heath bar truffles and lime pâte de fruit

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 athttp://www.chocoley.com offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!

The beginning of July was the first time I had ever heard of the Daring Bakers. At first, I was convinced there was no way I could participate in many of the challenges (making your own phyllo dough, for example). But, after a night or so thinking about it, I told myself I was not going to get any better at baking or cooking if I didn’t push myself outside of my boundaries. Keep in mind that these are pretty much the same boundaries that I set for myself a few years ago.

This is my first attempt ever at making any type of candy. I have to say, for my first time, I think I did a pretty good job. I was a little concerned about the color of the pâte de fruit, but I think it could be better if perhaps you added blue food color to counteract the gold of the melted sugar (I just used green food color and it turned out that weird olive color). Oh, and expect more truffles to come shortly! I’ll admit these were more of a pain in the butt than I thought they would be, but they were well worth the extra effort!

Heath Bar Truffles

Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Makes about 45 truffles

For the centers:
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 oz. heavy cream
4 regular-sized Heath bars or similar, roughly chopped

For the coating:
1 lb. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Additional chopped Heath bar, if desired

Line a 9×13” baking sheet with parchment paper or plastic wrap.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, add 12 oz. chopped chocolate and heavy cream. Microwave on high for about 40 seconds. Remove and stir thoroughly. Repeat until all chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream to form a ganache. Stir in Heath bar pieces.

Pour ganache into prepared pan. Do not spread around. Cover and place in refrigerator for 60 to 90 minutes, or until scoop-able.

Dust a sheet pan with cocoa powder. Using a teaspoon, scoop and form balls from chocolate mixture (If necessary, you can scoop teaspoon-fulls onto the sheet pan, place in freezer for about 15 minutes, and roll between your hands to form nicely shaped balls). Place in refrigerator, covered, for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, you can temper your chocolate (or you can simply skip this part and melt your chocolate like normal. Keep in mind that your chocolate will dull after about a day).

Add about 2/3 of your remaining chocolate into a double boiler set over simmering water. Heat, stirring constantly, until the heat of the chocolate reaches 45 degrees C. Remove bowl from heat and slowly add in remaining chocolate until temperature comes down to 27 degrees C. Stir until additional chocolate is meltedbefore adding more. Place bowl back on double boiler and heat until the temperature is 30 degrees C. For every 15 minutes this chocolate sits out, you should reheat it for about 1 minute.

Once your chocolate centers are hard, use a regular fork or a chocolate dipping fork and dip into tempered chocolate and cover completely. Once coated, let excess drip off and place on a parchment-lined wire rack. If desired, you can sprinkle with additional candy bar pieces at this point. Allow chocolate shell to harden (You can put them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to expedite the process, but no longer). If desired, you can cut off the “feet’ of the truffles (the excess chocolate pooled at the bottom). Store in an airtight container.

Lime Pâte de Fruit

Adapted, slightly, from Marzipan Mom
Makes about 45 confections

Ingredients:
2/3 c. plus 2 tsp. lime juice, divided
6 tbsp. smooth applesauce
1 ¾ c. sugar, divided
1 3-oz. envelope liquid pectin (found in canning section)
1/8 tsp. blue or green gel-paste food color, or more if desired

Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line with plastic wrap, so that the sides hang over a bit. Spray again with cooking spray. Open the envelope of pectin and stand upright in a glass so you can quickly add it later.

In a medium saucepan, combine 2/3 c. lime juice, applesauce, and 1 ½ cups sugar until the mixture is homogenous. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the temperature of the mixture is 238ªF on a candy thermometer (On candy thermometers, this temperature will be marked as “soft ball”.). Add the pectin and continue stirring and boiling for one minute.

Remove pan from heat and stir in remaining 2 tsp. lime juice. Add food color at this time if desired (You’ll probably want to play around with the amounts and colors. I added green and it turned out olive. I think if you add blue, it will be more of a lime color). Immediately pour into the prepared pan. Lightly dust with granulated sugar. Allow to sit for at least 1 ½ hours, until set.

Once set, pull the confection out of the pan. Cut into 1-inch squares or any desired shape. Roll in remaining ¼ c. sugar. Store at room temperature.

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