Textured chocolate sheets are such a fun toy to play around with! They're sturdy plastic sheets with a raised design embossed on them. When wet chocolates are placed on the sheet, the design gets imprinted onto the chocolate. It's a quick and easy way to give homemade chocolate a LOT of personality and a big dose of glamour! The wood grain will give any candy a rustic, woodsy, or masculine vibe.
Chocolate transfer sheets are an easy way to give your candies that professional shine and appearance so many home cooks are after! They're easy to use, and the results are incredible. I like using them when making chocolate-dipped cookies and square truffles, and they're also great for making chocolate panels for decorating cakes and cupcakes. I've linked just one transfer sheet design here, but there are literally hundreds (thousands! millions!) of different options out there, so happy shopping!
These large candy eyeballs are perfect for making adorable, edible faces!Try them on cupcakes or cookies to create the perfect character. Confession time: they don't taste amazing (they mostly just taste like sugar) but the perfect cartoon appearance they give your baked goods totally makes up for it.
When you need to make a spooooooky green candy, only Vibrant Green candy melts will do! I believe Wilton's releases this as a seasonal color that's only available around Halloween, so I always make sure to stock up on a few extra bags so I have a year-round supply. This sickly yellow-green color is perfect for Halloween goodies, and can be used to make witches, Frankensteins, oozing slime, etc.
Gemstones are one of my favorite candy shapes to mold, because the shiny, sparkly candy actually makes them look like jewels! You can find gem molds in all sorts of sizes; this extra-large size is good for making single gems to put on top of cupcakes, or as a border around the top of a cake.
Candy coloring, food coloring, what's the difference? Well, if you're making colored chocolates, there's a BIG difference! Traditional food coloring is water-based, so if you add it to chocolate, it can cause the chocolate to seize up and become a grainy mess. Candy coloring, on the other hand, is oil-based, so it can flavor chocolate with ease. Try it the next time you want to transform your truffles!
For some candies, you can use regular extracts or emulsions to flavor them, but for chocolate-based candies, you'll need to use flavoring oils instead of extracts. Extracts are water-based and will cause the chocolate to seize, whereas oils blend well with the chocolate and impart flavor without causing any texture issues. This is a good starter pack of common candy flavorings, and although the bottles are small, you'll find that the oils are very strong. You'll need only a few drops to impart big flavors to your chocolates and candies!
This candy scoop is my secret weapon for making perfect truffles! It forms identically sized 1-inch balls of ganache (or fondant, or anything else you need to scoop!) The size is great for 1-bite candies, and using a scoop makes the process of forming round candies super fast and easy.
Dipping tools might not be a strict necessity for candy making, but they sure are nice to have! They make it incredibly easy to dip truffles, caramels, bonbons, and other small objects in chocolate. This is a great introductory set. I most often use the 3-pronged fork, but I like having a smaller 2-pronged fork as well, and I also use the round and spiral dippers regularly.
White candy coating is my secret weapon when I want to dip truffles in white chocolate. I hardly ever have enough white chocolate for tempering, so instead, I whip out a back of Merckens coating! This brand is my favorite--it has a really fluid melt and produces a nice, shiny coating that's not too thick and not too thin.
Spoiler alert: I wrote this book. Second spoiler alert: I highly recommend it! I have a whole page on this site devoted to talking about The Sweet Book of Candy Making, and sharing sample pages from it, so I won't retread that territory. All I'll say is that I wrote it with you, the readers, in mind the whole time. I wanted to demystify candy making, share my favorite recipes, and make it as approachable and fun as possible! I'm gratified at all the 5-star reviews, and nothing makes me happier than to hear that someone enjoyed the recipes or found the book helpful.
If I had to recommend just one candy book to everyone, it would be Peter Greweling's Chocolates and Confections at Home with The Culinary Institute of America. (Yes, I would recommend this over my own book!) Greweling's book is just so comprehensive, and really delves into the how's and why's of candy-making. He provides in-depth scientific background for many important candy concepts, as well as hundreds of step-by-step pictures of various techniques. If you really want to understand the fundamentals behind many candy techniques, this is the book for you!
If you want to giggle like a fool while reading a cookbook, then The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook is for you. Authors Liz Gutman and Jen King have such a charming, fun, personable writing style, you'll feel like you're learning about candy from your super-hip best friends. They do a great job of breaking down the steps to making candy and troubleshooting potential sticky areas (sticky areas...candy...geddit??) It's a fun read, but more importantly, is packed with delicious, unusual candy recipes, including their (no longer) secret recipes for their famous Liddabit candy bars and beer-and-pretzel caramels.
Professional-looking chocolate is tempered, and tempering requires a chocolate thermometer. So if you're ready to take your chocolates to the next level, get yourself a chocolate thermometer! There are lots of expensive chocolate thermometers out there, but I've had good results with this very basic, and very inexpensive, model. If you're just getting into chocolate work, I recommend buying this one and getting comfortable with the tempering process before investing in more expensive equipment. You can find my tutorial showing exactly how to temper chocolate here. And if you want to make other types of candies, like caramels or fudge, be sure to pick up a candy thermometer!
If you want to make candy, you need a candy thermometer. Fortunately, it's a small investment with a big payoff! This handy kitchen gadget is invaluable for making candies like lollipops, fudge, caramels, toffee, and much more. It also doubles as a deep-fry thermometer, so you can use it to make doughnuts and other delicious deep-fried desserts. If you want to make tempered chocolate, though, you'll want to pick up a chocolate thermometer--candy thermometers aren't sensitive enough for the task of measuring chocolate. For all other candy uses, though, this is your tool!
Have you ever said to yourself, "Self, I'd like to make a ball out of chocolate...but how?" Well, wonder no more, my friend! All you need is a ball chocolate mold! This affordable plastic mold can be used to mold chocolate hemispheres. Make two of those, stick them together with some melted chocolate, and baby, you've got yourself a chocolate ball! I actually recommend using this to make my famous Ferrero Rocher Hazelnut Mousse Cakes, but that's just a start--get creative and see what other round desserts you can make!
I use chocolate candy coating all the time, and one of my favorite brands is Merckens. Candy coating is a useful shortcut when you don't want to temper chocolate for candy making, so I always keep a big bag on hand in the kitchen. Candy coating hardens quickly and produces shiny chocolate-covered candies that have a satisfying snap. Some varieties are thick and gloopy when they're melted, but Merckens always has a texture that's not too thick and not too thin--perfect for dipping chocolates and molding candies!
This candy mold makes creating chocolate decorations a breeze! Use melted chocolate, tempered chocolate, or candy coating to make beautiful chocolate decorations to put on top of cakes, cupcakes, or other pastries. I like to brush them with a little luster dust after unmolding to make them sparkle and shine.