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!
I love chocolate. I really do.
But you know what? I will gladly fork out the cash to buy a box of nice chocolates from a chocolatier rather than attempt to make bon bons again.
Or maybe such an activity is not meant to take place in a kitchen in south Texas in August. Either way, this challenge was a very frustrating one for me!
I really wanted to make passion fruit paté de fruit (specifically this recipe) but couldn’t find powdered apple pectin anywhere here! If you’re looking for it in capsules, because, hey, it’s a fiberlicious supplement, it’s everywhere. However, if you plan ahead (what?), you can easily order a little jar from Blue Chair Fruit.
So then I went with the Passion Fruit Caramel Bon Bon recipe that Lisa provided with the challenge. Hers looked beautiful and since passion fruit, caramel, and chocolate are among my favorite foodstuffs, it didn’t take a whole lot of arm twisting. They didn’t sound very difficult to make either.
Wrong. They were a pain. in. the. gluteus. maximus. Well, just the molding/unmolding part. The caramel was easy and beyond delicious, and tempering using the seeding method took a long time, but wasn’t difficult at all. Pouring the chocolate into the molds was a royal mess because the molds were slightly larger than the chocolate bowl. Then we had the hardest time unmolding the chocolates. I finally gave up with one of the trays and stuck it in the freezer overnight. Of course today they popped right out relatively easily…
My friend Jill had asked if she could help me bake something, so I invited her over to make candy! Err, lucky her? She painted the luster dust/vodka paste into the molds (and did other things, too). Didn’t they come out pretty? There were some heart and PB cup-shaped caramels, but the pictures didn’t come out so hot.
Since we were asked to make two kinds of candy, we made sponge toffee also. I’ve sort of made it before having made Hokey Pokey Biscuits and have been wanting to make the real thing since. It didn’t come out quite right because I was worried about overmixing it and therefore undermixed and ended up with flat toffee with some big pockets of baking soda. Whoops! Still tastes good, but lesson learned…
Anyway, next time I feel like making chocolates, I’m going with truffles! But to friends, family, and futuristic boyfriends (presumptuous much?), let it be known: if you ever get homemade bon bons from me, it’s a Big Deal.
Thank you to Lisa and Mandy for this very challenging challenge! My appreciation for chocolatiers has increased immeasurably, but it is satisfying to now know how to temper chocolate and make bon bons. For the recipes including directions for tempering chocolate, Lisa and Mandy’s write-ups are here.
OH! And in case you were wondering, the bon bons are really freaking good. Passionfruitcaramelchocolate WIN! So yeah…paid off in the end!
One last thing! It was appropriately Victoria‘s birthday when we made these and I now feel obligated to say that I bought El Rey Gran Saman 70% for this challenge. It’s because of her that I now think about these things (and got back into swimming). She rocks!