I tried again at home today. (Well, I made most of the fillings a while ago, and they've been chilling out in my fridge until this morning.) Here are the results:
I had better luck making the shells this time---more chocolate melted did the trick. My main problem seems to be keeping the chocolate melted and fluid for long enough to fill more than one mold at a time. By the second mold, it was thickening up enough that my shells were noticeably thicker, and I was fighting it the whole rest of the batch of shells. I used dark chocolate this time, in part to help me differentiate this new batch from the older batch, and because I wanted the dark chocolate flavor.
The other issue I found was that my fillings were much colder than the chocolate. As I said, the fillings were, for the most part, made and stashed in the fridge. I let them sit at room temp for about an hour, and everything loosened up enough to come out of the plastic pastry bags fairly easily. The biggest problem I had was that the fillings were not really loose enough to flow by themselves---the strawberry jam with kirsch butter ganache that I'd made for the first batch really needed to be pushed into the shell with a cornstarch-coated finger. I don't know if the cold fillings caused any temper issues.
As far as fillings: I made one filling this morning, to make up half of the shot that was bought for my husband at a local watering hole. I did a half-batch of Greweling's "spiked eggnog" butter ganache. I'd read in another thread about eggnog chocolates
that this particular filling wound up tasting more like spices and rum than like egg. So since I'm aiming for the flavors of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum in my filling, I figured it would do the trick for me. For the spices, instead of nutmeg and vanilla bean, I used half a teaspoon of speculoos spices that I purchased (as a mix) in Belgium. And because I was only doing a tiny half-batch, I mixed it up in a bowl by hand, not with a stand mixer. I didn't necessarily want to get the filling tremendously aerated, since I'd be putting it into chocolate shells rather than piping pretty little stars on top of chocolate disks.
I made some chocolates with this spiced rum filling alone, and others in combination with one that I'd made earlier, by following the flowing caramel recipe but using brown sugar instead of white. I was aiming for a butterscotch flavor (rather than caramel) and I think this did the trick. (Thanks, isomer!) The brown sugar started out dark enough that I couldn't use color to judge when it was fully cooked; next time I make caramel I'll need to use a thermometer so I know about what I'm after.
I did some with just the butterscotch filling. And others I did with the caramel I'd made originally, so I can do a head-to-head tasting.
Once again, everything unmolded. I discovered today that it really helps to clean off the top of the mold while the chocolate is still melted, because it helps the finished candies to unmold cleanly.
It's becoming obvious to me that a slightly warmer room could be a benefit, in that the chocolate won't harden quite so fast. In another month, I'm sure it won't be a problem here, in my non-air-conditioned house.