything from various liqueurs, to marzipan, to fruits, to caramel, to almost anything else you can imagine.
How to Celebrate Cream-Filled Chocolates Day
If you have a hankering for something unique, or a craving hits you in the middle of the night, you can make your own cream-filled chocolates—surprisingly enough, it’s not really that hard at all! Chocolate molds are readily available from companies such as Wilton. Simply line the mold with melted chocolate, let it harden, fill the shells with the filling your heart desires most (or three, or ten, the sky’s the limit), and then cover them with another layer of chocolate. And voila! You have your own custom-made filled chocolates, any time you need that cream-filled chocolate fix. Contrary to popular opinion, one of the easiest and most basic fillings is salted caramel, so if you’re ready to celebrate Cream-Filled Chocolates Day, it’s time to get to work!
Salted Caramel Filling
Ingredients: (makes about 1 1/2 cups)
1 small vanilla bean, seeds scraped
100g thickened cream
150g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
People often complain about how easy it is to burn caramel, but tht’s because they try to speed the process up, and that’s just not how you make caramel. Caramel requires a bit of time and patience, but the wait is more than worth it!
Put the sugar and vanilla bean seeds into a clean saucepan and heat very gently over low heat, letting the sugar take its time to melt. Don’t rush the process, and try not to stir the mixture too much to keep it from clumping. If it does, don’t panic, but simply continue to heat it and the sugar should all eventually melt on its own. When it melts completely, add the cream and whisk until combined. Reduce the heat even more and add the butter, piece by piece, mixing well after each one is added. Then, add the salt, stir well again, and allow the mixture to cool and thicken. When it cools completely, place the caramel in a piping bag and get ready to fill those chocolates with sweet, salty, buttery goodness!
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