Creative Ways to Use Chocolate Leftovers

Sometimes you may have some leftover chocolate. Maybe you were recently gifted one of TCHO’s gift sets, with anywhere between six and and eighteen bars of chocolate, and you’re feeling the urge to get creative. Maybe you just have a lot of chocolate left over from the holidays or a recent party. Whatever the case is, chocolate’s reusability extends to desserts, snacks, garnishes, and more. Here are some creative ways to reuse your chocolate leftovers.

Cake Balls

Cake balls are easy to make and even more fun to snack on. You’ll need some lollipop sticks or skewers; baked cake; a frosting, caramel, or ganache of your choice; and some chocolate to dip your cake pops in!  Start by making the cake using your favorite recipe, a box mix, or one of our favorites. Ultimately, choose a flavor of your choice (doesn’t have to be chocolate, though we may give you some gentle side-eye), follow the instructions and bake as you usually would. If you have leftover cake or scraps from a cake that you trimmed, you can use the leftovers for this step, too. 

Once the cake is done baking and has had sufficient time to cool, crumble the cake into a bowl (or, crumble your leftovers). A stand mixer works great for this step too! At this stage, you’ll want to assess the level of moisture in your cake.  If it’s close to being able to form a ball that will hold itself together, you won't need as much frosting than if it crumbles apart. Generally, we suggest starting with 1 cup of frosting for every 9-inch round of cake.  Add your frosting/caramel/ganache to the cake crumbs and mix with a paddle attachment.  Then, using either a scoop or your hands, form the mixture into balls and smooth out with your hands.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and chill for fifteen minutes. 

Here’s where the chocolate comes in: every cake pop needs a chocolate casing. Take your leftover chocolate and put it into a microwave safe bowl to melt in 20-30 second increments on medium power (depending on how much chocolate you’re melting), stirring between increments. While it’s still warm and liquid, insert your lollipop sticks into the cake balls and dip them into the chocolate mixture, swirling them around to coat sufficiently, pull up from the chocolate and gently spin to remove excess chocolate and place either back onto the baking sheet with parchment or something that will hold the cake pops upright (this helps keep the cake pops round, rather than have a flat top). Add any garnish like sprinkles, chopped nuts, pop rock candy, etc.  Then, put the coated cake balls back into the fridge for a few minutes so the chocolate can harden. 

This is also a great recipe to mimic even when you’re not getting rid of chocolate. Diversify your cake ball chocolate casings by melting a TCHO chocolate bar like Banana Nut, Hazelnut Chunk, or Mokaccino!

Ganache 

Chocolate ganache is another delicious treat that can be used to make chocolate candies such as truffles, or it can work as a frosting or filling for baked goodies. The ingredients to make it include two primary ingredients: heavy cream and chocolate. You can use any chocolate, though generally ganache is smooth, so we would suggest using a chocolate without inclusions like nuts or fruit.

Start by roughly chopping your leftover chocolate (the smaller the chunks, the faster it will melt) and put into a heatproof bowl. Next, heat the heavy cream in a saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat. Sally’s Baking Addiction says to make sure the cream isn’t too hot - so, once it starts to simmer, immediately turn the heat off, then pour the cream over the chocolate. Let sit for two minutes to melt, then stir with a spatula to emulsify.  You can use a whisk if it’s easier, just be careful to not incorporate too much air into the ganache.  Let cool and scoop into truffles and coat with chocolate or cocoa powder, or pipe as a filling in your favorite layer cake, add to your cake pops or take some raspberries and strawberries and use the chocolate ganache as a dip! Or, dollop on top of a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Garnish

Finally, never underestimate the power of homemade chocolate sprinkled garnish (unless you have some TCHO Cacao Nibs on hand!). Not only does adding chocolate sprinklings on top of your favorite desserts and snacks make it look like it belongs in a cookbook, but it’s delicious. Finely chop your leftover chocolate, then sprinkle atop whipped cream on a chocolate milkshake, ice cream sundae, a slice of chocolate pie, or whatever your heart desires!

If you have more time and want to get fancy with it, another type of chocolate garnish incorporates some design and creativity with melted chocolate. Simply melt the leftover chocolate, then while hot and still liquid, put it into a parchment piping bag. Line a tray with parchment paper, then drizzle the melted chocolate into designs of your choice. Chill for ten minutes, then gently take the garnish designs off the parchment paper and decorate your desserts.