August 27, 2011

The Daring Bakers: Sinfully Delicious Candies

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peach pâte de fruit
chocolate covered sponge candy
peanut butter and jelly cups
pomegranate molasses ganache in white chocolate
bittersweet chocolate with chai cream center
brown sugar meringue and salted honey caramels in bittersweet chocolate
rosewater cream in white chocolate
white chocolate coated grapes

The August 2011 Daring Bakers' Challenge was hosted by Lisa of Parsley, Sage, Desserts, ad Line Drives 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 got carried away again with this challenge. It's candies and chocolates! How can I resist making different flavored fillings for chocolate? The last time I made was a simple hot chile infused chocolate candies in February of this year; before that, was in 2009. I used to make molded chocolate candies very often since I discovered 12 years ago how much fun it is to make them but I have since moved on to other yummy stuff and set aside my candy making activities. Thank you Mandy and Lisa for reviving my enthusiasm for making chocolate and fruit candies at home.

The recipes provided by Lisa and Mandy and how to temper chocolate are here.

Peach Pâte de Fruit
It's always a treat to nibble on these tiny fruity gems.

Peach Pate de Fruit

Dark Chocolate Covered Sponge Candy

Chocolate Coated Sponge Candy

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cups
This is my current favorite. The peanut butter is very creamy and I love the chewiness of the orange flavored wine jelly. I used dark chocolate for these.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cups

chocolate cups
tempered bittersweet or milk chocolate
mini tin foil cups

peanut butter cream
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup white chocolate chips
½ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ teaspoon sea salt

wine or fruit jelly
1½ cups grape juice or sweet wine
1 box powdered reduced sugar/sugar-free pectin
2 cups or less sugar
  • Prepare the chocolate cups: Brush cups with chocolate. Turn upside down to remove excess chocolate and turn back up and leave on the kitchen counter or refrigerator to set.
  • Prepare the peanut butter cream: Heat cream in a double boiler; add chocolate and let melt completely. Add peanut butter and salt and stir gently until fully incorporated. Let cool for 10 minutes then transfer into a disposable piping bag; set aside.
  • Prepare the jelly: Place wine or juice and pectin in a medium sauce pan and whisk to combine. Heat to rolling boil then stir in sugar. Cook for 1 minute. Transfer into an 8 x 8 inch square pan lined with foil. Leave on the kitchen counter or refrigerator to set. When firm, cut into shapes with small cookie or fondant cutters.
  • Fill the chocolate cups: Cut the tip of piping bag and pipe peanut cream 2/3 full. Press jelly on top of peanut cream until embedded but still visible. Refrigerate until set.
  • To serve: Peel off tin foil cups and transfer into a serving plate.
Pomegranate Molasses Ganache Balls
The ganache is tart and sweet and best with sweet white chocolate. I found a bag of malted milk crisps at the candy supply store and used the bits to cover the soft ganache balls. They add very little sweetness but I like the malted milk flavor.

Pomegranate Molasses Ganache Balls

3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup semi sweet or milk chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons honey
½ cup pomegranate molasses

tempered white chocolate
malted milk crisps
  • Make the ganache: In a double boiler, heat the cream; Add the chocolate and butter and heat until melted, stirring to combine. Add honey and pomegranate molasses and gently stir. Transfer half into a container and let set in the refrigerator. Leave the other half on the kitchen counter.
  • Coat the ganache balls: Pour tempered chocolate on round candy molds and place in the freezer for a few minutes. Fill with room temperature ganache just below the rims of the mold cavities, put back in the freezer for a few minutes, then cover bottom with tempered chocolate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Form the chilled ganache into 1 inch balls; roll in malted milk crisps and refrigerate until firm. 
  • To serve: Unmold white chocolate candies and trim edges if necessary. Transfer both chocolates into paper cups and serve. Refrigerate leftovers.
Bittersweet Chocolate with Chai Cream Center


chocolate shells
tempered bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate

chai cream 
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon black tea leaves
1 tablespoon Earl Grey tea leaves
1 large cinnamon stick, broken in two
8 whole cloves
8 whole black peppercorns
cardamom seeds from 8 pods
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 inch piece ginger, sliced thin
2 cups white chocolate chips
  • Crack or pound cinnamon stick, cloves, black peppercorns, and cardamom seeds. 
  • In a small pan, heat cream over medium heat and add the leaves and spices. Cover pan and simmer over lowest heat for 15 minutes. Turn heat off and let steep for another 15 minutes. 
  • Strain though a fine sieve into a glass bowl and set on top of a pan of low simmering water (or double boiler). When heated through, add white chocolate, a handful at a time, stirring until melted. Cool to room temperature. Fill chocolate molds and leave in the refrigerator until set. Unmold, cover in foil wrappers or set on paper cups.
Brown Sugar Meringue Cookies and Salted Honey Caramels Dipped in Bittersweet Chocolate
I love these tiny buttons. They are all at once crunchy, chewy, and chocolaty. Very addicting! 

Brown Sugar Meringue Cookies and Salted Honey Caramels Dipped in Bittersweet Chocolate

chocolate shell
tempered bittersweet chocolate
flaked sea salt, optional

2 egg whites
a pinch of cream of tartar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

salted honey caramel recipe here
  • Cookies: Preheat oven to 300° F. In the bowl of a standing mixer with wire whisk attachment, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add brown sugar and beat until stiff and glossy. Beat in vanlla extract. Transfer meringue into a piping bag; snip a ¼ inch opening and pipe 1-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined sheet pans. With slightly wet fingers, flatten top of cookies. Bake until golden brown and dry to the touch, about 20 minutes. Turn heat off and leave in the oven for another 20 minutes. Remove parchment papers from sheet pans; gently remove cookies from paper.
  • Caramel: Transfer into a piping bag and pipe a teaspoon on top of each cookie. 
  • Dip cookies in tempered chocolate. Sprinkle a few grains of flaked sea salt, if desired. Leave on the kitchen counter until chocolate coating is set.
Rosewater Cream in White Chocolate
The fondant is soft that it oozes out when I bite into it.

Rosewater Cream in White Chocolate

chocolate shell
tempered white chocolate

rosewater cream fondant
1 cup heavy cream
1½ cups white chocolate pieces
2 teaspoons rosewater
a few drops of pink food dye

unsprayed rose petals
  • Prepare molds, preferably shallow, with tempered chocolate; refrigerate while preparing fondant. 
  • In a double boiler, heat cream and add chocolate. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in rosewater and food dye. Transfer into a piping bag; snip a small hole and pipe a thin layer on top of chocolate. Cover with chocolate. Refrigerate until completely set. Unmold and garnish tops with rose petals using a small amount of melted chocolate.
White Chocolate Coated Grapes
The recipe for these sweet fruit candies comes from Michel Richard, a Washington D.C. restaurateur and chef. I was watching a local TV show featuring Washington, D.C. restaurants and when I saw him preparing the candies I thought I should share it because the fruit candy is so simple to make yet really delicious and satisfying.

White Chocolate Coated Grapes

well chilled and dried seedless grapes, stems removed
1 cup tempered white chocolate
icing sugar

  • Place grapes in a large bowl. Pour a little of the tempered chocolate while constantly stirring the grapes. Pour enough chocolate to cover the grapes, still constantly stirring until chocolate has almost set. Sift icing sugar all over while constantly stirring grapes, making sure they don't stick together, until completely set and dry to the touch. Transfer into a serving bowl or plate.


Mirage said...

I'm totally loving all these! I can't load the vids, but the photos are enough to make me drool!

shelley c. said...

Wow. I am drooling. And am SO impressed. You did SO amazingly this month. ALL of your candy confections look professional. And delicious. And mouthwateringly wonderful. The peanut butter and jelly cups are just... wow. Peach pate de fruit? YUM! Chai cream chocolates? Inspired! Seriously, I am amazed. Wow.

Katie said...

Wow! You did get a bit carried away! I'm impressed that you found time to make all those beautiful chocolates. The chai cream chocolates sound like what I want to eat right now!

Bourbonnatrix said...

loved watching your amazing creations appear on the forum this month! your chocolates look so professional! the picture of the sponge candy is perfect, but i just love the idea of that meringue and caramel confection... that looks insanely good! great job on the challenge!

Anonymous said...

You did an AMAZING JOB on this challenge oggi..
I can't even choose a favorite..I want to try them all..Sinfully delicious indeed
You are so creative and the pictures are stunning

Audax said...

WOWOWOWOW what a stunning job you did on this challenge your photos are so beautiful and the final candies look so delicious. Bravo.

Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Ruth H. said...

ok, you totally rocked this! all of your candies look amazing, but the peanut butter and jelly cups and the caramel-cookie sandwich things (sorry...) are just calling to me! please make these again... and let me know when!

MandyM said...

Where to even begin?! You outdid yourself with this challenge, your sweet treats are fantastic! I particularly love the look of the chai cream bonbons, brilliant. And the peanut butter & jelly? Love it!
I can see you had a great time on this challenge and I'm so glad that it brought back your love of candy making :)
Beautifully done!

Korena said...

I am so impressed with how shiny your tempered chocolate is, and how beautiful your finished creations are! I bet they are fantastically delicious, too. Amazing job on this challenge!

stacie tamaki said...

LOL Overachiever. BEAUTIFUL results. WOW. I was just telling my Auntie how I only do the minimum each challenge but there are others who go all out. I'll have to send her the link to you post to show her what I meant. Congrats on such a successful challenge :D

Renata said...

You were probably the greatest inspiration in the forums! Thanks for sharing all your amazing work and for being so enthusiastic! You did an excellent job on the challenge, bravo!

INMA said...

WOW, what a terrific job you have done, all your creations are perfect and look delicious. Congratulations

Lisa said...

Oggi, I am seriously in awe of your skills, and not just candy, all the challenges! every single one of you candies is so fabulous, I can't even pick a favorite, just give them ALL to me now! They're gorgeous, creative and your photos are just beautiful!! Love seeing what you come up with in both the DC and DB every month!! So glad you took part in our challenge!!

Lisa said...

Oh, also...thanks for the tip on reducing the baking soda in the sponge recipe provided!!

Rosemary & Garlic said...

Oggi I can't believe what you made! Amazing.

Anonymous said...

You really did go crazy with this challenge! ALL of them are gorgeous and ALL of them sound absolutely delicious.
Superb work. I wish I had put in 1/4 the effort that you did.
Best, Sandie

cusinera said...

Oggi, just by looking at the pics makes me go to sugar heaven overload....wonderful sweet treats=)

JM said...

Wow, you really embraced this challenge. So many candies and they all look incredible! That rosewater cream enrobed in white chocolate looks fantastic (I've always loved perfumey sweets). Nicely done!

chef_d said...

Love love all your candies Oggi! Can't decide which one is the best...excellent job!

ceecee said...

Lovely creations. Loved this month's challenge!

berry lovely said...

WOW! You were really productive! All your candies look amazing, so much variety. Love them!

Unknown said...

You completely out did yourself. Everything is so lovely and creative. I love the cookies and the white chocolate bars. said...

Wow,that is a ton of candy, I think I gained 5 pounds just looking at all those beauties. You did a fabulous job on the challenge!! I will have to add these to my ever growing list of goodies for the holiday's. Congrats on winning one of the prizes for the DB challenge.

Guia Obsum said...

Oh gosh, totally drool-worthy!!! I can't stop looking at your amazing creations, I want to literally get them off the screen and straight into my mouth. DROOL!!!!! I seriously wanna cry because I'm craving for all those yummy treats right now and I know I can't get them. :(

Anonymous said...

Do you have the recipe for the Dark Chocolate Covered Sponge Candy ? I would love to try these : )

Oggi said...


Click on the link to the recipe (third paragraph). It's a large file and the recipe is on page 19.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I can't thank you enough, can't wait to try these, thank you !

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