Saturday, August 27, 2011

Daring Bakers: Milk Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Truffles {Candy!}

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!
It's been awhile since I've tried a Daring Baker's challenge. I couldn't resist when I saw it was candy this month. I've become intrigued with candy. It's quite challenging though and there is a part of me that wonders if I should actually learn how to make candy. If you know how to make it, it's all too easy to make.
Regardless, this candy was a fun experiment. I made a caramel sauce that was then poured over hazelnuts I had roasted. I actually had to make the caramel sauce twice as I had the heat up too high the first time and the caramel went from bubbling to black tar in a matter of seconds at one point. I called for backup before the smoke alarm went off since I was doing this post-kid-bedtime. Doors and windows flew open and I tried to figure out what to do with black bubbling sugar before it hardened and ruined my pan. A empty coffee can from the recycling helped out.
I made a second batch of caramel and this time watched it more closely. After the hazelnut and caramel cooled I broke them up and put them in the blended. Wow, that's loud! I added the ground mixture to my chocolate ganache and let it set.
Once the ganache has set I made little balls.
Rolled them in more ground roasted hazelnuts. And, set them in papers.
My truffles were not very round. I think the ganache was a bit soft so it was hard to get a round ball to stay round. They did well out of the fridge but slumped a lot when left out. Not perfectly pretty but sure tasty!!!

2nd Candy Recipe- 
I also tried a second candy recipe: Citrus Paté de Fruits- epoch fail! It never set! I even recooked it and added more (a lot more!) pectin. After re-reading the recipe 5 times and consulting my mom, stepmom, mother-in-law, and sister I'm pretty confident that my pectin was bad. I'll have to try this another time. From the finger dips I did in the mixture, it tasted great, it just never set. Maybe I should have just passed out spoon.
Citrus Pate de Fruits just slids around pan even after 8 hrs in fridge.
Milk Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Truffles
Servings: Makes +- 30 truffles, recipe easily doubled or halved
Printable Recipe

Praline Ingredients:
½ cup hazelnuts, shelled & skinned
½ cup granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons water

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F
2. Place whole hazelnut on a non-stick baking tray and dry roast for 10mins
3. Allow to cool
4. Place hazelnuts in a clean dry kitchen towel and rub to remove the skins
5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicon mat
6. Place the skinned hazelnuts onto the prepared tray
7. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved
8. Turn the heat up and bring to the boil (do not stir), brushing down the sides of the pot with a pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals
9. Boil until the mixture turns amber (160°C - 170°C / 320°F- 340°F on a candy thermometer)
10. Remove from heat immediately and pour the syrup over the hazelnuts
11. Allow to cool completely
12. Break into small pieces
13. Transfer pieces to a food processor and process until desired texture, either fine or rough
14. Set aside

Ganache Ingredients
1¾ cup Milk chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup Double/Heavy Cream (36% - 46% butterfat content)
Praline ingredient (above)
2-3 Tablespoons Frangelico Liqueur, optional
½ - 1 cup Crushed or Ground Roasted Hazelnuts for coating

Directions:
1. Finely chop the milk chocolate
2. Place into a heatproof medium sized bowl
3. Heat cream in a saucepan until just about to boil
4. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir gently until smooth and melted
5. Allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes
6. Stir in the praline and (optional) liqueur
7. Leave to cool and set overnight or for a few hours in the fridge
8. Bring to room temperature to use

Forming the truffles:
1. Using teaspoons or a melon baller, scoop round balls of ganache
2. Roll them between the palms of your hands to round them off
Tip: Handle them as little as possible to avoid melting
Tip: I suggest wearing food safe latex gloves, less messy and slightly less heat from your hands
3. Finish off by rolling the truffle in the crushed roasted hazelnuts
Tip: You can also roll them in hazelnut praline
4. Place on parchment paper and leave to set
Tip: They look great when put into small petit four cases and boxed up as a gift!

3 comments:

  1. Those truffles look amazing! I'm definitely interested in exploring more candy-making, but I think you're right and it has the potential to be dangerous! =)

    ReplyDelete
  2. The hazelnut praline sounds so tempting. I love hazelnuts!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I try to just focus on taste when I make truffles and not on appearance! From here, I definitely wouldn't have noticed that they were not round, and if I were eating them, I certainly would not have cared. These candies look delightful!

    ReplyDelete

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