I was so excited when I saw the challenge for this month's Daring Baker's Challenge. 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!
The second candy I made was a strawberry pate de fruit. This was a tricky candy. It was easy to make, but I had some difficulty with it firming up and would double the pectin next time I make it. Still, the fresh strawberries really stood out and tasted amazing cut into bite sized pieces and rolled in sugar.
All four candies were very tasty and impressed my friends. I loved making them and know I'll be making many more variations in the future. This was a fun challenge with limitless possibilities.
Bailey's Nut Truffles (a Hezzi-D original)
1 ½ c. milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 T. brewed coffee
2 T. sweetened condensed milk
2 T. Bailey's Irish cream
¼ c. almonds, toasted and chopped, divided
1 c. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1. Heat 2 cups of water in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Place a small metal bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure not to let it touch the water. Add the milk chocolate and brewed coffee and stir until it is just melted. Remove from heat.
4. Meanwhile return the saucepan of water to medium high heat with a metal bowl on top. Add in half of the bittersweet chocolate and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining chocolate. Remove the ganache balls from the freezer and dip in tempered chocolate. Place each on a sheet of waxed paper and sprinkle with remaining toasted almonds.
Strawberry Lime Pate de Fruit (adapted from about.com )
3 c. fresh strawberries
1 T. lime juice
2 c. sugar
1 t. lime zest
1 ½ T. powdered pectin
1. Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper and then spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Put the strawberries in a food processor and process until pureed. Place the strawberry puree in a large saucepan and add lime juice, lime zest, and ½ c. sugar. Heat over medium high heat, placing a candy thermometer in the pan.
3. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 140 degrees. Add the remaining sugar and pectin and lower the heat to medium.
5. Pour the strawberry mix into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
BonBons filled with Salted Caramel and Cinnamon Vanilla Caramel (technique from Daring Bakers hosts, caramel sauce is my own recipe)
8 oz. milk chocolate
20 wrapped caramels
1 t. sea salt
½ c. sweetened condensed milk
2 T. butter
1 t. vanilla extract
½ t. cinnamon
1. Heat water in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Place a metal bowl over top of the saucepan and place half the milk chocolate in the bowl. Stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in remaining chocolate to temper the chocolate.