This was a special challenge for the Daring Bakers because the good folks at http://www.chocoley.com offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!
Now when I read this months challenge I was thrilled, why, because each Christmas as well as making home made ice cream I also make home made chocolates.
As I have never tempered chocolate I usually melt and pour or dip, I thought terrific I would give tempering a go, but the days slipped away from me so I never did give it a go, but I did make some chocolates.
I made dark chocolates filled with liquor cherries and some dark chocolate bark topped with shredded coconut, dried craisins and slivered almonds.
For the liquor cherries place some glace cherries , in a bowl, mine were large so I squashed the flat to fit into the moulds. Pour over some liquor about 1 teaspoon per cherry , and leave for about 1 hour. Now I don't use brandy as I find that to harsh for these cherries I used some Marsala, any sweet dessert liquor that isn't fine is fine. When filling the moulds don't add any of the spare liquor, as I learnt the hard way if there is excess liquor in the mould it will A/ leak out of your chocolates and B/ cause the chocolate that you are pouring over the seal the chocolates to set to quickly. So just add the cherry then cover with chocolate.
Now some suggestions if you are going to make ganache for a truffle. Last year I heated the cream and in half I steeped some dried lavender, in the other half of the ganache I added rose water. I made these into white chocolate ganache, which I dipped in white chocolate. I topped the rose ones with a dried rose petal and the lavender ones with dried lavender.
I also made filled chocolates using bought fondant which I flavoured, with coffee, kahlua, orange, strawberry and peppermint flavourings especially created for this. These can be bought at any cake decorating shop, I actually buy mine from Spotlight.
With the leftover chocolate I added chopped glace cherries, shredded coconut, slivered almonds and marshmallows that I had chopped into small pieces. I dropped teaspoonfuls into tiny cases, like little cupcake cases, and let them set.
So don't be afraid of making chocolate. just melt some coat the mould, let set in the fridge for a few minutes, add a filling, top wit more chocolate. Let set again then unmould and eat.
Handmade chocolates make a terrific present for Christmas.
Chocolate melting over simmering water
The first coating of the moulds. I just use a teaspoon and spread it around.
The most important thing is to have a thick layer at the bottom to hold the filling in.
With the cherry in a filled with more chocolate.
Even though the chocolate wasn't tempered, they did come out shiny and cracked when bitten.