Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day! Homemade Confections

Top Left to Right: Coconut Haystack, Cordial Cherry, Coconut-Rum Square, Chocolate Coconut Truffle
 Middle Left to Right: Cordial Cherry, Sea foam Candy (Large white piece), Chocolate BonBon with Chocolate Sprinkles, Chocolate BonBon with Rainbow Nonpareils, Mint Chocolate Truffle, Espresso Truffle
Bottom Left to Right: Chocolate Pecan Truffle, Cordial Cherry, Coconut Haystack, Chocolate BonBon with Rainbow Nonpareils, and Coconut-Rum Square
White Rectangle: White Chocolate Covered Toffee

Links to Every Piece:                        Difficulty
Chocolate Truffles                             Easy
Coconut Haystacks                           Easy
Cordial Cherry                                  Hard
Sea foam Candy                                 Intermediate
Chocolate BonBon                            Easy
White Chocolate Covered Toffee      Intermediate

I also made delicious Chocolate Covered Soft Caramels but was too embarrassed to give them away because they crystallized. I had tried to make them too far ahead of time. Lesson learned... make and serve immediately. I assure you this was a terrific recipe!

Get creative with your truffles. I ground coffee into a powder and added a little to my truffle mixture before it set up, rolled it in pecans, covered it in dark chocolate, and sprinkled a little ground coffee on top. The mint truffles were made by adding a little peppermint extract to the truffle mixture. They are very versatile, and you can add most anything you want!

Use your hot caramel to pour over pecans and create Pecan Turtles.

And if you are wondering where the Coconut-Rum Square recipe is... well there isn't one. These came about by mistake. Silly me used white chocolate almond bark to make truffles, which OF COURSE did not quite set up. Duh! Into the partially set up mixture, I added graham cracker crumbs, shredded coconut, and rum. Threw them in the freezer, cut into rectangles, covered in white chocolate, and sprinkled with chopped pecans. And I was pleasantly surprised. Quite yummy.

Problems you may (as I have) run into:
Chocolate bloom is one of the main concerns in the production of chocolate, describing a moldy-looking white coating. There are two types of bloom: fat bloom, arising from changes in the fat in the chocolate, a condition in which cocoa butter infiltrates to the surface, turning products gray or white as it recrystallizes; and sugar bloom, formed by the action of moisture on the sugar ingredients. The unsightly crystals of fat and sugar bloom limit the shelf life of many chocolates.

Any questions or concerns can be answered at a great candy making website that I've found: Chocolate-Candy-Mall

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