From nutty nibbles to opulent truffles, learn all about hand-dipping and enrobing delectable chocolate delights
We may be biased but we think most ingredients can benefit from a coating of chocolate. White, milk, caramel or dark — all are ideal for enrobing your favourite treats. If you’re keen to brush up on your chocolatier skills, here’s our guide to chocolate enrobing. You’ll be a pro in no time!
What is enrobing?
An enrobed chocolate generally has a premade centre or filling that has a coating of chocolate around it. When the layer of chocolate sets, it offers a crisp surface you can bite into with a satisfying snap.
Top-quality enrobing also yields a glossy texture. By cooling the chocolate carefully, you can temper it. Chill the melted chocolate too quickly, and it may go matte and cloudy.
Maitre chocolatiers often use a dedicated enrobing machine to coat their chocolates. A machine gives them even results when making big batches. However, you can also enrobe by hand. Read on to learn more about hand-dipped chocolates.
What types of food can you enrobe with chocolate?
At Hotel Chocolat, we adore pralines and truffles coated in a cacao-rich layer of chocolate. When it comes to enrobing, you can cover most solid centres with chocolate.
If you want to add a layer of chocolate to liquid confectionery, like gorgeously gooey caramel, however, you’ll need to seal it in a chocolate shell first. You would do this by moulding a chocolate casing and pouring the caramel into it. After that has set, you can enrobe the whole lot in another layer of melted chocolate. The same principle goes for tipsy liqueur chocolates.
But you can also extend your enrobing skills to non-confectionery centres!
Chocolate-dipped fruit is a delicious way to get your five a day. From fresh strawberries to dried mango, fruit and chocolate make a heavenly pair. For a healthier enrobed treat, dip your fruit in chocolate that’s high in cacao and low in sugar. A double layer of milk then dark chocolate gives our succulent Enrobed Cherries the perfect level of sweetness.
Nuts are another excellent nibble to enrobe. The combination of melt-in-the-mouth chocolate and nutty crunchiness is unparalleled. We particularly enjoy the flavour blend of roasted Brazil nuts and glossy 70% dark chocolate.
The ideal accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee, any biscuit is enhanced by a coating of high-quality chocolate. A generous layer of our 43% milk chocolate gives our Chocolat Shortbreads an extra little something special. We’ve also included a 70% dark chocolate version that’s sure to take your coffee break to the next level.
With its fiery warmth, ginger is an excellent winter treat. A coating of chocolate tempers that spiciness, enhancing the nuanced flavours and creating a balanced profile. We soak our stem ginger sticks in syrup until tender, then enrobe them in decadent 70% dark chocolate.
For more inspiration on foods to coat with irresistible chocolate, take a look at our advice on making chocolate-dipped treats.
Enrobing is also a great way to cover cake pops in a coating of rich chocolate. The crisp shell of chocolate is a delightful contrast against the softness of the sponge cake within.
How do you enrobe chocolates by hand?
Whether you’ve got some chocolate bars to use up or want to try something different with your nuts, ginger, or fruit, enrobing is an excellent technique to try.
To get an even layer of chocolate around your filling, you’ll need a dipping fork or spiral and a large, deep bowl. Before you begin, make sure your fillings are firm enough to hold their shape and aren’t too cold. Room temperature is best.
- Melt and temper your chocolate (cool it until it’s 28℃), then pour it into a deep bowl.
- Use the dipping fork to quickly push your filling into the chocolate so that the top of it sits at the chocolate’s surface.
- Use the fork to pull a fine layer of chocolate over your filling, then lift it up. You want part of the filling to poke over the front of the fork. You can also use a dipping spiral, in which case your filling will sit in the well.
- Tap your filling against the chocolate’s surface a few times until any excess chocolate has drained off and you have an even, thin layer. Take your time here to prevent any chocolate pooling at the bottom when you set your confectionery down.
- Press the bottom of your fork or spiral against the edge of your bowl to clean it.
- Place your filling on a piece of parchment and gently slide the fork out from under it. Give each piece plenty of space on the parchment. (This will help with cooling and setting).
- At this stage, you could also sprinkle on any additional garnishes, such as desiccated coconut or milled nuts.
If you’d like a thicker layer of chocolate around your filling, you can leave it to set, then enrobe with a second coating.
How to cool your enrobed confectionery
After enrobing your treats — whether nuts, fruit, truffles or ginger — let them set for a few minutes at room temperature. If you put them straight in the fridge to chill, they’ll cool too quickly and have a matt appearance.
After hardening at room temperature, pop your enrobed chocolates in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Which chocolate is best for enrobing?
When dipping, you can use milk, dark or white chocolate — whichever suits the treat you’re enrobing! For best results, look for chocolate with a high cacao content.
At Hotel Chocolat, we ensure all our Slabs and Batons are high in cacao and low in sugar. Not only do we believe this gives you a richer flavour, but it also yields gorgeously glossy enrobing.
Whether you’re looking for mellow milk chocolate, creamy white chocolate or intense dark chocolate, why not explore our cooking chocolate range?