The August 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Lisa of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drive and Mandy of What the Fruitcake?!. These two sugar mavens challenged us to make sinfully delicious candies! This was a special challenge for the Daring Bakers because the good folks at http://www.chocoley.com offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!
Pity the competition is only for people in Canada and the United States. =\
A plate of goodies! Truffles and chocolate bark is pure love.
Anyhow, say hello to my new layout! =D I was inspired by the blogs I always frequent and decided that my blog needs change - a new direction, a new vigor, a new life. Although blogging takes quite a bit of time, but it's always such good fun! Shall push on forward with this new commitment (and hopefully still get decent grades in school. =S)
So this month's challenge was candy making. We had to make 2 different candies, with 1 compulsory one being either a truffle or a filled bonbon and the other one as whatever we liked. Since we were already handling 1.7kg of chocolate (yes, 1.7 kilo-freakin-grams), might as well use some of those for chocolate bark right?
1/5 of the mess
To say that we made an epic mess of the kitchen is really playing it down. Even natural disasters don't create such a carnage, really. We had chocolate everywhere! The microwave, the stove, the 3 bench tops, the sink, the table, the chair, the fridge handle, our fingers, my face, my foot, my camera....
The side of my lips, accidentally of course.
Bonbons are chocolate coated candies. And "bon" means good in French.
From Wikipedia of course!
Basic recipe for truffle
1 3⁄4 cup (420 ml/9 oz/250 gm) Dark/Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup (160 ml) Double/Heavy Cream (36% - 48% butterfat)
1 3⁄4 cup (420 ml/9 oz/250 gm) Milk Chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup (120 ml) Double/Heavy Cream (36% - 48% butterfat)
1 3⁄4 cup (420 ml/9 oz/250 gm) White Chocolate, finely chopped
1⁄4 cup (60 ml) Double/Heavy Cream (36% - 48% butterfat)
Use the best chocolate you can afford yeah. Cheap chocolate tastes terrible and especially in a recipe like this where you only have 2 ingredients, the quality of the chocolate POPS OUT so loudly. Lindt, Green & Blacks are my go-to brands. =)
1. Finely chop or grate the chocolate
2. Place in a heatproof bowl 3.
In a saucepan, heat cream until just about to boil (it will start bubbling around the edges of the pot but it shouldn't boil vigorously)
4. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate
5. Gently stir the mixture until all the chocolate has melted and it is smooth
Tip: If you end up with pieces of chocolate that won't melt, put the bowl over simmering water (but not touching the water) and stir gently until it‟s all melted
Tip: Be careful if you do need to heat it over simmering water, if the mixture gets too hot it will split and you‟ll end up with gooey chocolate swimming in oil, so don‟t overheat the ganache, steam from a gentle simmer is all you need.
Of course this is a blank canvas where the truffle can be customized to any flavor you like! For liquer flavors, just stir in 2 tablespoons (or more. or less, but thats blasphemous) of your intended liquor (mmm Whiskey... =D) into the stirred ganache. For infusions such as tea, coffee or spices, put the intended flavors into the cream when you are bringing it to a near-boil. Then, allow the mixture to sit and steep so that all the flavors will be released into the cream. Then, strain the mixture to get the infused cream! For spices, do not add too much as a little amount of spice goes a LONG way.
Also if you'd like to coat your truffles with chocolate, just melted at least 400g of chocolate for easy handling. You could also temper the chocolate for better finish and texture but we didn't though.
In our first mould, ice cube trays - chilli cinnamon truffle, coffee cardamon truffle
Spiced chocolate tastes truly magnificent. I used to be an anal chocolate purist and never believed in flavoring chocolate. But after trying chilli cinnamon chocolate, my eyes were opened for the very first time and it was like a moment of enlightenment. *signals light-dawning-from-cloud effect* Chilli cinnamon chocolate is a personal favorite. We steeped the cream for 20minutes with 3 cut chilli padi and 1 cinnamon stick, crushed and broken into many small pieces. For coffee cardamon, we steeped the cream in 1.5 tablespoon of crushed coffee bean and 8 crushed cardamon pods.
Salted caramel filling. Yumsssss
Sweet + salty + chocolatey = ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Chocolate hazelnut crunch! Who needs ferrero rocher with their measly ONE hazelnut when you can roll your truffle and put 4? =D
With a new mould this time, we put in fresh cut strawberries and crushed pistachio.
Chocolate bark with dried orange peel, almond halves and fennel seed
For our 2nd candy, we made chocolate bark with the leftover melted chocolate. Just spread the melted chocolate on a sheet of baking paper and throw whatever you love on top of it. Our latest flavor obsession was orange, almond and fennel. The fennel seed adds a liquorice flavor that dances off the tastebuds gently. Really yummy!
Packed into a pretty box for as a present for a friend!
Pressure points and top tips! (from trial and error) =D
1) Repeat after me. I must use the best chocolate I can afford.
2. Ensure that the melted chocolate do not contact with water or it will become unusable for chocolate coating purposes.
3. Be daring with the flavors, but do not complicate the story. There's only so many flavors typical tongues can figure out!