This month's daring challenge was a challenge in a number of ways.
1) make 2 candies
2) I felt I ought to make 2 candies I hadn't made before so I didn't go for fudge or truffles
3) temper the chocolate
4) make creative fillings
5) remove lovely filled chocolate from a mold
As it turned out, I had loads of ideas for creative fillings and finally settled on 1) chocolate dipped caramel apple pie: caramel ganache with cinnamon brown sugar coated diced apples 2) berries and cream : diced blueberries and strawberries mixed into sweetened cream cheese filling. I also made some "plain" ones with just the caramel ganache.
Also, it turned out that tempering chocolate wasn't all that tough but OY was it messy (for me anyway)!
My fillings turned out to be somewhat firm (so no running out of the chocolate) but not stiff enough to be rolled in a ball and dipped so that led to making a filled chocolate (bonbon). Yay for attempting something previously untried.
The toughest part of this challenge (for me) was getting the chocolates out of the "mold" without shattering them. Ugh what a delicious (but ugly) mess. I finally got some to come out by lining my "mold" (a silicone mini muffin pan) with parchment paper. The candies didn't have the same sheen as they got from setting against the silicone but they were at least not shattered.
|Left: Caramel Apple Bon Bon, Right: Berries and Cream Bon Bon|
While I could write up the whole post from the Daring Kitchen, its much simpler to direct you to the .pdf with all their lovely candies. http://thedaringkitchen.com/sites/default/files/u11/58_Chocolate_and_Candy_-_DB_August_2011.pdf
Choose for yourself what diabolical tastiness you'd like to attempt.
If you want, you're welcome to try the fillings I made:
1/2 recipe of caramel sauce
3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp sugar
First prepare caramel sauce. (See below.) Then whip cream to soft peaks. Add sugar, one Tbsp at a time while you continue whipping to form stiffer peaks. After caramel has had 5 minutes to cool, add whipped cream 1/4 c. at a time and fold into the caramel sauce. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. I refrigerated overnight.
Caramel Sauce (1/2 recipe)
1/4 c. unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1.5 Tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 c. brown sugar (yes I know this makes it technically a butterscotch but most ppl don't know the difference and cringe when they hear butterscotch b/c of the gross store version)
1/4 c. water
Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in flour to make a paste. Add brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Be careful if you go over 5 minutes. This sauce will harden into a brick of sugar when cooled if overcooked. NEVER FEAR! Should you overcook (but not burn) the sauce, add it back into the sauce pot with 1/4 c. of water. Using medium heat, the "sugar brick" will dissolve in the water and form a lovely sauce again. Remember to stir.
Caramel Apple Pie Chocolate
1 recipe of above caramel ganache, chilled
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp of brown sugar
tempered chocolate, molten
Peel and dice the apple. Stir in cinnamon and brown sugar. Let sit 3-5 minutes for flavors to mingle. Stir in part of the caramel ganache to reach desired apple to caramel ratio. I used maybe 1/3 of the caramel ganache. Its tough to make less than the above recipe though. Pace yourself when devouring the remaining caramel ganache.
Paint the mold with tempered chocolate. Place in fridge to chill for 5-10 minutes. When firm, add filling (~1/2 tsp. in my case) and cover with tempered chocolate. Place back in fridge to chill for 5-10 minutes. Share with friends or use it to make new ones. ;)
Berries and Cream Filling
1/3 c. strawberries
1/3 c. blueberries
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Dice blueberries and stawberries and cover with sugar. Stir sugar around to distribute. Beat cream cheese until soft and fluffly. Add sweetened fruit and vanilla. Stir well and refrigerate at least 2 hours. I made this a day in advance.
As with the previous caramel apple pie bon bon, I painted chocolate onto the mold, chilled, filled, painted chocolate again, and chilled again to set them up before serving.
I liked all three. My favorite was the berries and cream. Mmm, I can eat the filling straight from the bowl. Yum.
Rebecca and Becky both preferred the Caramel Apple Pie Bon Bon but like the others.
Mike preferred the Caramel (even though he typically dislikes both caramel and butterscotch) but liked all three. He rated Berries and Cream in second.
I also liked finally getting the chocolates to not crack when removing from the mold when using parchment paper as a liner. Future preparations will result in me acquiring a mold intended for preparing chocolates.
Thanks for a great challenge!
What's your favorite chocolate filling?