Rilakkuma is a pretty popular San-X character both in and outside of Japan. I own a small collection of Rilakkuma products, such as plushies, but also a silicone mould for Rilakkuma faces and a Rilakkuma chocolate bar. This chocolate bar mould I use pretty regularly to make chocolate bars with hazelnuts in them and it seemed like a fun and simple recipe to share on AVO Magazine. As a collaboration between AVO Magazine and MuchMunchies I love to share recipes with a Japanese side to them, but these are not my only recipes.
Difficulty Level: ✩
This is based on the short preparation time (not including the waiting time in between) and the simple steps.
What you’ll need:
♡ Rilakkuma silicone mould*
♡ 1 Sauce pan (with a slightly smaller diameter than your glass bowl)
♡ 1 Glass (heath proof) bowl
♡ 1 or more silicone spatulas
♡ 1 (disposable) Piping bag + Scissors
♡ Optional: Cooking or Candy thermometer**
♡ Optional: Bowl + Spoon
♡ Optional: Strainer
♡ Optional: Baking paper
* You can purchase this mould at several international webshops, you can find it by searching online for ‘rilakkuma chocolate mould’. The mould is available in several colours, I own one of the pink version but there is also a brown version, for example.
** Only necessary if you temper the chocolate.
♡ At least 24 small peeled and roasted hazelnuts*
♡ 200 grams of chocolate (dark, white or milk)
♡ Optional: 1 teaspoon or 2 grams of powdered Cocoa butter (for example Callebaut Mycryo)**
♡ Optional: 70 grams of Baking Soda
* This is about 18 grams of hazelnuts. You could also use 48 of them and put two in every piece of chocolate or use chopped hazelnuts, if you’d like. Both roasted and unroasted hazelnuts are fine. If you’re using unroasted hazelnuts that still need to be peeled make sure you’ve got a bigger amount, 200 grams, you could always freeze the leftovers or use them for a different purpose.
** I use this to temper the chocolate, but there are also other ways to temper chocolate and you don’t have to temper it if you keep it in the fridge. If you use a little too much-powdered cocoa butter don’t worry, it won’t have any negative effect on your chocolate.
TIP: If you’re using roasted hazelnuts you can skip steps 1 through 6.
♡ Step 1: Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Put 800 grams of water in your boiling pot and bring the water to a boil.
♡ Step 2: Once the water boils add the baking soda. It’ll fizz up, once the bubbles are gone add 200 grams of hazelnuts.
♡ Step 3: Let the hazelnuts simmer for 4 minutes, put on an alarm, but don’t walk away. Use a spoon and small bowl to remove the foam while it’s simmering.
♡ Step 4: Put a strainer in your sink and strain the hazelnuts, as soon as the 4 minutes are up. Rinse the hazelnuts with cold water. Then place them in a bowl filled with cold water.
♡ Step 5: Peel the hazelnuts and dry them well. Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
♡ Step 6: Place the baking tray in your preheated oven and leave the hazelnuts in there for 15 to 20 minutes. When they’re done they’ll look a little darker and they’ll have a stronger smell to them. Take them out of the oven and let them cool.
TIP: In this recipe, I temper the chocolate. This ensures that the chocolate will remain solid at room temperature. You can also do this using other methods, you can find these online, or you could skip this all together by letting the chocolate harden in the refrigerator and storing it there as well.
♡ Step 7: Put the chocolate in a heatproof glass bowl, put the bowl on top of a pan with a small layer of water in it. The bowl with the chocolate in it should not touch the water, because this could easily burn your chocolate. Bring the water to a very slow simmer on a small burner. Use a silicone spatula to carefully stir the chocolate from time to time, until the chocolate has fully melted. If you stir too vigorously you will create air pockets in your chocolate. Once the water comes to a boil you can turn off the fire, the bowl keeps the warmth trapped so the chocolate will still melt.
TIP: This method is called au bain-marie, but instead you could also melt your chocolate in the microwave. If you want to use a microwave then you put your chocolate in a heatproof bowl, put these in the microwave and put it on a high setting. Turn it on for 20 to 30 seconds and then take out the chocolate and stir it carefully. Afterwards, you put the chocolate back in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds. You keep repeating this process until the chocolate is fully melted, at the end of this the amount of time you need will be shorter (as little as 5 seconds). Stirring it in between is meant to prevent the chocolate from burning.
♡ Step 8: Take the bowl off of the pan and dry off the bottom with a kitchen towel. Put the bowl on the counter or on a coaster on a table. Be careful when taking the bowl off the pan because of the hot steam escaping and the hot glass bowl.
♡ Step 9: Let the chocolate cool down, with a candy thermometer In it, until it has reached the right temperature. The right temperature for dark chocolate is 36 degrees Celsius, or 97 degrees Fahrenheit, and the right temperature for milk or white chocolate is 35 degrees Celsius, or 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It took my chocolate about 20 minutes to cool to the right temperature.
♡ Step 10: As soon as it has reached the right temperature add the powdered cocoa butter and stir it through well. Once it has dissolved put the chocolate in a piping bag, if you put the piping bag in a glass and fold it over the edges of the glass it’ll be easier to pour the chocolate into it.
♡ Step 11: Cut a small corner off of the piping bag and pipe some chocolate into the cavities of the chocolate bar mould, you don’t have to put a lot in there, just enough to make sure the hazelnuts stay put. Lightly tap the mould on a hard surface, or shake it back and forth a bit until no more air bubbles come up.
♡ Step 12: Place the hazelnuts in the cavities of the chocolate bar mould, on top of the chocolate, pipe the rest of the chocolate over the hazelnuts and into the mould until it’s filled. Shake it back and forth carefully until no more air bubbles come up.
♡ Step 13: Let your chocolate harden, that’ll take about 20 minutes.
TIP: If you don’t temper your chocolate it’ll take about 2 hours for it to harden in the refrigerator.
♡ Step 14: Carefully remove the chocolate bar from the mould.
TIP: I’m a big fan of hazelnuts in chocolate, but you don’t have to put hazelnuts in the chocolate bar. You could fill it with anyone you’d like, for example, other nuts or candy.