Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sugar Rush

Chocolate and candy making has been my latest passion. I have been obsessed with cookbooks about chocolate and candy. I have bought a tempering machine. I have taken a class on truffles by a reknowned pastry chef who worked at Le Cirque with Jacque Torres. And still I am making candy. Unlike most of the food I cook, candy does not always turn out. And it is hard to rescue a screwed up batch of candy, especially if it cooked. I recently made my first batch of homemade marshmallows. It was out of a really old candy cookbook. The woman on the cover looked like she knew her stuff, in a friendly, Betty Crocker sort of way. So I made her no cook marshamallow recipe, which she recomended was good for dipping. My eyes lit up! Homemade marshmallows dipped in a quality bittersweet chocolate! Yum! Perfect for Easter too! I followed the directions and let the finished product sit over night. The next afternoon I cut it into slices and rolled my nice cubes in corn starch and sugar. They looked great. It said to let them dry on a rack. So I got out a rack and placed them on it to dry out even more. I went about setting up my chocolate to temper. When I checked back on my marshmallows, they had all gently settled through the rack onto the wax paper beneath, neatly sliced by the rack and then reformed into pools of marshmallow fluff. I suppose at that point I should have scooped them into a jar and saved it for ice cream sundaes but I had chocolate tempered and I needed to dip something in it. Luckily I had some raspberry truffle ganache left from a class I took. The instructor said it had to much raspberry filling so we had cut the mixture in half and added more chocolate to one half to make trufles and I took home the over rasberried other half. I had put it into a ziplock bag and flattened it out and put it in the fridge. I had this pound of perfectly tempered chocolate, so I took it out of the fridge and slided it and cut and trimmed the slices into squares and dipped the squares in the cholocate. They came out great! And they filling is really smoth and creamy. It is tricky though because you have to let it warm up enough from the fridge so that is doesn't break the temper of the chocolate you are dipping it in.

I ran out of ganache so made a quick batch of Honeycomb (know as molasses puffs at my house even though there is no molasses in it.) I dipped a few chunks of that but Icould tell the chocolate and had lost its temper.

So tonight is round 2 on making Marshmallows, a highly rated recipe from Epicurious, and I will dip the rest of the puffs.