how to: DIY chocolate gems

What’s this, a snapshot from a gemstone display at the Natural History Museum?

Nope! It’s chocolate! Chocolate gems!

These little treasures may look fancy but they’re super easy to make yourself. Like a craft project you can eat (which is pretty much the most perfect thing in the world, if you ask me).

Ready to see how easy this is?

To start, simply melt yourself some chocolate. Be sure to temper it–if you’ve never tempered chocolate and need some advice, I like these instructions (which includes a video) explaining how the process works, in very simple terms. Tempering chocolate is one of those things that sounds intimidating but really isn’t, so don’t let that step stop you, okay? Please?

Then grab yourself some gem-shaped candy molds (you can pick them up here).

And pour a bit of chocolate into each mold. You don’t need to grease the molds first or anything like that–just pour the chocolate directly into the clean, dry mold. I like to use a small spoon or ladle for this, or even transfer the melted chocolate into a small squeeze bottle and squeeze it in. Just be sure to work quickly so your chocolate doesn’t get too cool (if it does, warm it back to the minimum temperature per the tempering instructions).

Place the filled molds into your fridge for about 5-10 minutes, just to allow the outer surface of the chocolate to begin to set. Then remove the molds from the fridge and place them at cool room temperature (away from sunny windows!!!) until they are set. They’ll be set after a few hours, but for best results, allow them to rest in the molds for 24 hours. (After the chocolate sets for 24 hours it will be less likely to pick up fingerprints when you handle it.)

Then just pop the chocolate pieces out of the molds, and the hardest part if this project is done!

Next it’s time to add the bling. Applying the sparkly color to the chocolate shapes is ridiculously easy–you just brush it on! I used Luster Dust–a powdered, edible pigment–in a few different hues of jewel tones and metallics.

Simply brush the Luster Dust right onto the chocolate with a small, soft brush–and that’s it! The dust will adhere right to the chocolate, you don’t need to use any kind of adhesive or anything. (As for what type of brush to use, I use small, soft artist’s brushes, and reserve them for food use only.)

(PS: Looking at this photo I just noticed for the first time that my gold highlighter is labeled “non-edible use.” Um, oops? Guess I won’t eat the gold gems.)

So just swipe your color of choice in a thin, even coat over the top surface of each chocolate piece, and you’re d-o-n-e! Crazy easy!

But when everyone freaks out over your gorgeous, fancy-looking confections, you don’t have to tell how easy they were to make. Go ahead and blow everyone’s minds–I won’t tell.

I can think of so many lovely uses for these little gems. Display them on an ornate platter at a party. Wrap them up in a fancy (velvet-lined!) box for a gift. Place a few in glassine bags for party favors. Stick them on top of cupcakes. Shove them into your mouth by the fistful and pretend you’re Marie Antoinette. The possibilities are endless!

Tell me, are you interested in working with chocolate? I’m thinking of doing more chocolate-molding posts in the upcoming weeks, and am wondering if that’s something you all are interested in. Do tell! xoxo

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  • Minty

    GORGEOUS. So love these!! And I bet the gold dust is as inedible as silver or gold dragees, which I ate aplenty as a child… and I turned out OK!

  • Emily

    I would love to see more chocolate making stuff!!! I am definitely a chocaholic :)

  • Haley Zimmerman

    The Princesses in my house will LOVE these!!! Keep the chocolate making posts coming – they are always welcome here :o)

  • Tagati

    Luv, luv, luv chocolate! I’ve made tons of truffles before and even have a marble slab for tempering chocolate. All chocolate related posts are greatly appreciated.

  • Patti S.

    I love chocloate and would appreciate anything you would like to share about it. You really are a talented lady, Brett!

  • Mrs S

    The gold dust is edible, just not the whole jar at once! The teeny tiny amount that you ingest really is miniscule, we put worse in our mouth knowingly :P

    Another trick is to use a very high alcohol vodka and mix it into a paint like solution and paint it on like that. Its how cake decorators get that amazing sheen on metallic cakes. The alcohol evaporates and you are left with this wonderful colour.

  • Chris

    Please keep adding chocolate mold ideas, I have hundreds of molds
    including molds to make chocolate houses, castles, carousels, etc. and
    always like to learn new ideas. Loved the gems.

  • Elise

    Found this via pinterest. Totally awesome!

  • rachel

    this reminds me of a toy i used to have when i was a kid – it came with rocks, i think you added water and maybe shook it, and the rocks turned into pretty gems like the lustered ones!

    love this :)

  • Kate

    I would love to see more about DIY chocolate! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://viapinterest Pam

    These are great! I’ll be taking them as a treat for my next Geology Club meeting! Thanks so much.

  • Bonni Smiley

    thank you so much for sharing this! My daughter is having a Winter in Vegas (we live in Pittsburgh) Jan 2013. It’s going to be a very modern affair and these will be a perfect addition to the cupcakes I am making!

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