Candy, Candy, Candy.. I Can’t Let You Go, and my 100th Post after 3 plus years. | Parsley, Sage and Sweet

Candy, Candy, Candy.. I Can’t Let You Go, and my 100th Post after 3 plus years.

August 27, 2011 at 2:57 am | Posted in Candy, Daring Bakers, Dessert, Jams/Jellies | 92 Comments
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Quick preface.  I reached 100 posts today.  It’s actually kind of sad, since I’ve been blogging for almost 3 1/2 years.  I should have triple that amount, or more!  Regardless, candy is a great way to celebrate it!

What??  Candy making during the dog days of August, you ask (Candy on the beach, there’s nothing better…but I like candy wrapped in a sweater) ?

Lucky me, a severe heat wave hit when I started making my candies, and continued on and off throughout July.  To add insult to injury, the AC in the room next to the kitchen, that cools the kitchen, broke.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many failures I had and how many times I had to start over.  BUT, in the end, it was well worth it.

Halloween begins less than two months from today, and then the holiday season is upon us, can you believe it?. This is actually a good time to learn some new candies and techniques you may have never tried, so you have plenty of time to practice and perfect it by the holidays.  You should all be rockin’ chocolate and sugar mama’s and papa’s, presenting gift boxes/bags of gorgeous candies and chocolates of all sorts, wowing your recipients come holiday time.

Homemade Sponge Candy

I suddenly have a severe case of writer’s block, and there’s a lot of be written.  Please bear with me, this is going to be a long, long post, but, seriously, it’s candy – how can anything about candy ever be too long?  Well..luckily, I have a lot of what I wrote for the challenge on hand, not to mention a lot of the technical info about tempering chocolate, by the amazing and talented Mandy, to help me out.

The August 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Lisa (me) 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 (a $250.00 gift certificate to use at their site) for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!

Plus, Mandy generously donated a second prize..a small hamper to the runner-up, which includes a $30 Visa card thrown in by Lis, and a fantastic dessert recipe book, plus some other fun goodies.  I didn’t throw in a prize because I’m currently poor. Scratch that, I just added a third prize.  THIS book.  It’s pretty amazing!

Anyway, Hmm..me?  A sugar maven?  Guess so, since I couldn’t stop making candy once I started!

Here’s how I ended up hosting my third Daring Kitchen challenge, as I’m sure some are thinking ‘ Hasn’t she already hosted several DK challenges, as well as Mandy?  Yes, we both have, but I digress.

Lis, the lovely co-founder of the Daring Kitchen, and my future betrothed, texted me one day in early July. She asked if I knew anyone who knew how to temper chocolate, but it had to be a tempering method in which a thermometer is used (There are other techniques that do not need a thermometer, but it’s something that takes a lot more practice to get ‘just right’).  I sent her some links of Daring Kitchen members who certainly had or looked to have this fun and sort of scientific (a lot of chocolate crystal behavior at a molecular level –  schtuff), skill down pat.  Unfortunately, none were able to host.  I tweeted ‘Anyone know how to temper chocolate?’.  I did get one response , but it was instructional – which makes sense, since my question could be construed as asking for help.  I tweeted a few more times, rewording it several different ways, but no more responses.

Then the question – from Lis….

‘If I can’t find anyone to host, do you think…”

Yes, I know how to temper chocolate, and I enjoy it, but maybe not during the summer.  I’ve been SO lazy this summer, and the humid heat waves were brutal.  I could feel my lazy self rebelling, but my love of all things edible, self, succumbing.

During a phone call with the wonderful and talented Mandy, of What the Fruitcake?!, I told her about my dilemma. Suddenly, she started talking about all aspects of chocolate tempering, from the methods, to every.single scientific facet of it.  Just as I was ready to offer up my firstborn to get her to partner with me – she offered to do so.  I was elated, so elated, I threw out a couple rah-rah fist pumps to an empty room.

SO, about the candy – Lis wanted (from Mandy and I) chocolate tempering demos, and at least one chocolate candy using tempered chocolate and one non-chocolate candy.  She threw out some ideas at us, two being chocolate bark and the popular, French, fruity jewels you see all over the food blogosphere, pate de fruits.  Mandy opened up a Google doc, and away we went.  We each chose three candies and a chocolate tempering method;

Mandy:
White and Milk Chocolate
tempering using a marble slab
Milk Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Truffles
Candied Orange & Pistachio Marzipan White Chocolates aka Bonbons
Chocolate Bark

Lisa:
Dark
Chocolate tempering using the seeding method
Sponge Candy / Honeycomb
Paté de Fruits
Passion Fruit Caramel Filled Chocolates aka Bonbons

Before I get to the chocolate tempering and my candies (please be sure to go to Mandy’s blog and check out her three gorgeous and mouth-watering candies), I have to say, I couldn’t have done this without Mandy, especially on such short notice.  It’s been a tough time for me, and my brain has literally been a mass of scrambled eggs.  I scribble scrabbled into our doc – she neatly, clearly and concisely added a fantastic explanation of chocolate tempering, along with charts with temperatures and conversions, and cleaned up my messy, rambling paragraphs in blue.  I’d spend an hour scribbling, then wake up each morning to a beautiful, organized doc. Thank you, Mandy, you truly are amazing.

Mandy tempering white chocolate using the marble slab method,  Check out her blog to see the rest!  Her photos are absolutely beautiful!

OK..Let’s temper some dark chocolate using the seeding method;

Wait, wait, wait..first you need to know why tempering chocolate is a really good thing when it comes to dipping/enrobing candies and molding chocolates, filled or solid.  You’ve all opened up a box of chocolates and seen the lovely shine.  That’s one.  You take a bite, and the thin coating snaps nicely, then melts beautifully on the palate.  That’s two.  When you’re dipping or molding chocolates, if you just melt the chocolate without tempering, you usually end up with dull, streaky, often too thick, chocolate coatings.  That’s as simple an explanation as it gets.  For the more detailed, scientific explanation, follow the link at the end of this post to our challenge.

Having said that, couverture chocolate is the only chocolate you get a really good temper with.  Valrhona is a good brand, for example.  There are some supermarket brands that are ‘ok’, and we listed them in the linked challenge url at the end of this post, but couverture chocolate is the best way to go.

Remember one thing as I take you through this.  ‘Seeds’ are the reserved chopped or chunks of chocolate used to cool down your melted chocolate and bring it into temper.

You can use the small seeding method, which I used in this demo ( In my photos, those are calets – NEVER chocolate chips, which contain paraffin to hold their shape). or the large seeding method, where your seed(s) are large chunks or  just one  large chunk of chocolate, so it’s easier to remove once the chocolate is in temper.  If you use the small seeding method, and all the seeds aren’t melted once you’ve reached temper, you can either put the bowl back over the heat on and off,  for a few seconds at a time, stirring, until they are melted, or take an immersion blender to them.

IMPORTANT:  Make sure that your bowl fits snuggly into the saucepan so that there’s no chance of steam forming droplets that may fall into your chocolate. If water gets into your chocolate it will seize!

No, those are not blueberries, they are chocolate calets that sat in the fridge for a few days due to an intense, humid heat wave.

Here’s how you temper dark chocolate using the small seeding method.

• Finely chop chocolate if in bar/slab form (about the size of almonds).
• Place 2/3 of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl
• Set aside 1/3  of the chocolate pieces (again, these are your seeds)
• Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (once again, make sure the bowl does not touch the water)
• Using a rubber spatula, gently stir the chocolate so that it melts evenly
• Once it’s melted, keep an eye on the thermometer, as soon as it reaches between 45°C-50°C / 113°F-120°F, remove from heat.
• Add small amounts of the reserved 1/3  of chocolate (seeds) and stir in to melt
• Continue to add small additions of chocolate until you’ve brought the chocolate down to 82°F (You can bring the chocolate down to 89.6°F -91°F, the working temperature – and stop there.  Your chocolate is now in temper.  However, I prefer bringing it below temper then back up to temper.  I find it gives you a more fluid chocolate)
• Put it back on the double boiler and bring the temperature back up until it reaches its working temperature of the chocolate , 32°C/89.6 – 91°F
• If you still have a few unmelted bits of chocolate, put the bowl back over the simmering water, stirring gently and watching the thermometer constantly, or, as mentioned above, smooth out the unmelted chocolate bits with an immersion blender.

IMPORTANT: You really need to keep an eye on the temperature so that it doesn’t go over its working temperature.  Oh, and you should be using a chocolate or instant read thermometer.  It has to be a thermometer that goes below 100°F- your basic candy thermometer does not.

To test if the chocolate is in temper; spread a little chocolate on a piece of parchment paper and place in the refrigerator for a few minutes to quickly cool it.  When the chocolate appears to have a slight shine and is set, remove from the parchment paper and snap in half.  The chocolate should break cleanly and should not melt when briefly touched.

It’s now tempered and ready to use

Tip #1: If you’re using the chocolate to dip a lot of truffles etc. which means the chocolate will be sitting off heat for a while it will naturally start to thicken as it cools. To keep it at an ideal viscosity for even coating, put the bowl over steam for 30sec-1min every 5-10mins, just do not let the temperature go over the working temperature!

Tip #2:
Having the chocolate in a warmed glass bowl and wrapped in hot kitchen towel can also help keep the chocolate at its working temperature for longer

Tip #3:
It is also easier to keep the heat if you work with larger amounts of chocolate rather than small amounts. Any leftover chocolate can be kept to be used later and then re-tempered.

Tip #4 – When molding tempered chocolate, it’s messy work.  There’s no way you’re getting away clean, even if you use an itty-bitty spoon or paint the molds with chocolate.  Put on an apron and deal with it. :)

Painted Passion Fruit Caramel Filled Chocolates aka Bonbons

Now, let’s make something with this silky, shiny, tempered dark chocolate.  We’ll start with the passion fruit caramel filled Bonbons, but first a little story about an evil pastry chef.

I had a tried and true passion fruit caramel recipe that was fantastic, but  wanted one with a more intense passion fruit flavor.  I went to a chef’s forum and asked if anyone had a ‘formula’ for a really intense passion fruit caramel – in the ‘professional’ thread since I wanted a professional formula.  Well, I had no idea that if you’re not an actual pastry chef, they eff with you. When he asked if I was one, and worked in the industry, I mistakenly told the truth..no, no training, never worked as one, no degree in anything culinary.  I apologized and moved on to another thread, but he answered, with a formula, and seemed very nice.

Welll..whaddya know – he gave me a recipe where the measurements were completely off..too much cream and passion fruit puree.  I could tell by looking at the recipe, but tried it anyway, since it was given to me by a supposedly trained pastry chef.  Due to the heat wave, all candy was placed in the fridge, so when I bit into one, of course it was firm’ish’ – meaning instead of spilling out, it just oozed slowly.  At room temp, which I found out about a week into the challenge via an attempt by a Daring Baker, Mary, it was completely liquid.  I didn’t want anyone else to try it and fail, so I immediately put up my tried and true recipe.  I curse your next batch of souffles, Chef Froo Froo, you elitist snob!

When I popped my painted Bonbons out of the molds and left them at room temperature, the humidity seeping through my walls resulted in condensation, which in turn mottled my temper and painting *sniff*  Tasted great, though!

Equipment:
• A small brush (for painting the molds with colors, optional)
• Chocolate molds
• Bench or plastic scraper
• A Ladle
• OR A small brush or spoon
• Silicon Mat or Parchment Paper
• Trays / Baking Sheets
• Pastry Bag fitted with Small to Medium Plain Tip
OR Ziploc Bag with corner cut off
OR a plastic squeeze bottle
OR A Teaspoon

INGREDIENTS:
Tempered Chocolate (at least 1 lb)
Various Colored Cocoa Butters OR Food Grade Cocoa Butter, melted and colored with powdered food colorings, which I used.  It’s not as vibrant as the ‘pricey’ bottled stuff (optional)
Passion Fruit Caramel Filling (recipe follows)

DIRECTIONS:
1. If using colored cocoa butter and plastic molds, paint designs at the bottom of the wells in each mold.  Let dry.  You can also use lustre dusts mixed with a bit of extract or vodka, instead of colored cocoa butters for a nice sheen. Let painted molds dry.

2. When coating the molds with the tempered chocolate, I like to do it how the chocolate pro’s do it (much faster and a lot less tedious).  While holding mold over bowl of tempered chocolate, take a nice ladle of the chocolate and pour over the mold, making sure it cover and fills every well.  Knock the mold a few times against a flat surface to get rid of air bubbles, then turn the mold upside down over the bowl of chocolate, and knock out the excess chocolate.  Turn right side up and drag a bench or plastic scraper across so all the chocolate in between the wells is scraped off cleanly, leaving you with only chocolate filled wells.  Put in the fridge to set, about 5 to 10 minutes. Alternatively, you could take a small brush and paint the tempered chocolate into each mold, or spoon it in if you’d like.

3. Remove from refrigerator and fill each well with the filling of your choice.  Again take a ladle of chocolate and pour it on top of the filled chocolate wells, knocking against a flat surface to settle it in.  Scrape excess chocolate off the mold with the bench scraper then refrigerate until set.

4. When set, pop your beautiful filled chocolates out of each well and enjoy!

Passion Fruit Caramel Filling
Adapted from candybarlab.com, with my addition of passion fruit puree

1 cup (225g / 8oz) Granulated White Sugar
1/2 cup (125ml / 4 fluid oz) Light Corn Syrup
1/2 cup (125ml / 4 fluid oz) Water
4 tablespoon (60g / 2 oz) Unsalted Butter
2 tablespoons (30ml / 1 fluid oz) Heavy Cream
1/4 cup (60ml / 2 fluid oz) Passion Fruit Puree
1 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:
1. Place the sugar, corn syrup and water in a medium saucepan. Set over medium-high heat and stir to combine.Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until dark amber in color 310°F-315°F / 155°C-158°C, about 5 minutes. Use a pastry brush, dipped in water, to wash down sides of pan to prevent crystallization as the mixture boils.

2. Remove saucepan from the heat and gradually whisk in the passion fruit puree, heavy cream and butter.

3. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool.

4. Transfer cooled caramel to a pastry bag fitted with a medium

After trying two recipes for sponge candy, one that used baking soda and vinegar, which resulted in a bit of a scorched flavor in the very middle and one that used too much baking soda and tasted like it – I came across the one below, which is fabulous! Please do dip in chocolate!

Sponge Candy
Recipe from Wilde in the Kitchen

1/2 tsp gelatin
1 tsp water
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cups corn syrup
½ cup water
1 tbsp baking soda (sifted)

1. Line a 9×9-inch pan with parchment paper, allowing it to flop over the edges.

2. In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1 tsp water and allow to bloom for 5 minutes.

3. In a medium pot with high sides, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/2 cup water. Heat and stir  over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Wash down any sugar crystals from the sides with a wet pastry brush. Clip on candy thermometer and heat to 300° F.

4. Remove from heat and let sit for two minutes, bubbling should subside (temperature needs to fall to around 275° F).  At this point, microwave the gelatin for 30 seconds to melt.  Add gelatin and whisk it in.  Be careful, the sugar syrup will bubble up.

5. Return sugar syrup to the heat and bring temperature back up to 280° F (the temperature will have fallen upon addition of the gelatin).  Sprinkle baking soda over syrup and whisk vigorously. Whisk for 30 seconds. The sugar will rise up to the top of the pot, bubbling like crazy.  Again, be careful!!

6. Quickly pour the bubbling mixture into prepared pan. Do not spread the mixture, just let it settle into the pan. Allow to cool completely (about 2 hours or overnight) before removing from the pan.

7. Either break into odd pieces or cut into squares (this is a messy process!). To cut into squares – using a serrated knife, score the candy at 1-inch intervals. Snap the candy apart at the score lines. Then score and break into squares.

8. Dip sponge candies in tempered chocolate, tap off excess. Chill in the fridge to set the chocolate shell. Enjoy!

Pate De Fruits

I spent two weeks making pate de fruits.  I’ll tell ya, the weather seemed to affect many DB’ers outcomes, like it did during my first trial runs.  When the heat wave broke for a few days (promptly returning several days later to ruin my chocolate Bonbons), and I purchased a new basic candy thermometer, I finally had some success.  I made 6 pate de fruits – the strawberry recipe below, blackberry, lemon, lime, orange (All citrus I added food color to so you could distinguish each flavor) and a strawberry-mango (I used the strawberry recipe below, but split the amount of strawberry puree with mango puree).  All in all..not as easy as you would think – long cooking, persnickety setting , sometimes barely any setting, but well worth it flavor wise.  You can always turn it into jam if it doesn’t cooperate.  My mantra is…when in doubt, add more pectin!

When most of us see photos of or encounter Paté de Fruits (pronounced pat de fwee, which translates to fruit pastes), we think of the sugared, overly sweet orange slices and artificially flavored jelly candies we grew up on. Paté de Fruits couldn’t be further from that.

They are bite-sized pieces of real fruit puree jellies (sometimes with the addition of jam and/or dried fruit) rolled in sugar. When you bite into one, it tastes like what I called ‘jellied jam’. The texture is jam like, and the taste, so intensely fruity. Technically, you’re making a jam with your puree, but cooking it close to or at the soft ball stage to solidify it.

Some recipes call for liquid pectin to set the jellies, some call for powdered pectin.  Some call for apple or yellow pectin, and some call for powdered or leaf gelatin. There are even some that do not need any of the above, as the natural pectin in some fruits, plus sugar, are all that’s needed to set the jellies when cooked to temperature, but this must be done without caramelizing or scorching the paste. There are also recipes that call for tartaric acid and glucose, but it’s entirely up to you and the ingredients you have easy access to.

Try combining different fruit purees, add jam (Jacques Pepin’s recipes, linked in our challenge, use jam and puree, along with pureed dried fruits), juice, dried fruits, liqueurs, extracts, citric acid for a sour bite, etc to the puree(s). Cut into shapes other than squares (aspic and miniature cookie cutters are great for this), or pour into molds. Let your creativity soar! You’ll love these sugary crisp, sweet and/or tart bites of bright, fruit jam/jellies!

We’ve supplied you with two recipes for Paté de Fruits, one base recipe for citrus Paté de Fruits, since you can plug-in any citrus juice and zest. We don’t have a base recipe for non-citrus fruits that are pureed, since the amount of pectin or setting agents vary with each fruit due to how much natural pectin that fruit already contains.

NOTE:  “Some paté de fruits take quite a long time to cook. If you think about what’s happening, you’re cooking all of the liquid out of the fruit puree and reducing it to a very thick paste. The exact amount of time depends on a lot of factors, like how much water was in your puree to begin with, the capabilities of your stove, and the quality of the pan you use. But you can expect the process to take at least 30 minutes and sometimes up to an hour. I do want to add that this is easier on a gas range, but can absolutely be done on an electric stove – in fact, I use a very old electric stove at home and it works fine.” – Elizabeth LaBau

Strawberry Paté de Fruits
Recipe by Elizabeth LaBau, About.com Guide
Makes about 40-64 squares depending on size cut, recipe easily doubled or halved

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups (16 oz/450 gm) Strawberries, fresh or defrosted from frozen
1 tablespoon (15 ml) Lemon juice, fresh
2 cups (16 oz/ 450 gm) Granulated White Sugar
21/2 tablespoons (38 ml) Liquid Pectin (Might need more, depending on all kinds of conditions)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Prepare an 8”x8” (20cmx20xm) pan by lining it with aluminium foil or parchment paper and spraying it with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Place the strawberries in a blender or food processor and process until very well pureed.
3. Pour them through a mesh strainer into a medium saucepan, discarding any remaining fruit chunks. Stir in the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the sugar, place the pan over medium-high heat, and insert a candy thermometer.
4. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it is hot, around 140°F/60°C. Add the remaining 1.5 cups of sugar and the liquid pectin, and lower the heat to medium.
5. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture registers 200°F/93°C. At this point, turn the heat to low and hold it at 200°F/93°C for 2-3 minutes. After this, return the heat to medium and bring it up to 225°F/107°C. This process will take some time, especially with the heat on medium, so have patience and be diligent in stirring frequently so the bottom doesn’t scorch.
6. Once the fruit paste reaches 225°F/107°C, turn the heat to low and keep it at that temperature for an additional 2-minutes.
7. Remove the pan from the heat and scrape the strawberry pate de fruit mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing it into an even layer.
8. Allow the pate de fruit mixture to set at room temperature for several hours, until completely cool and firm. Use a sharp knife to cut it into very small squares, and roll the individual pieces in granulated sugar.
9. The strawberry pate de fruits can be served immediately, or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week. If refrigerated, the pieces may need to be re-rolled in granulated sugar before serving.

Citrus Pate de Fruits (Base Recipe)
Recipe created by Jen King and Liz Gutman
Oprah.com | From the October 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes plus overnight

INGREDIENTS:
½ cup (120 ml) Citrus Juice (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, etc.)
1½ cups (360 ml) Applesauce, plain (no sugar added)
2 teaspoons (10ml/10 g) powdered pectin
2½ cups (600 ml/20oz/560gm) Granulated White Sugar
Zest – use 2 small (lemon or limes), or 1 medium to large citrus (like oranges or tangerines)
Gel or paste food colouring, yellow green or orange depending on the citrus you’re using, optional

DIRECTIONS:
1. Lightly oil (or line with parchment paper) an 8”x8” (20cmx20xm) square pan; set aside.
2. Combine citrus juice and applesauce in a medium, deep saucepan. In a small bowl, whisk together the pectin and 1/2 cup sugar, and blend into the citrus mixture. Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the saucepan and bring mixture to a boil. Add remaining sugar and boil, stirring, until mixture reaches 225°F / 107°C (you may need to stir constantly toward the end to prevent burning). Remove from heat and stir in lime zest and colouring (optional).
3. Pour into prepared pan. When slightly cool, sprinkle sugar on top, and allow to set, about 2 hours. Cut into 1-inch (25 mm) squares, or use a lightly oiled cutter to make other shapes. Dredge in sugar and dry on a cooling rack overnight. Scraps can be re-melted and reset.
4. Store in a box or paper bag at room temperature for up to two weeks

NOTE: In order for pate de fruits to set properly, unless using gelatin instead of pectin, the puree, sugar and pectin must be cooked down close to a paste.  The only problem is, once it reaches 225 F or the temperature given, it’s not a paste yet, still quite liquid.  You’d have to cook it at least another 15 minutes to get to ‘that consistency’, which in turn would bring the temperatue up higher.  Unless it scorches, I don’t see a problem with it – just keep stirring.

Welll, that’s all folks, time to come down from my sugar high.  Take a few moments to check out our FULL challenge, HERE,where you’ll get ALL 6 (there’s also a recipe for thermometer-free fudge, given to us by Lis) recipes plus loads of info on chocolate tempering and candy making. Also, again, check out Mandy’s blog, as she’s my other half in this challenge!  While you’re at it, you have to see my fellow Daring Baker’s amazing chocolate and candy creations!  They will blow your mind – such a talented group of great people, and I’m proud to be a part of this group because of them!  Click on the links to their blogs, HERE.

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  1. An amazing collection of candies! The honeycomb looks mighty tempting.

    Congrats! And here’s to many more.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Ah Lisa, I would do it all again! You were so fun to work with, all the ideas bubbling out of you for this candy and that :D
    I think you had a tough one between us, I was doing my chocolate stuff in a much cooler Ireland’s summer, I also didn’t labour over the paté de fruit! Thanks for making those, seriously! I will one day do so, but I don’t think I could have pulled all of it off like you did.
    Again, would co-host with you any day!

  3. Love all the candies here-but the honeycomb is my favorite! Sounds like you really enjoyed hosting this, but then again it is chocolate-who wouldn’t!

  4. What a great post! And congratulations on your 100th. That sponge candy in particular makes me buckle at the knees.

  5. To my dearest Wifeypoo(1).. YOU ARE AMAZING.

    1st – congrats on the 100th post.. each post (and yes, I’ve read them all!) more delicious than the last. You’re a gifted baker, cook and photographer and your talents shine through on this blog. I am ALWAYS in AWE of anything you do. Truth.

    2nd- You and my Wifeypoo(2) have done a stupendous job with this challenge.. you both went above and beyond anything I had envisioned for this challenge and you both did it in non-optimal weather conditions & with hardly any time at all to put it all together to boot! – Kudos to the both of you!

    3- I’d just also like to add, that although your recipes/photos/instructions for this challenge were simply genius, gorgeous, easy to follow & truly a very important lesson for every Daring Baker out there, regardless of their experience or not, what I cherished the most is the excitement you and Mands kept going throughout the month with your constant supervision of the private forums, the quick and easy answers to questions and the all around support that is SO IMPORTANT to all of us who are learning something new. Thank you!

    Love you wifeypoo :)
    XOXOXOXOXOXO

    • Of course you would say those things, you’re biased cuz you’re my wifey poo lol. Loved hosting this challenge – thank you so much for thinking of me! Thank god for Mands too!! Now will you come kiss my finger? xoxoxo

  6. WOW!!! Each of your candies is unique and gorgeous!!! Thanks so much for dreaming up this fabulous challenge…I learned so much from you~

  7. Those passionfruit caramels looks absolutely stunning! I was going to make a dessert with honeycomb this weekend, but I’m making it next weekend instead so this is very helpful.

  8. Lisa, I am in awe. You are awesome. In the kitchen and on the forum. I am always amazed. This challenge, well, it kicked my tail. I tried. I really did. But for some reason, candy and I did not get along this month. I really wanted it to work, too, cuz, well, it’s candy! And it was you and Mandy! You are truly a wonderful host, and I am glad that you were there to support us all on the forums, and I hope to one day reach your level of kitchen awesomeness. :)

  9. Thank you so much for such a great challenge Lisa (and Mandy). I don’t think I would have attempted to temper chocolate again without this push. Now I’m slightly hooked. Cannot wait to purchase a proper thermometer so I can take the guesswork out of it. What a naughty chef to give you a tampered recipe! I seriously don’t get it. If he didn’t want to share trade secrets, then don’t share. To actually sabotage on purpose, that’s all kinds of mean. I’d actually made pate de fruit before which is why I didn’t attempt it for this challenge, but looking at all the beautiful hues of yours, I wish I had! And congrats on your 100th post :)

  10. Thanks for this wonderful challenge Lisa.. absolutely loved doing it. Your creations are just awesome.

    Pavithra
    http://www.dishesfrommykitchen.com

  11. Lisa you were an amazing hostess..the challenge you chose, the effort you put in and the support and encouragment you provided everyone was just amazing..
    Thank you is not nearly enough for being the creative, caring and talented person you are..

  12. Congratulations on your 100th post! I have enjoyed your blogs just about from the beginning! You have done an amazing job on the candy

  13. Thank you, thank you, thank you Lisa! This was a ton of fun and a great learning experience. I love seeing what you come up with anyway, and having you host just added to the fun! Congratulations on your 100th post, and I cant wait for the next hundred!!

  14. Just today I decided it was about time that I rejoined in the Daring Bakers fun, so I check out the website, only to realize that today is the 27th and I’ve missed (yet again) an awesome challenge and one that is hosted by you no less…!
    It looks like a lot of fun and well, I’ll be there next month!

  15. Thanks so much for this month’s challenge! I’ve been so hesitant to try tempering chocolate again, and now I’ve done it, properly! Your candies look awsome. I’m seeing that a number of people are doing the Pate de Fruit too, I just wish I had the time to try that one myself. Thanks for a great challenge.

  16. Thank you for an absolutely delightful challenge! I had so much fun making and eating chocolates and trying my hand at tempering chocolate for the first time!

  17. Lisa, thank you so much for putting so much work into this challenge! And it definitely was a CHALLENGE, and it kicked my butt most of the time… but I learned a lot. I’m still shaking my head at the sheer quantity of recipes you guys provided. You rock!

  18. My friend Lisa thank you for co-hosting this month’s challenge and congratulations on your 100th posting!!!

    WOW the amount of effort you and Mandy did for this challenge is amazing and your photos are stunning.

    The fruit pate looks stunning and the honeycomb is one of my favourite.

    I’m staggered at your creativity and the awesome photos.

    Superb work on this challenge.

    Yours Audax in Sydney Australia.

  19. Just wanted to thank you for the great challenge and for all the quick answers on the forums! You and Mandy we’re great hosts, and I learned a lot! Great looking candies, and a great post! Congrats :)

  20. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog Lisa and so sorry my post was not up yet..it is up now..thanx again for the amazing challenge

  21. WOW!!! Lisa, you are a wonder making so many pieces of deliciousness. :-) Love the color and crystals of the red ones. :-)

  22. I generally stay away from recipes that require a thermometer, but lately I’ve been trying to push myself out of my box and try new things. I love all these little treats you’ve made. I’d like to try making that honeycomb candy. Its a big favorite here in the UK, but believe it or not, I’ve never tasted it.
    Your coloured candies are so incredibly pretty!
    *kisses* HH

  23. This was a really fun challenge! I know how much work hosting is, and this one must have been so much work ahead of time, testing out recipes, finding working methods. So I really appreciate it. I wish I’d had more time during the month to do more experimenting, but I feel like what I’ve learned will be something I can continue playing with for the rest of my life. And unlike other challenges, this is a skill I can use over and over again.

  24. Thanks for a wonderful challenge! You really are a sugar maven. Look at all of that gorgeous candy! I’m inspired to keep learning this technique. I didn’t do so well on the challenge, but I’ll definitely be revisiting these recipes.

  25. Awesome, really awesome collection of candies! Thank you for the fun challenge :). Loved it.

  26. Congratulations on your 100th post, and here’s to the next 100! Thank you so much for hosting this month’s DB challenge. Your recipes are awesome, I would have done the pate de fruit but couldn’t find the liquid glucose in time. Your candies look so delicious, beautiful pictures! Excellent job (which is what you always do on your delicious blog!)

  27. Thank for hosting this challenge, Lisa! You guys provided fantastic tutorials and inspiration, and your candies look GORGEOUS. :D

  28. Lisa, I have been so out of the loop with the DB for months, but the other day I ventured to the site and read that you were one of the hosts! I so wanted to do it, but I am such a procrastinator (even when I know the new challenge on the 1st), and I just couldn’t get it together:( I DO want to learn to temper chocolate though, and now I know just where to go when I’m ready to tackle it:) Thanks for all the invaluable tips and information! Your chocolates and candies all look beautiful! You’re definitely the Hostess with the Mostess! :) CONGRATS on 100 posts!!!

  29. Your chocolates look fantastic and really gooey. What a great creative post and congrats on your 100th post. I know how hard you work on your blog and the love you have for cooking and baking. Here’s to the next 100 and beyond : ).

  30. This was such a fun challenge! I love your rainbow =) I think my butt grew just looking at your post! LOL =)
    ~Carolyn

  31. This post is so informative and clear, even to someone like me who has never tempered chocolate or even attempted any kind of candy-making. Great pictures and thanks for the great post.

  32. Hi Lisa, thank you for such a wonderful challenge, your candies are literally eye candies (no pun intended!) they look really mouthwateringly yummy, love the pictures. It sure tempted the kid in me, so I joined the challenge!

  33. I bow before you dear Lisa, to me you are as pro at candy making. And I think you are totally nuts for doing all of this…a a good way ;-) Sorry no DK for me now – I have 2 challenges at the end of the month now (just posted one go see).

    You pics and explanations are superb. No one would guess you had problems. I love the bonbons you made and the exotic passionfruit caramel. Sponge candy is AWESOME (I have made some) and your fruit patés are stunning. That one I will bookmark to make. I am staying clear of tempered chocolate.

  34. Lisa, you did such a fabulous job on the challenge and getting all those fruit de pate ready for us. I wanted to do one but found myself apprehensive and put it off too long. I still want to try it out and now I know who is the expert. You really are amazing when it comes to going above and beyond the norm in cooking, baking etc. I know you worked really hard on getting your part of the challenge ready for us so I thank you for giving us great tutorials on everything :)

  35. My goodness, gorgeous candies all of them and I think I gained a few pounds just reading and drooling over your post. I love all the information in your post and do wish that I could have been a taste tester in your kitchen for this challenge.

    Lisa~~
    Cook Lisa Cook

  36. That’s a fine colorful sweet treats. I want to fill in a medium size bar of that candies.

  37. Lisa, I have said many times, but I say it again and will repeat it forever: You were fantastic! I felt so sorry for not being able to succeed with the pate de fruits, but I blame it on the pectin that I couldn’t find here. That also made me focus 100% at chocolate tempering, and now I can finally do it to perfection, thanks to you! I had so much fun, and honestly, I could go on for another 3 months of chocolate challenges. I’m even blogging about it in separate posts!
    Thanks again, Lisa, you did an AMAZING job on this challenge and I will be forever grateful to you!

  38. I never knew how those painted patterns get on top of the fancy chocolates, so thank you for showing how it is done!

    I must say, when I first saw this challenge, I was so very happy to see that you had pate de fruit as one of the components. While foodies are familiar with it as something fancy-schmancy, I remember it as a sweet we used to get in South Africa (whose name I can’t remember for the life of me). I had no idea I could have been making it at home all these years, and I definitely intend to make up for lost time. So, thank you for presenting it in a way I totally related to.

    You’re an awesome hostess-I wish I could have done you justice by doing this challenge on time.

    Congrats on Post #100–here’s to many 100s more sweet posts!

  39. Congrats on your 100th post and what a nice way to sweeten up this achievement. I love the variety of candies in this post especially the honeycomb ones. Great job and well done.

  40. This post is just beautiful, informative and tempting all in one. Perfect!

  41. beautiful, lisa! i’m a pastry chef trainee and your candies look just like those of a professional! and it’s great to hear that you use valrhona chocolate, as well. and great tempering explanations, and and and.
    it’s a joy reading your post!

  42. Congratulations on reaching 100 posts. Here’s to 100 more!

    Fantastic challenge this month, Lisa. Thank you SO MUCH. The info and recipes that you and Mandy provided were so detailed and so inspired. I can definitely see myself coming back to them again and again. (I might go crazy over Christmas and make sweets for everyone.) It’s such a valuable resource, and your photos are so gorgeous too. I love the selection of pate de fruits. So pretty!

    (I hope everything was okay hurricane-wise.)

  43. Vanilla Balance Chocolate…

    [...] oating the molds with the tempered chocolate, I like to do it how the chocolate [...]…

  44. What a great challenge. I still have to finish my post (actually, I still have to finish my candy . . . sigh).

  45. Can’t thank you enough, great hosting and knowledge sharing! This challenge will stay in my memory for a long long time!

    Candilicious turns out to be superlicious, every bit of it!

  46. These look great, Lisa! Especially impressive considering the heat and mishaps. Wish I could grab one to snack on now =)

  47. Great challenge (but oh so messy). Loved what you did with it. Congrats on the 100th post – I’m 2 away myself… Always a fun read. Hope you are fairing okay today with the weather, my mom lost power hours ago.
    Best and thanks for the fun challenge, sandie

  48. Congrats on your 100th post! I always love seeing your creations (no matter how infrequent, lol) The honeycomb looks amazing. I have been wanting to try that for a while.

  49. Congratulations on hitting 100 and with such a great post! The candies all look beautiful and the instructions were great. Thanks!

  50. congrats on your 100th post.

    This post is definitely going on my favorites list. I have been saying I was going to take a chocolate class so I could learn how to temper, but, like you, money is an issue. This is like an online class. I miss Daring Bakers. Hopefully, one day I can come back.

  51. Mmmmm these look so good. AND CONGRATS ON THE 100TH POST! Woohoo!

  52. Oh wow! Your candies all look absolutely AMAZING. Your chocolate covered caramels have to be my favorite, just stunning!! Congrats on your 100th post!!

  53. I very rarely use OMG in my comments…but today…OMG+++ has been the words I kept saying as I read your 100th post with such flair ;o)
    Lisa, you made the food science sound like fun, but more importantly, you made it possible for any future candy maker to succeed where so many have failed.

    I admit, candy is a weakness of mine…especially the sponge chocolate covered treat. Great childhood memories ;o)

    Fantastic challenge you hosted Lisa…just as fabulous as the cannoli challenge that permitted me to discover your very exquisite culinary blog. Now, I’ll have to put in a short visit at Mandy’s as well.

    Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

  54. Woah! I saw that caramel photo on tastespotting and now I have to make your caramel! Really pretty candies!!

  55. Wow! Very impressive. You did so much work on this challenge. Looks like a labor of love. I love the rainbow of colors on your Paté de Fruits.Wish I could try a piece of everything.

  56. Those Pate de Fruits really are a treat to look at. I thought I was all candied out after this challenge, but I’m thinking I might just give those a try! Thanks again and congratulations!!!

  57. thank you for an amazing challenge! your passion fruit dilling looks amaizing!

  58. Hi,

    I think tempering is really fun, even with the mess in my kitchen. I do not have a tempering machine and I use the temperature method and the seeding method, but instead of more chocolate I use cocoa butter as seeding. I found this out through Callebaut, using Mycryo, for tempering. I am not paid by them or anything, but for me, this product mad my tempering faster, easier and more reliable. Just google it. It is fantastic.
    When this heat is over I will do more chocolate candy. And I loved your idea of a passionfruit caramel! I have done passionfruit ganache and it was delicious, so Icanonly imagine how heavenly this caramel must be.
    Congrats!

    • Denise..I’ve read about that method! I have so much cocoa butter on hand, I have to try it (after a break from chocolate making..I still feel ‘enrobed’ in chocolate!) The methods for tempering are starting to multiply. It used to just be the marble slab, and now you can temper by simply heating and just stirring constantly until it hits the working temp. There’s an ice bath method, the body temp method (touch it to your lip), the cocoa butter method you mentioned, the slab and seeding etc. Can’t wait to see what they come up with next! Thanks so much for your awesome and informative comment. Do make the passion fruit caramel..it’s so good, you’ll want to warm it up and drink it (well..I did lol). Let me know how it turns out for you if you do!

  59. Your caramel filled painted chocolates are gorgeous! little sheres of art!

  60. The pate de fruits look amazing; I’ve been looking for an easy recipe to use.

  61. Goodness! So much to comment on! Stellar. That’s the word that’s coming to me right now.

  62. Oh, Lisa, Lisa. I am pretty sure I tell you this twice a month, but you utterly rock my world. I loved this challenge, it was so awesome (even though I didn’t use the right ingredients, read the directions, follow the directions I made up for myself, or do anything right), it still tasted amazing and I had a ton of fun (and made a huge mess) and loved it! I’ll definitely be doing this again, so thank you for the fantastic challenge!

  63. YAYY Lisa! Congratulations and what a fitting way to celebrate it! :D I wish I had more time to do the jellies. They look spectacular!

  64. But look at how much you put in each post. 100 is wonderful no matter how you cut it. Great recipes and pictures here.

  65. I may have cursed you a few times during the tempering process but in the end I loved it.
    Thanks
    Ceecee

  66. thank you for your visit and your nice comment!Thanks so much Lisa (and Mandy) for this wonderful challenge !!Congratulations on your 100th post!

  67. What a lovely rainbow of jellies you made! Wonderful job. :)

  68. Congratulations to your 100th post, and thank you so much for the great challenge. I loved the variety and choices of recipes this month. You really put a lot of work in it, and I will definitely make some more of the chocolates, when it gets cooler.

  69. Your candies look picture perfect! I would love to try one of each :) congrats on the 100th post!

  70. Wow. These are some seriously impressive candies! Congrats on your 100th post!

  71. Thank you for hosting this months challenge! I was so pleased to be able to try pate de fruits and I made honeycomb again after many years. My children are so pleased!

  72. The honey comb looks amazing! It’s a fav around here. I may have to get over my andy fear! I tried the fruit ones with a Martha recipe and it was a disaster! Love your blog, glad I found you!

  73. Excellent post. I love the sponge candy. I’ve never seen anything like it. It is amazing how delicious quality candy is compared to the cheap stuff. I have enough trouble with quality licorice.

  74. I have been a lurker/fan of your blog for a long, long time. I love reading your blog because you are real. Not full of ads and popups, no big words, just down to earth “real talk”, and your food is beautiful. You dont need natural light because you already have it…. it shines brightly from within you. Your candy is delightful!

  75. Lisa, thanks for a great challenge and congratulation to your 100th post and many more yummy posts to come.

  76. Lisa, congratulations on you 100th post…and you are right, candies are perfect for this celebration! I’d not know which one I’d like to try first…they all look so good. I always love reading your post…and the step-by-step pictures…look forward for more.
    Hope you have a great Labor Day weekend :-)

  77. Congrats on your 100th post Lisa! And thanks again for such a great challenge! Loved it!

  78. What an amazing challenge. Thanks for giving our imagination wings.

  79. Tasty looking pics and a great write-up on what I consider to be one of the best things about living (and eating…) in Buffalo, NY. Call it what you will – sponge candy, honeycomb, sea foam – and a few people know it as Fairy Food. Bottom Line? Great for gifts and great for a Fall treat.

    Have you see this site?

    http://www.buffalospongecandy.com

    Less work in the kitchen and all of the “chocolate love” you can handle!

  80. Congrats on 100 posts Lisa. Given the effort for each entry that’s a whole lotta work. I’m proud of you! I asked my friend Christina to put together a candy related video. Just threw it together pretty quick.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWRCFsw2P5M

    I think you should do the next challenge wearing her blue outfit at the end, you know, cuz of all that humidity and the broken a/c. *hugs* — Brett

  81. Congratulation on your 100th post and on your 3rd DB hosting. Wish you many more to come!
    As for the candies, I don’t know which one to pick first, all look amazing!!!

  82. Lisa how do you do it? These are so gorgeous. And in the heat too. You are amazing!

    Congrats on your 100th post! I have no idea how long I’ve been blogging but I think it’s about the same amount of time and I’m pretty sure I’m nowhere near 100. Again, you are amazing!

    Hope all is well – thanks for sharing these great techniques!!

  83. Wow, I can’t believe I did not do your challenge but seriously I am not sure I’d have been up to it! Making candy? I’d rather watch someone else, help when needed and test. Yours are fabulous! I have always thought you were one of the most amazing bakers in the realm of food blogging and this takes the cake (so to speak). But of course your ac would break. If it ain’t the ac it’s squirrels or someone turning on the oven while finished treats are sitting inside out of the way… but no matter the catastrophe, you bake to perfection!

  84. What an amazing challenge this month. You are a super star in the kitchen, Lisa! I really wish I had the time to continue with Daring Bakers because this would have been such a fun challenge. I’ve had mixed success with candies in the past. And funnily enough have been making a few recently for another purpose – so could have actually particpated, sort of? ;) Anyway, serious question for you though – how did it take for your pate de fruit to firm up?

    • Did you mean how ‘long’ did it take the pate de fruits to set up? I was putting everything in the fridge due to the heat wave at the time, so I can’t give you a room temp set up time. I just kept them in the fridge overnight. However, some didn’t set up fully, and in fact, in my rainbow of pate de fruits, I was only able to salvage a few from the lime and strawberry, as the middle of those pans oozed. This is why I will use more pectin next time, unless it was due to the 100 plus temps with humidity and no AC. Not sure.
      ————–
      Some DB’ers succeeded, some did not, although the strawberry recipe I posted is a common one on the web and on several food blogs – all of them having turned out beautifully set pate de fruits. Persnickety little fruit gems!!

  85. I apologize in advance for what I’m about to say, but I can’t stop myself… DUDE (I know you’re not a dude, but…) DUDE! Seriously! I’m not much of a candy eater, and now you’ve got me all whipped up into a lather to make candy! I generally hate candy making. I am lazy. I don’t have the patience yada yada yada. I don’t even like gum drop like candies. So, when you see me make these (and my two little boys thank you for this) you’ll know it was all your fault. :D

    BTW, belated congrats on your 100th post. Don’t worry about it – quantity isn’t as important as quality.

  86. [...] Passion Fruit Caramel adapted from Lisa at Parsley, Sage, Desserts, and Line Drives [...]

  87. LOVE your tutorial. SO EASY that even a dummy can understand. Now, I’m a beginner. I want a GOOD candy Thermometer. The one that I had for jelly making has lost its “markings” (where did they go? in my jelly? God!!) . WHICH one would you suggest? I cannot afford Thermapen. Also, which method is easier for “tempering”, especially for beginners?

    • I’m glad the tutorial is easy to follow, CB! LOL@ did the thermometer markings go in the jelly?? OK…I would recommend the seeding method for you..BUT I have something even better for you where you only need a basic candy or quick read thermometer, and you only use it once! Tempering in the food processor! I cannot wait to try this myself! Go here!
      —————————–
      http://www.topwithcinnamon.com/2012/12/how-to-temper-chocolate-the-easy-way.html
      —————————
      Let me know how it turns out for you if you try it!


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