Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates Selection | Forrest Gump

One of the wonderful things about cinema is that it can be very subjective. What is one person’s treasure is another person’s trash, as they say. Yet, I think most of us that have seen Forrest Gump can agree that it is probably one of the greatest films of all time. My “life is like a box of chocolates” selection brings together some of the best elements of this story. Lay down your ping pong paddle for a while, we have a chocolate box to fill.

Contents

The Bake

Life is like a box of chocolates.” What better inspiration did I need for this film than that quote? I mean really. Considering how the film starts: with Forrest telling his story whilst waiting at a bus stop. Holding a box of chocolates. 

The box of chocolates is a constant throughout the film, in a way that a character isn’t. It’s a symbol of everything Forrest goes through, which is a beautiful thing.

Such beauty is the perfect place for inspiration to be drawn from.

Now, friends. My “life is like a box of chocolates” selection contains three different types of chocolate.

I could have created more, but three felt like the right amount for this recipe. It’s enough to create a nice selection of different chocolates, whilst also giving you options should you decide to only create one type of chocolate from this recipe.

A couple of these chocolates are truffles, which I love to make. My Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix truffles are further proof of how easy truffles can be to whip up.

The first chocolate is my milk chocolate and orange fudge, which is covered in a dark chocolate shell.

This chocolate is my way of representing the bittersweet elements of the story. Fudge is very sweet, dark chocolate is considerably more bitter. The combination is delicious.

I chose to top each of my fudge chocolates with candy flowers or chocolate hearts, but you can top them with something more personal. Or, you know, top them with something you have in the cupboard, like biscuits that you can crush over the top. Edible glitter is always an option, too. The choice is yours!

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The second of my chocolates is my homage to Alabama’s state dessert: the lane cake.

A lane cake is a white sponge cake with dried fruit, alcohol, coconut and pecans. As Forrest Gump is set in Alabama, it felt only right to pay homage to the state in my “life is like a box of chocolates” selection.

This particular chocolate is a white chocolate truffle with a piece of pecan in the centre and desiccated coconut to decorate. A deliciously light sweet among some stronger chocolate flavours.

My last chocolate is a heart-shaped dark chocolate truffle flavoured with rose water and lightly dusted in cocoa powder.

This particular addition to my chocolate box selection symbolises Forrest and Jenny’s unconditional love for one another. It is also inspired by the flowers that Forrest gives Jenny regularly.

As I mentioned in my Tangled brioche braid recipe, go easy on the rose water! It’s absolutely delicious with dark chocolate, but it can really pack a punch if too much is added. I recommend ¼ tsp in the entire truffle mix. We want a delicate floral flavour to come through, not for it to taste like you’ve taken a swig from a bottle of perfume, friends.

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Top Tips

  • The longest part of this process is the chilling time. Make sure to make your chocolate bases – the fudge and truffle mixes – in good time. Don’t underestimate how long it could take for them to set. They are usually ready after around five hours of fridge time, but they can be left to set overnight.
  • Start with the fudge first. It’s the one chocolate that requires the most from you in terms of time and effort.
  • If rose water isn’t your thing, swap it out for a different flavour that you like with dark chocolate. Peppermint would work really well. Add ½ tsp in to make sure that the flavour comes through.
  • Though I covered my fudge in dark chocolate, you can cover it in equal amounts of milk chocolate if preferred.
  • In terms of richness, I like my dark chocolate really dark. I actually used 90% in this recipe, for both the fudge covering and the rose water truffles. But, if preferred, a 54% dark chocolate (lowest percentage recommended) would still be delicious.
  • I used my heart shaped silicone mould, but you can mould them into balls like the white chocolate truffles if preferred. Or, feel free to use different shaped moulds. Just make sure that you can set around 30 truffles in the moulds.

My “life is like a box of chocolates” selection represents some of the best elements of Forrest Gump. The chocolates are delicate and wonderfully tasty little mouthfuls. They don’t take lots of time and effort either, besides the time they take to chill in the fridge, of course. I hope you love making these chocolates. They make a great gift or favour.

Happy baking (chilling?), happy eating!

The Recipe

Ingredients

Chocolate orange fudge chocolates:

  • 200g [1 cup + 2 tbsp] milk chocolate
  • 200g [around ½ tin] condensed milk 
  • 1½ tsp orange extract
  • 100g [½ cup + 1 tbsp] dark or milk chocolate
  • Toppings i.e. candy flowers, chocolate hearts or crushed biscuit

Lane cake inspired truffles:

  • 200g [1 cup + 2 tbsp] white chocolate
  • 75ml [2.75 oz] double [heavy] cream
  • 1 handful pecans   chopped
  • Desiccated coconut to decorate

Heart-shaped truffles:

  • 200g [1 cup + 2 tbsp] dark chocolate
  • 100ml [3.75 oz] double [heavy] cream
  • ¼ tsp rose water
  • Cocoa powder to decorate

Makes: up to 100 chocolates

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Chilling time: 5+ hours or overnight

Decorating time: 40 minutes

Method

Chocolate orange fudge:

  1. Line a 20 cm cake tin with greaseproof paper/baking parchment. Set aside.
  2. In a large heatproof bowl over a bain marie [double boiler], combine the chocolate and condensed milk and stir until melted and smooth.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the orange extract and stir in until smooth.
  4. Pour the fudge mixture into the lined tin and chill in the fridge for at least 5 hours or overnight until firm.

Lane cake inspired truffles:

  1. Line a 6 inch or small square tin with greaseproof paper/baking parchment. Set aside.
  2. In a heatproof bowl, microwave the white chocolate and double cream together in 20 second bursts. Stir in between bursts until completely melted and smooth.
  3. Pour the mix into the lined tin and chill in the fridge for at least 5 hours or overnight until set.
  4. Chop the pecans into small but whole pieces now if needed. Ideally, they just need to be small enough to be the centre of each truffle.

Heart-shaped truffles:

  1. Either line another 6 inch or small square tin with greaseproof paper/baking parchment or lay your heart-shaped silicone moulds out ready. Set aside.
  2. In a heatproof bowl, microwave the chocolate and cream together in 30 second bursts. Stir in between bursts until completely melted and smooth.
  3. Add the rose water and stir in until smooth.
  4. Pour the mixture into your silicone moulds or tin and chill in the fridge for at least 5 hours or overnight.

Chocolate orange fudge decoration:

  1. Once your fudge is set, remove it from the tin and gently lift from the paper. Place the fudge back down on the paper and begin shaping your individual pieces. I used the open end of a piping tip, but you can use a melon baller or small spoon. If using the end of a piping tip, make sure not to press too hard down on the tip so you don’t damage the shape!
  2. Use a cutlery knife to loosen the fudge from the piping tip or melon baller if needed, then roll in between your palms. Gently flatten the fudge with the heel of your palm and set back onto the paper.
  3. Once you have shaped as many pieces as possible, gather the remaining fudge and press it back together. Either shape more pieces or simply cut it up into small pieces to eat later. Place the tray in the fridge while you melt your chocolate.

Chocolate coating:

  1. In a heatproof bowl, melt ⅔ of the dark chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring in between until completely melted and smooth. 
  2. Add the remaining chocolate into the melted chocolate and stir in until mostly melted. This is called seeding in chocolate. 
  3. Put the chocolate back into the microwave for another 20 seconds to make sure it is completely melted.
  4. Retrieve your fudge pieces from the fridge and begin dipping them into the chocolate. Cover them fully, using a spoon and a fork or dipping tool to help you. Place each piece of chocolate covered fudge back onto the lined tray.
  5. Add your chosen toppings to each chocolate as you go on to make sure they stick to the chocolate before it sets.
  6. Once all of your chocolates are covered, place them in the fridge to finish setting or until ready to package or serve.

Lane cake inspired truffles decoration:

  1. Once set, lift your truffle mix from the tin and gently lift it from the paper.
  2. Using a melon baller or small spoon, portion out your truffle mix. Wrap each piece around a piece of pecan and roll each truffle between your palms into a ball shape. 
  3. Roll the truffle around in a bowl with the coconut in until well covered. Set on a plate or chopping board for now. 
  4. Alternatively, place on a lined baking tray and chill the truffles until ready to package or serve..

Heart-shaped truffles decoration:

  1. Free each truffle from the mould and place on a lined baking tray/plate/chopping board for now. If rolling into balls, portion the mix with a melon baller or small spoon and roll into shape between your palms.
  2. Roll your truffles in a bowl with the cocoa powder in until well covered. Gently lift and give each truffle a gentle tap on the edge of the bowl to shift any extra powder off.
  3. Chill in the fridge until ready to package or serve.

These delicate chocolates make for a pretty special “life is like a box of chocolates” selection. You can make all three types of chocolate or choose certain types to make and give as gifts or favours. These chocolates will last for at least a week either boxed up or in the fridge. The fudge and truffle mixes can be made up to 48 hours ahead before shaped. Enjoy!

The Film

Sometimes cinema is so profound that it is hard to find the words. Cinema like The Shawshank Redemption or Everything Everywhere All at Once. So, words. What are the words that describe Forrest Gump

Cinematic masterpiece. A philosophy of life in a motion picture. Or, perhaps it genuinely just boils down to being one of those films that makes us feel connected. Whole. At peace, even.

In 1994, Forrest Gump delivered us one of the most loveable characters in cinema history. Based (however loosely) on a novel by Winston Groom, Forrest Gump follows a few pivotal decades in the life of a man named Forrest Gump. We see him experience life as a fellow with learning difficulties – from school age right up to adulthood – across parts of the twentieth century in Alabama.

We witness his trials and tribulations, as well as the numerous miracles he experiences, too.

It really is the story of a lifetime. That last one makes a great tagline, don’t you think? Good thing they used it as one.

All through his life, we are privy to Forrest’s highs and lows. The film is very intimate in that sense and it makes you feel strongly about Forrest and the people he interacts with, one way or another.

Whether you can relate specifically to the events that occur in Forrest’s life – or the lives of those around him – or whether you just feel wholly connected as a soul to others, which in terms helps to shift your perspective on life for the better, Forrest Gump draws you in and makes you feel grounded.

In other words, it gives you all of the warm fuzzies and makes you want to hold your loved ones close. The story and Forrest as a character simply ooze purity.

What I love most about Forrest Gump is the clear representation of unconditional love.

Loving that one person, despite being apart physically or going years without being in contact. Loving someone so much that it doesn’t matter whether you are with them or not. It’s a seemingly rare thing and it is even more rare to see represented in film and television.

In this case, it’s Forrest’s pure, unconditional love for Jenny. It’s also Jenny’s unconditional love for Forrest. She always finds her way home to him, despite where she is led in her life. 

People don’t necessarily believe that such a love exists. It does exist, friends. Truly. I feel incredibly lucky to feel such a love myself.

One of the other things that I adore about Forrest Gump is Forrest’s clear, unrelenting resilience. No matter what is thrown at him, whether it be actual rocks or undesirable situations, Forrest never loses himself or his strength.

Cor. Even writing about this film is sending my emotions all over the place. 

Back to credits.

Eric Roth adapted the novel for the screen and filmmaking icon Robert Zemecki stepped up to the director’s helm.

Starring as the loveable Forrest was Hollywood icon Tom Hanks. This role saw him win an Academy Award for his performance. Rightly so. Speaking of Academy Awards, Forrest Gump won Oscars for thirteen categories in total, including Best Picture.

Performing alongside Tom Hanks were Sally Fields; Robin Wright, Mykelti Williamson, Gary Senise, and so many more. Seriously, this cast is extensive. It makes sense though with the film being set over multiple decades.

Now, friends. I love detail.

When detail is paid extra attention in film and television, I am filled with joy. Extra detail such as the one constant in Forrest Gump that we see after every transition across Forrest’s ageing. In every initial shot of Forrest, no matter what age he is, he is always wearing a blue plaid shirt.

It’s such a small detail but when you notice it, it opens up even more depth to his character. YES. This gets me so hyped.

Want to know what else gets me hyped?

Chocolate…

Recipe Card

Life Is Like A Box of Chocolates Selection | Forrest Gump

Laura – Flavour of the Film
Delicate and indulgent "life is like a box of chocolates" selection that incorporate flavours of Alabama's lane cake and flavours inspired directly by the story, celebrating Forrest Gump.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Chilling time 5 hours
Total Time 6 hours 35 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine American, French
Servings 100 chocolates

Ingredients
  

Chocolate orange fudge chocolates:

  • 200 g [1 cup + 2 tbsp] milk chocolate
  • 200 g [around ½ tin] condensed milk
  • tsp orange extract
  • 100 g [½ cup + 1 tbsp] dark or milk chocolate
  • Toppings i.e. candy flowers chocolate hearts or crushed biscuit

Lane cake inspired truffles:

  • 200 g [1 cup + 2 tbsp] white chocolate
  • 75 ml [2.75 oz] double [heavy] cream
  • 1 handful pecans chopped
  • Desiccated coconut to decorate

Heart-shaped truffles:

  • 200 g [1 cup + 2 tbsp] dark chocolate
  • 100 ml [3.75 oz] double [heavy] cream
  • ¼ tsp rose water
  • Cocoa powder to decorate

Instructions
 

Chocolate orange fudge:

  • Line a 20 cm cake tin with greaseproof paper/baking parchment. Set aside.
  • In a large heatproof bowl over a bain marie [double boiler], combine the chocolate and condensed milk and stir until melted and smooth.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the orange extract.
  • Pour the fudge mixture into the lined tin and chill in the fridge for at least 5 hours or overnight until firm.

Lane cake inspired truffles:

  • Line a 6 inch or small square tin with greaseproof paper/baking parchment. Set aside.
  • In a heatproof bowl, microwave the white chocolate and double cream together in 20 second bursts. Stir in between bursts until completely melted and smooth.
  • Pour the mix into the lined tin and chill in the fridge for at least 5 hours or overnight until set.
  • Chop the pecans into small but whole pieces now if needed. Ideally, they just need to be small enough to be the centre of each truffle.

Heart-shaped truffles:

  • Either line another 6 inch or small square tin with greaseproof paper/baking parchment or lay your heart-shaped silicone moulds out ready. Set aside.
  • In a heatproof bowl, microwave the chocolate and cream together in 30 second bursts. Stir in between bursts until completely melted and smooth.
  • Add the rose water and stir in until smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into your silicone moulds or tin and chill in the fridge for at least 5 hours or overnight.

Chocolate orange fudge decoration:

  • Once your fudge is set, remove it from the tin and gently lift from the paper. Place the fudge back down on the paper and begin shaping your individual pieces. I used the open end of a piping tip, but you can use a melon baller or small spoon. If using the end of a piping tip, make sure not to press too hard down on the tip so you don’t damage the shape!
  • Use a cutlery knife to loosen the fudge from the piping tip or melon baller if needed, then roll in between your palms. Gently flatten the fudge with the heel of your palm and set back onto the paper.
  • Once you have shaped as many pieces as possible, gather the remaining fudge and press it back together. Either shape more pieces or simply cut it up into small pieces to eat later. Place the tray in the fridge while you melt your chocolate.

Chocolate coating:

  • In a heatproof bowl, melt ⅔ of the dark chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring in between until completely melted and smooth.
  • Add the remaining chocolate into the melted chocolate and stir in until mostly melted. This is called seeding in chocolate.
  • Put the chocolate back into the microwave for another 20 seconds to make sure it is completely melted.
  • Retrieve your fudge pieces from the fridge and begin dipping them into the chocolate. Cover them fully, using a spoon and a fork or dipping tool to help you. Place each piece of chocolate covered fudge back onto the lined tray.
  • Add your chosen toppings to each chocolate as you go on to make sure they stick to the chocolate before it sets.
  • Once all of your chocolates are covered, place them in the fridge to finish setting or until ready to package or serve.

Lane cake inspired truffles decoration:

  • Once set, lift your truffle mix from the tin and gently lift it from the paper.
  • Using a melon baller or small spoon, portion out your truffle mix. Wrap each piece around a piece of pecan and roll each truffle between your palms into a ball shape.
  • Roll the truffle around in a bowl with the coconut in until well covered. Set on a plate or chopping board for now.
  • Alternatively, place on a lined baking tray and chill the truffles until ready to package or serve..

Heart-shaped truffles decoration:

  • Free each truffle from the mould and place on a lined baking tray/plate/chopping board for now. If rolling into balls, portion the mix with a melon baller or small spoon and roll into shape between your palms.
  • Roll your truffles in a bowl with the cocoa powder in until well covered. Gently lift and give each truffle a gentle tap on the edge of the bowl to shift any extra powder off.
  • Chill in the fridge until ready to package or serve.

Notes

These delicate chocolates make for a pretty special “life is like a box of chocolates” selection. You can make all three types of chocolate or choose certain types to make and give as gifts or favours. These chocolates will last for at least a week either boxed up or in the fridge. The fudge and truffle mixes can be made up to 48 hours ahead before shaped. Enjoy!
Keyword forrest and jenny, forrest gump, life is like a box of chocolates, life is like a box of chocolates selection, run forrest run

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