Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Confections! (2006-2012)


Kerry Beal
 Share

Recommended Posts

Today was my second-ever attempt at molded chocolates- both 3-d and filled.  I was determined as all hell to have handcrafted chocolates on the Easter table, but given the level of bad the first attempt turned out to be, I was getting worried.

The gift boxes are passionfruit white chocolate; the maple leaves are cherry white chocolate.

Many, many thanks to Kerry for use of the molds, and for recipes, instruction, and  general camaraderie!

gallery_52844_5147_8240.jpg

Looks great! Love the floppy-eared rabbit!

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those are great, Patris! I love that bunny!

I've been continuing my candy bar experiments. Between last night and today I made two - one a rocky road kind of thing and the other a take off on a twix bar. I also made some guava chocolates. All these experiments went to a party at my community tonight - I got paid for the cost of materials and got to test out the things I've been working on - win-win!

Here's the three things I made.

gallery_7436_3666_36784.jpg

The rocky road bars are just a basic rocky road candy recipe, upscaled a little bit. Homemade vanilla mini-marshmallows and salted roasted cashews in a mixture of chocolate, sweetened condensed milk and butter. I cut it into bar shapes and dipped it in dark chocolate. The description sounds really promising, but in reality they were bland, bland, bland. The cashews don't add anything in terms of texture or flavor. I'm going to swap them out for toasted almonds, and add some chunks of crystallized ginger to punch things up.

The twix bar was supposed to have a chipotle caramel, but I underestimated how much chipotle I needed to infuse, so you can't really taste it. Next time. I took a few "in progress" pictures of the process. I used the cookie recipe and method from this website, with my own caramel recipe.

First you make a shorbread dough, roll it out, cut them, and bake them. I forgot to take pictures of any of that. Then you make caramel and pour it into the frame, then lay the cookies on top.

gallery_7436_3666_81979.jpg

After it sets up, you cut around each of the bars. Then you trim each piece to make the caramel the same size as the cookie. And you end up with this.

gallery_7436_3666_110066.jpg

And here they are, dipped in milk chocolate.

gallery_7436_3666_20370.jpg

I overcooked my caramel a little bit, so it was a touch chewier than I would have liked. (I'm thermometer challenged at home right now, as my brand new candy thermometer won't go above 228 degrees, and my thermapen suffered a near-fatal accident and isn't accurate for high heat work anymore.) But the overall concept is good, now I just need to work on getting the caramel right.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those are great, Patris! I love that bunny! 

I've been continuing my candy bar experiments. Between last night and today I made two - one a rocky road kind of thing and the other a take off on a twix bar. I also made some guava chocolates. All these experiments went to a party at my community tonight - I got paid for the cost of materials and got to test out the things I've been working on - win-win!

Here's the three things I made.

gallery_7436_3666_36784.jpg

The rocky road bars are just a basic rocky road candy recipe, upscaled a little bit. Homemade vanilla mini-marshmallows and salted roasted cashews in a mixture of chocolate, sweetened condensed milk and butter.  I cut it into bar shapes and dipped it in dark chocolate.  The description sounds really promising, but in reality they were bland, bland, bland.  The cashews don't add anything in terms of texture or flavor. I'm going to swap them out for toasted almonds, and add some chunks of crystallized ginger to punch things up.

The twix bar was supposed to have a chipotle caramel, but I underestimated how much chipotle I needed to infuse, so you can't really taste it. Next time. I took a few "in progress" pictures of the process. I used the cookie recipe and method from this website, with my own caramel recipe.

First you make a shorbread dough, roll it out, cut them, and bake them. I forgot to take pictures of any of that. Then you make caramel and pour it into the frame, then lay the cookies on top.

gallery_7436_3666_81979.jpg

After it sets up, you cut around each of the bars. Then you trim each piece to make the caramel the same size as the cookie. And you end up with this.

gallery_7436_3666_110066.jpg

And here they are, dipped in milk chocolate.

gallery_7436_3666_20370.jpg

I overcooked my caramel a little bit, so it was a touch chewier than I would have liked. (I'm thermometer challenged at home right now, as my brand new candy thermometer won't go above 228 degrees, and my thermapen suffered a near-fatal accident and isn't accurate for high heat work anymore.) But the overall concept is good, now I just need to work on getting the caramel right.

Everything looks great Tammy, were you happy with the cookie part of the Twix - was it enough like the original?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Today was my second-ever attempt at molded chocolates- both 3-d and filled.  I was determined as all hell to have handcrafted chocolates on the Easter table, but given the level of bad the first attempt turned out to be, I was getting worried.

The gift boxes are passionfruit white chocolate; the maple leaves are cherry white chocolate.

Many, many thanks to Kerry for use of the molds, and for recipes, instruction, and  general camaraderie!

gallery_52844_5147_8240.jpg

Nice and shiny - those turned out really well. Glad you're working all the bugs out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everything looks great Tammy, were you happy with the cookie part of the Twix - was it enough like the original?

I'm not overly concerned with making it exactly like the original, so I didn't really take similarity to Twix into account - just wanted something that tasted good. That said, I think it's pretty close - one of my neighbors called it a "pretty faithful improvement on the original."

The overall effect is pretty dry, though. Having a looser caramel will help with that, I imagine. A softer cooker would too, but then it wouldn't be as shelf-life friendly. It's still a work in progress - creative suggestions and ideas most welcome!

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everything looks great Tammy, were you happy with the cookie part of the Twix - was it enough like the original?

I'm not overly concerned with making it exactly like the original, so I didn't really take similarity to Twix into account - just wanted something that tasted good. That said, I think it's pretty close - one of my neighbors called it a "pretty faithful improvement on the original."

The overall effect is pretty dry, though. Having a looser caramel will help with that, I imagine. A softer cooker would too, but then it wouldn't be as shelf-life friendly. It's still a work in progress - creative suggestions and ideas most welcome!

What caramel did you use? I suspect a caramel with a higher percentage of butter might be less 'dry', but I'm not sure. It strikes me that twix are a bit dry anyway, a smaller cookie with a thicker layer of caramel might help a bit too. But then there is all that extra cutting!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used the Epicurious fleur de sel caramel. I'd be happy to entertain other caramel recipes, though! I think cooking it to the right temperature would help a lot - it's a pretty buttery caramel. And I agree that I thinner cookie and higher ratio of caramel to cookie might be just the ticket. Or a thinner but longer bar, so there's less cookie in each bite.

I made another batch of the rocky road this morning, with toasted almonds, candied ginger, and 72% chocolate instead of 60%. Oh my. Definitely not boring anymore! Much more interesting both texturally (crunchy almonds, puffy marshmallows, chewy ginger) and flavor wise. That's a keeper. Just have to work on the ratio of nuts to ginger to marshmallows so that the ginger doesn't completely overwhelm the rest.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think part of the secret to the Twix is the long, narrow shape they use... I suspect that would help reduce the "dry" feeling as well. I love Twix: I may have to give these a go when my wife is done traveling and I have someone to feed again.

Yes, the having someone to feed is important. I try to work my experiments around work shifts, so I don't have to apply all my baking etc to my ass. Better their ass than mine!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's one of the (many) great things about living in cohousing - finding homes for my creations is never a problem. At last night's party they ate 26 twix bars, ~20 rocky road bars (both cut into thirds for serving), 30 guava chocolates, and another 30 or so leftover pieces from my Valentine's Day collection!

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those are great, Patris! I love that bunny!

Thank you! The fine folks at Tomric tossed that on top of some chocolate I bought from them - I fell in love with it (and not just because it was free!).

Here's the three things I made.

gallery_7436_3666_36784.jpg

Gorgeous!

Y'all are a dangerous bunch. Just when the marshmallow obsession takes over my life, you start seducing me with caramel, and shortbread, and oh dear god I have guava in the freezer, and there's company coming for Easter dinner .....

must...... resist....... urge....... to........ start........ tempering...........

Edited by patris (log)

Patty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No pictures, but I’ve been working on a couple things with varying degrees of success. I’ve got to remember to take pictures before I let people eat them all.

I’ve tried the chocolate shortbread sandwich cookies with ganache filling from Chocolate Obsession a few times. I’ve found that I can’t directly follow the recipe (mostly the setting time for the dough and the cooking time) or else I get poor results. I’ve also found that they taste much better if the shortbread cookies are slightly over cooked and crispier than normal. And, I found out the hard way that even if you have a no-stick cookie sheet, you need the parchment paper!

The only problem I have with these cookies is that they only last two days before the cookies absorb too much of the moisture from the ganache and get soft. I’m toying with the idea of coating the cookie with chocolate before applying the ganache. I’m also thinking about trying a vanilla ganache for the Oreo affect.

The other thing I tried was some Grand Marnier truffles. I didn’t have any recipes for this one, so I just improvised (not like it’s all that complicated to add liquor to a ganache). I enhanced the orange flavor with some orange juice concentrate as a replacement for some of the cream. I wasn’t sure how this would work out since it changes the moisture content of the ganache. I was also going to try truffle squares instead of rounds, which I have never done before, so I was hoping that I’d get a thick enough ganache.

Not having any type of frame, I grabbed four straight plastic table legs I had and washed them up, coated them in waxed paper, and formed them into a square. My “frame” was about an inch deep, even though the truffles were only going to be about ¼ inch deep. So I smoothed it the best I could with a spatula and by shaking the contraption. After it started to set up I put some plastic wrap over it and smoothed it a bit more by hand…this actually worked pretty well.

I learned a lot about bottoming and when to cut the ganache (actually, when not to cut the ganache would be more appropriate – don’t cut before bottoming). I used tempered chocolate for the foot, though I’m not sure if that is the best idea since it started setting before I even finished spreading it. Any advice on this one?

I wish I would have read the thread on enrobing chocolates before I attempted these. The first few tries left a huge foot (actually more like a slope), but then they started to look pretty good. By the middle of the batch there was really no foot and they were looking pretty smooth and square. The only problem was that the tops were a lot thicker than the sides and bottom. Next time, I think I’ll try some of the techniques from the enrobing thread.

I brought them into work today and got a lot of compliments on them…a few people actually said they were the best truffles they had ever tasted! So despite my improvisation (recipe and equipment) and poor enrobing technique, I must have done something right.

Mike.

Edited by merlicky (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The other thing I tried was some Grand Marnier truffles.  I didn’t have any recipes for this one, so I just improvised (not like it’s all that complicated to add liquor to a ganache).  I enhanced the orange flavor with some orange juice concentrate as a replacement for some of the cream.  I wasn’t sure how this would work out since it changes the moisture content of the ganache.  I was also going to try truffle squares instead of rounds, which I have never done before, so I was hoping that I’d get a thick enough ganache.

Despite warnings about breaking, I find most ganache recipes to be fairly tolerant of a little bit of tweaking like you describe. The increased moisture content might be a concern if you were wanting a longer shelf life, but not a problem for something that's going to be eaten in a couple of days.

I punch up the orange flavor in my orange truffles by infusing finely grated orange zest in the cream. Then I actually leave the zest in when I make the truffle. I call them my "intense orange" flavor, and they are definitely that.

I learned a lot about bottoming and when to cut the ganache (actually, when not to cut the ganache would be more appropriate – don’t cut before bottoming).  I used tempered chocolate for the foot, though I’m not sure if that is the best idea since it started setting before I even finished spreading it.  Any advice on this one?

It's recommended to use non-tempered chocolate for the foot for exactly the reason you describe. Stays spreadable longer, and doesn't harden up as much.

I brought them into work today and got a lot of compliments on them…a few people actually said they were the best truffles they had ever tasted!  So despite my improvisation (recipe and equipment) and poor enrobing technique, I must have done something right.

Fortunately for us chocolatiers, most people have only had really bad truffles - so even the things we're disappointed with can garner huge raves! But it sounds like yours weren't disappointing at all, so that's great.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love your improvisation ideas of plastic legs!! I also make my own recipes at times and they usually turn out nice. Cutting your slabbed ganache into half and then dealing with each half sepately makes it easier to bottom and later to cut. I think that was Tammy's advice if I remeber correctly...or someone's...

Tammy I loved your pictures! Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those are great, Patris! I love that bunny! 

I've been continuing my candy bar experiments. Between last night and today I made two - one a rocky road kind of thing and the other a take off on a twix bar. I also made some guava chocolates. All these experiments went to a party at my community tonight - I got paid for the cost of materials and got to test out the things I've been working on - win-win!

Here's the three things I made.

gallery_7436_3666_36784.jpg

The rocky road bars are just a basic rocky road candy recipe, upscaled a little bit. Homemade vanilla mini-marshmallows and salted roasted cashews in a mixture of chocolate, sweetened condensed milk and butter.  I cut it into bar shapes and dipped it in dark chocolate.  The description sounds really promising, but in reality they were bland, bland, bland.  The cashews don't add anything in terms of texture or flavor. I'm going to swap them out for toasted almonds, and add some chunks of crystallized ginger to punch things up.

The twix bar was supposed to have a chipotle caramel, but I underestimated how much chipotle I needed to infuse, so you can't really taste it. Next time. I took a few "in progress" pictures of the process. I used the cookie recipe and method from this website, with my own caramel recipe.

First you make a shorbread dough, roll it out, cut them, and bake them. I forgot to take pictures of any of that. Then you make caramel and pour it into the frame, then lay the cookies on top.

gallery_7436_3666_81979.jpg

After it sets up, you cut around each of the bars. Then you trim each piece to make the caramel the same size as the cookie. And you end up with this.

gallery_7436_3666_110066.jpg

And here they are, dipped in milk chocolate.

gallery_7436_3666_20370.jpg

I overcooked my caramel a little bit, so it was a touch chewier than I would have liked. (I'm thermometer challenged at home right now, as my brand new candy thermometer won't go above 228 degrees, and my thermapen suffered a near-fatal accident and isn't accurate for high heat work anymore.) But the overall concept is good, now I just need to work on getting the caramel right.

This is great. You, basically made your own TWIX snack bar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tammy, I like the Twix bar idea, that’s definitely something that sounds like fun to play around with. How do you go about dipping something as big as a candy bar?

Also, I noticed that I had one Grand Marnier truffle that I left at home, so I took this picture:

gallery_56969_5776_94503.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everything looks great Tammy, were you happy with the cookie part of the Twix - was it enough like the original?

I'm not overly concerned with making it exactly like the original, so I didn't really take similarity to Twix into account - just wanted something that tasted good. That said, I think it's pretty close - one of my neighbors called it a "pretty faithful improvement on the original."

The overall effect is pretty dry, though. Having a looser caramel will help with that, I imagine. A softer cooker would too, but then it wouldn't be as shelf-life friendly. It's still a work in progress - creative suggestions and ideas most welcome!

Hey Tammy -- Looks great! I do a similar style of candy bar -- with malt ganache on top of shortbread. You may want to try a caramel ganache on top of the cookie; or maybe more cream in the caramel might help (more butter might make it too buttery, what with the shortbread). And definitely a good dose of salt. :) Have you had any moisture migration issues with the caramel and shortbread? I pre-coat the cookie in tempered milk chocolate; it's time consuming, but with ganache, it's definitely necessary. I find that my cookie lasts for about 2 weeks in the bar and same with the ganache, so that's my shelf-life.

When I was developing mine, most tasters wanted a thinner cookie -- that might help with the dryness issue.

Also, have you tried baking your shortbread as a slab, and then cutting it just at the end of the bake? I use an expandable rolling cutter for that, and it gives a straight sides to them all. Then you could cut the caramel to the same size and lay it on top a piece at a time (possible chill it briefly to make it pick-up-able; or maybe coat the one side of the caramel with chocolate, like a foot on slabbed ganache, cut it, and put it chocolate-side down on the cookie, and it would also help with moisture migration to boot). I still do have to sort of "shape" the ganache on top to make it all uniform.

Here are some pic's:

http://www.bonbonbar.com/maltbar1.html

http://www.sweetnapa.com/2008/03/05/weekly...hortbreads.html

Edited by SugarGirl (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Sugar Girl. I'd come across your website when I was Googling for something, and your creations look great! (I've avoided looking very hard for fear of accidentally stealing something, though!)

I'm trying to avoid ganache in the line of bars I'm working on, as I'm hoping to get a longer shelf life for them.

This was my first attempt making the twix-bar, so I haven't tried any other cutting methods. The recipe I used advised against baking the cookies in a sheet and cutting later, as they tended to break. But another recipe might be more amenable to that.

I can't speak to moisture migration either, since I made them on Saturday and they all got eaten Saturday night. But I'll be holding some back from my next batch in order to do some shelf life testing and see how they hold up.

Thanks for the great ideas - I'll definitely keep these in mind as I move forward!

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tammy, I like the Twix bar idea, that’s definitely something that sounds like fun to play around with.  How do you go about dipping something as big as a candy bar?

You just dip it. I use a 3 prong dipping fork, and might actually invest in a 4 prong. I actually find them MUCH easier to dip than little ganache squares! I'm making fairly small bars - 1 inch by 3 inches.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you go about dipping something as big as a candy bar?

One tip I read is to use two forks held in a V shape in one hand. That should work for anything four plus inches in length.

That is way more dexterity than I can muster! I think I will stick to making mine short enough to dip the regular way :smile: .

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tammy,

The real question is.. If I bite into one of your "Twix" bars, does everything around me stop for a few seconds? I really do need a minute...

"It only hurts if it bites you" - Steve Irwin

"Whats another word for Thesaurus?" - Me

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tammy,

  The real question is.. If I bite into one of your "Twix" bars, does everything around me stop for a few seconds? I really do need a minute...

If you're saying that your usual reaction to a Twix bar is for the world to stop, then yes, you'd probably get that reaction from mine too, although they're not totally where I want them to be yet. And I've decided they're probably too labor-intensive for production, so I'm not sure how much more experimentation I'm going to do on them.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

This weekend i had some free time and finally decided to go for it, it has been years since i last tempered chocolate so i thought i would go back to basics and made some 72% dark chocolate truffles.

Here they are i was really happy with them and quite proud that my tempering skills all came back to me and the temper was excellent.

gallery_58569_5896_27805.jpg

Eric

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By artiesel
      Has anyone successfully made candied chestnuts (marrons glace) at home which even remotely resemble the professional ones you get from Europe?
       
      I've tried making them using RTE Chinese chestnuts from Costco with varying success:
      One batch became leathery after being simmered in (what started out as) simple syrup which had its sucrose concentration gradually increased.
       
      I have also tried soaking the chestnuts in hot water prior to beginning the candying process.  The nuts, once again, developed a tough skin after a few days.  To reverse the tough skins I added more water to the syrup, broke the nuts up into pieces and simmered them gently for a few hours.
      While some pieces have a tough skin, many of them have taken on a candied texture.
       
      Should any further attempts to candy chestnuts be attempted using the method of slowly simmering them in simple syrup?
       
      Please share any feedback ypu may have.  Thanks!
    • By ShylahSinger
      Hello! I'm fairly new to this site so I don't know if my search was weak. I'm trying to find a way to make Mandarin orange puree at home, but I couldn't find anything even similar in the forum. I am a home cook, but I have been making chocolate bonbons and other confections for over 4 years (intermitantly). It is too expensive for me to purchase this online- not because of the price of the puree, but the cost of shipping makes it prohibative. The recipes I've seen online are all differant and don't seem to be what I need. 
      I would love any help with this! I look forward to hearing and learning from those who have much, much more experience than me. Thanks!
    • By ShylahSinger
      Help! I am an amateur and make chocolate truffles, bonbons, and caramels for friends and family. I made some soft caramel for filling molded bonbons. The flavor and consistency are fine, but the caramel is filled with bubbles. I don't know how to get the air bubbles out, and am concerned using it in my molded chocolates. I would like to know if it is okay to use. I have been making confections for about four years and this is the first time this has happened. I would really appreciate any help! I'm new to the forum and don't know anyone yet.
    • By amyneill
      Hi all!! 
      I work at an amazing little New Zealand Style ice cream shop in the beautiful Denver Colorado. I was hoping to get a little help on the subject of adding fruit into ice cream after extracting it and ensuring that, when the ice cream is frozen, the fruity bits don't turn into rock hard shards. I am planning on doing a cherry chocolate ice cream and I was going to soak some dried cherries that we're no longer using for something else. I was planning on using some brandy and a ton of sugar, but I was really hoping someone had a tried and true method they could send my way so that I KNOW that the fruit will be luscious as it's frozen. If you have a certain sugar ratio. I know there is the brix test, but to be honest it's been many years since pastry school and I am very rusty. Would love to hear from some of my fellow sugar-heads. 
      Thank you!
      Amy
       
    • By amyneill
      Hi all! I just wanted to pop in here and see if anyone had some advice on canning/jarring caramel sauce for ready-to-eat consumption. The ice cream shop I work at is putting together gift baskets for valentine's day and we wanted to toss in some caramel and fudge jars in to add some tasty treats. We have a recipe that works great in the shop in our squeeze bottles for topping the ice cream, however I don't have a ton of experience with the canning process to make it shelf stable and shippable. I've canned tomato sauce and salsa in the past, but my method wouldn't be efficient for canning hundreds of jars for consumption. What is your method for success? Does it all hinge on the sealing process, and if so what are your favorite (cost efficient) products? Do you know of a jar that is self sealing or more durable than others?
      Thanks for any suggestions! 
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...