Posts Tagged ‘candy’

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Christmas Candies

December 26, 2008

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Over the last couple of months one of the things that’s been keeping me busy has been making various truffles and candies as Christmas presents. I meant to take better photos (along with photos of all the cakes I made, which I completely forgot about, sorry!) once these were completed, but this is all I ended up with. There were 12 trays like this, plus some readymade white containers I filled, and then my flatmates demolished the leftovers. πŸ˜‰ The contents of the boxes included Tim-Tam truffles, ‘Toffeepud truffles’ (Toffeepop truffles with bits of glace cherry mixed in), peanut butter truffles, salted caramels, almond praline, chocolate covered marzipan, hokey pokey crunch, and a couple of other bits and pieces. It was heaps of work, but quite fun experimenting (and taste-testing, of course!), and soooo satisfying when I filled all the boxes up. And now that Christmas is over I have space in my cupboards and spare storage containers again – something that’s been a bit lacking for the last wee while. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas – and I’ll be back with more in the New Year (we’re off to Kaikoura tomorrow for a quick break, so will definitely be awol for the next few days).

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Train Cake

January 5, 2008

Today’s project is one I’ve been dying to get stuck into since Christmas, when I received my new favourite cake tin from my other half (he knows me so well!). Because this is cool, I’m going to post a few photos – I do try not to go too picture-crazy, but I had so much fun today…

The tin is a Nordicware tin which you fill much as you do a muffin tin – except the 9 compartments in this tin make the engine and 8 carriages of a train! The ‘tin’ is actually cast aluminium, which is really heavy and gives a good, even heat distribution.

The above photo shows my train, on its rails of chocolate finger biscuits (I was after licorice, but the supermarket only had twists, not straps), before I piped detail onto it. The cake is my chocolate hazelnut torte – the gluten-free recipe which tastes soooooo good.

I used white chocolate to outline some of the features. Although the torte tastes fantastic, because it’s so dark it definitely needs the contrast. Next time I’d like to try a white cake (maybe lemon) just to see how different it looks (although I quite like this). The cargo carriages contain Jaffas (candy coated chocolate balls, a New Zealand specialty), and the wheels are Smarties – I’ll remember to opt for giant ones next time, as these were a little dwarfed.

Although according to my portion standards this serves 12, I think half a carriage each is a more than ample serving, so it does go quite a wee way. It all got gobbled up at the barbeque we went to this evening, though!

All in all, I think it turned out rather well!

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Truffle Bouquets

December 29, 2007

Finally – these are the truffles I gave all my nearest and dearest for Christmas. I actually made them a couple of weeks ago, and kept them in the freezer until Christmas Eve, when I pulled them out and bundled them up with florist’s paper and ribbon. I think they look pretty cool (and everyone was clamouring to get their hands on one, so I guess that’s not just me). Su Yin, from ‘Cooking is my passion’, did a similar thing here – check hers out, she’s much cleverer with the making pretty than me!

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Christmas truffles

December 20, 2007

I decided this year that truffles would be a great gift for the zillions of people in my family, so I’ve been busy concocting tasty and pretty combinations of these in the kitchen. I’ve just stumbled across this article, which gives some sensible, useful tips on your truffle-making. As mentioned earlier, I use the microwave to melt chocolate (tempering is just too complicated), and I also discovered that dipping frozen truffles into chocolate creates a beautifully shiny shell, and ensures the chocolate sets nice and quick.

Another quick and easy way to make truffles is by mashing biscuits or even chocolate bars with cream cheese; mine this year areΒ  made with Tim Tams (a chocolate coated biscuit with a mousse-y centre sandwiched between the two biscuit bits), but you can use pretty much anything; chuck them in the blender or take to them with a rolling pin, mix with enough cream cheese so that you can roll them, and then freeze. Once they’re frozen dip in chocolate, let them set as they are or roll them in whatever you feel like (contrasting grated chocolate, cocoa, coconut, sprinkles) and there you go! As far as the dipping goes, using a toothpick or kebab stick to dip them in the chocolate means you can have a nice, smooth ball – once they’re set you can remove the stick to wrap in cellophane or put in a pretty box, or leave the sticks in and present them as a cone by sticking them into florists foam or a piece of fruit.

Sorry – no pictures today. I’ll show you some photos of my Christmas truffles once I’ve got them all ready to go. But for now – back to the cakes!

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Some chocolate to drool over…

December 19, 2007

So, I thought I’d post some photos of the construction process, and of my stupidly enormous quantities of chocolate, for your viewing pleasure.

First up, the white chocolate…

This was the first 5kg box. I’ve finished this one now, and have started the second… I have another waiting in the wings, too, since I have about 40 cakes to make this week!

Now, the milk chocolate…

Mmm! And just to give you an idea of how big that block is…

Yup, that’s our biggest knife right there in the middle. Again, this was the first block, and I’ve finished this and made some decent inroads to the second one, with two more sitting unopened, as well as one of dark chocolate… So to recap, that’s 40kg of chocolate total. I’m sorry, poor flatmates, I don’t mean to make you tubby…

Here we are, ready for some melting action (I use the microwave, my favourite invention ever, to melt my chocolate – I don’t temper my own and until I start using couverture instead of compound (if I ever get to that stage) I will continue to do so – much easier). And then, after some piping;

Lots of stars. The outline is piped in white, then, once the white choc is set, milk chocolate is piped into the gaps. The end result can be seen on my Goodbye cake, if you can single out the stars from the chocolate curls and strawberries. πŸ˜‰

Many more cakes to come in the next few days… Stay posted. πŸ˜‰