Friday, August 26, 2011

August 2011 Daring Bakers' 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 offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!

I made Jo's Fabulous Fudge. It's pretty much never fail and gorgeous to eat.
Jo Seagar is a wonderfully popular New Zealand chef and cook book writer, she also runs a cafe and cook school in the South island of New Zealand. Here is the recipe - "definitely not part of the daily diet - to be made for special occasions only " !!!

I made a half recipe and that makes 30 good sized pieces.

Jo’s Fabulous Fudge from Jo Seagar Cooks Random House 2006

• 800 g sweetened condensed milk
• 2 cups soft brown sugar, firmly packed
• 250 g butter
• 100 ml sugar syrup (liquid glucose or corn syrup)
• 3 tablespoons golden syrup
• 400 g white chocolate, chopped
• 1 teaspoon vanilla

Spray and line with non-stick baking paper, a 20 x 30 cm, quite deep (at least 4 cm) tin, or 2 smaller tins.
Place all ingredients, except the chocolate and vanilla, in a large heavy based saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil gently until it becomes very thick and changes colour to a dark caramel brown paper shade – about 6 minutes, to the soft ball stage, 116°C on a sugar thermometer. Stir often to prevent it catching on the bottom – I find a silicon spatula the best gadget to stir with. Remove from heat and stand until the bubbles subside. Stir in the chocolate and vanilla until melted and smooth.
Pour into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Cool to room temperature (about 3 hours) then refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 weeks – if you’re lucky.

Port and Prune Truffles

I made Port and Prune Truffles and dipped them in my attempt at tempered chocolate. The tempering process seemed to go to plan but did not stay shiny after it set. It did snap/crack nicely and tasted good. The filling is not a ganache but instead the prunes are simmered in port and mixed with chocolate cake crumbs and almond flavouring - very easy, quite economical and tastes stunning.

Port and Prune Truffles from The Australian Women's Weekly Light and Luscious SUMMERTIME Cookbook
These truffles will keep in the refrigerator, covered for several weeks.

½ cup finely chopped prunes
¼ cup port
1 ½ cups cake crumbs, lightly packed
¼ cup slivered almonds, finely chopped
¼ cup cream
¼ teaspoon almond essence

chocolate for tempering

1. Combine prunes and port in a small pan, bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer uncovered for a few minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed, let cool for about 15 minutes.
2. Then combine prune mixture, cake crumbs, almonds, cream and almond essence together in a bowl, mix well and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. The mixture will be firm but not hard.
3. Shape teaspoons of the mixture into balls and place on a tray and refrigerate for at least an hour.
4. Prepare chocolate for dipping, line a tray with baking paper or foil, dip the balls into chocolate and place on tray to set.
5. Store in an airtight container