Chocolates for Daring Bakers!

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!

When I saw the challenge posted at the forum, I wasn’t feeling quite excited to be honest. I remember a couple years back when I tried to make some truffles/bonbons without any knowledge of tempering. You could imagine how that ended up. Although I did try my hand at tempering chocolates at the Cailler Factory, I didn’t have all the gadgets and equipment to do so at home like the fancy thermometer and a slab of marble.

However, I did remember something during my very short on the job training in a pastry kitchen where I asked the chef how they temper the chocolates without the need of thermometers. She replied along the lines of testing the temperature with your bottom lip and knowing when it’s ready when you don’t feel any temperature at all, so to speak. So I went with that.

The result isn’t much of something to celebrate as it was just okay. Not the greatest nor the shiniest piece of truffle but tasty and took the form of the chocolate molds. We were required to make 2 kinds of candy for this challenge. For the first kind, we were required to use chocolate to make truffles or bonbons and for our second kind, anything we choose.

I decided to do both bonbons as I wanted to practice tempering without a thermometer. Which wasn’t a very good idea despite trying to follow the lip-test mentioned above. ;) But anyway, the bonbons I made are filled with ganache, mango and nutella. The first batch, which was the ganache filled, turned out pretty good and didn’t have any problems falling off the mold. The second batch however was the opposite. I did manage to salvage 4 pieces (total) of both mango and nutella. You should have seen my work space afterwards. I love chocolate but making some can be very very messy …Or maybe it’s just me. ;)

On the brighter side, I do hope to continue practicing my tempering.. perhaps buying myself a thermometer and some gloves eventually. Haha. Thank you to Lisa and Mandy for this challenge! :D