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Daring Bakers: Candylicious August 27, 2011

Filed under: Ganache,The Daring Bakers' — pastrybrush @ 9:10 pm
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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!

This months Daring Bakers’ Challenge we were given the opportunity to try our hands at making candy.  The mandatory items were as follows:

You must make TWO candies

The first candy must be ONE of the following CHOCOLATE candies:

1) A truffle, dipped or not dipped in chocolate OR

2) A cut (square) dipped chocolate/bonbon OR

3) A filled chocolate/bonbon using a chocolate mold

The other candy can be any CHOCOLATE OR NON-CHOCOLATE candy you like

I wanted to try something new and maybe try my hand at the Fruit Gels, but they never came to pass.  Mainly because I didn’t have the right ingredients on hand.  Since we were given the option of a truffle and then any other chocolate candy, I decided to stick with the basics.  I made a basic dark chocolate truffle flavored with Kalua and rolled in cocoa power, and for my second candy I made the Milk Chocolate and Hazelnut Praline Truffles, but used dark chocolate instead :)

Both turned out particularly yummy, but the Hazelnut Praline Truffle was by far the favorite because I am partial to Hazelnut and Chocolate.  Can we say Nutella?

Truffles

Servings: Makes +- 30 truffles, recipe easily doubled or halved
For the best tasting truffles, a high quality chocolate is ideal, especially one that is 62% cacao or higher

Ingredients
1 ¾ cup (9 oz/250 gm) Dark/Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup (5 oz / 160 ml) Double/Heavy Cream (36% – 48% butterfat)
OR
1 ¾ cup (9 oz/250 gm) Milk Chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup (4 oz / 120 ml) Double/Heavy Cream (36% – 48% butterfat)
OR
1 ¾ cup (9 oz/250 gm) White Chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup (2 oz / 60 ml) Double/Heavy Cream (36% – 48% butterfat)

Flavor Ideas:

Add to taste (Approximately 1 teaspoon – 3 Tablespoons)
The amount of flavorings are dependent on either the recipe you use, the amount of chocolate and cream, and frankly, your own taste. Start by adding a teaspoon, try it, then add more to taste, up to as much as 3 tablespoons.

Various Spices (Chili Powder, Cardamom, Wasabi Paste or Powder, Ginger, Cinnamon etc.)
Instant Coffee Granules or Espresso
Matcha, Chai and Various Teas
Liqueurs (Amaretto, Chambord, Kahlua, Frangelico, Rum, Brandy, Vodka etc.)
Zests (Orange, Lemon, Lime etc.)
Herbs (Basil, Thyme, Mint, etc.)
Malted Milk Powders
Nut Pastes or Butters

Other Tips

• If you are using fresh or whole/solid flavorings such as fresh herbs, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods etc… simmer it in the cream then remove from heat and let steep for an hour. After steeping, strain away solids, return the cream to a simmer, and proceed with recipe.
• When using liqueurs or alcohol to flavor, don’t add more than 3Tbsp for the given quantities in the recipe given. Too much alcohol can inhibit the ganache from setting properly.

Making the ganache

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)
4. Pour the 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.
6. Stir in your desired flavorings

For rolled truffles

1. Allow the ganache to firm up in a container of choice, preferably deep rather than shallow
2. Using a teaspoon or melon baller, scoop up room temperature ganache
3. With gloved hands, roll the balls between your palms to round them off
4. Dip in tempered chocolate or roll in various ingredients like cocoa or chopped nuts as desired
Tip: If dipping in chocolate, it’s best to refrigerate the ganache balls before dipping so that they’re firm and don’t melt from the warm chocolate
Tip: For a thicker chocolate shell, dip once in tempered chocolate and allow to set. Then do a second dipping or smear a small amount of chocolate over the truffle and roll in desired ingredients
5. Place on parchment paper until set

For cut chocolate

1. Double line a shallow tray with cling film
2. Pour the ganache into the tray and smooth the top
3. Once set, warm a knife with hot water then wipe dry
4. Cut into squares
5. Dip each square in tempered chocolate
6. Place on parchment paper
7. Decorate and allow to set
8. Trim off any feet with a sharp knife

Coating Ideas
Rolling them in something that compliments and gives a hint to their flavor makes for a beautiful truffle

1. Melted, Tempered Chocolate
2. Cocoa Powder
3. Confectioner’s Sugar
4. Chopped or Ground Nuts
5. Chocolate Sprinkles
6. Flaked, Shredded or Desiccated Coconut
7. Cacao Nibs
8. Ground Praline
9. Grated Chocolate

Milk Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Truffles

Servings: Makes +- 30 truffles, recipe easily doubled or halved
Adapted from the Cook’s Academy Curriculum, Dublin
Active Time: 1 – 2hrs
Ganache Setting Time: 2 – 4hrs or Overnight

Praline Ingredients:
½ cup (2 oz/60 gm) hazelnuts, shelled & skinned
½ cup (4 oz/115 gm) granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) water

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to moderate 180°C / 160°C Fan Assisted (convection oven); 350°F / 320°F convection / Gas Mark 4
2. Place whole hazelnut on a non-stick baking tray and dry roast for 10mins
3. Allow to cool
4. Place hazelnuts in a clean dry kitchen towel and rub to remove the skins
5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicon mat
6. Place the skinned hazelnuts onto the prepared tray
7. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved
8. Turn the heat up and bring to the boil (do not stir), brushing down the sides of the pot with a pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals
9. Boil until the mixture turns amber (160°C – 170°C / 320°F- 340°F on a candy thermometer)
10. Remove from heat immediately and pour the syrup over the hazelnuts
11. Allow to cool completely
12. Break into small pieces
13. Transfer pieces to a food processor and process until desired texture, either fine or rough
14. Set aside

Ganache Ingredients
1¾ cup (9 oz. / 255 g) Milk chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup (4 oz. / 125 ml) Double/Heavy Cream (36% – 46% butterfat content)
2-3 Tablespoons (1-1 ½ oz. / 30ml – 45 ml) Frangelico Liqueur, optional

½ – 1 cup Crushed or Ground Roasted Hazelnuts for coating

Directions:
1. Finely chop the milk chocolate
2. Place into a heatproof medium sized bowl
3. Heat cream in a saucepan until just about to boil
4. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir gently until smooth and melted
5. Allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes
6. Stir in the praline and (optional) liqueur
7. Leave to cool and set overnight or for a few hours in the fridge
8. Bring to room temperature to use

Forming the truffles:
1. Using teaspoons or a melon baller, scoop round balls of ganache
2. Roll them between the palms of your hands to round them off
Tip: Handle them as little as possible to avoid melting
Tip: I suggest wearing food safe latex gloves, less messy and slightly less heat from your hands
3. Finish off by rolling the truffle in the crushed roasted hazelnuts
Tip: You can also roll them in hazelnut praline
4. Place on parchment paper and leave to set
Tip: They look great when put into small petit four cases and boxed up as a gift!

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