Saturday, August 27, 2011

August 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge # 55: Candylicious! Chocolate & Almond Praline Truffles and Strawberry Paté de Fruit

 Candy and chocolate ^^, I know everyone love it!!!! And for me making any kinds of candy or chocolate makes me so happy. This month "August 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge # 55 is Candylicious! (and may I add the chocolicious too)

 There are a lot of recipes to choose from, but my selection is  Chocolate & Almond Praline Truffles and Strawberry Paté de Fruit. For the reason that both of them are very easy to make, hehe.
The original recipe for my chocolate truffles is Milk Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Truffles but I was too lazy to working with the hazelnut (roast it, rub the skin and chop), so I use the almond instead ^^, well easy and delicious is my goal, haha. This kind of truffle is very easy to make, because you don't have to temper the chocolate, just making the ganache and then roll it in the chopped nut, that's all. The other thing that I changed is using half milk chocolate and dark chocolate, so my truffle has a bit of bitterness and result is very delicious truffle too.
For the Paté de Fruit, you can use other kinds fruit too, or mix fruit ^^, but for me I have strawberry frozen in the fridge so, it's the best choice.
When making the Paté de Fruit, using the candy thermometer is better than guessing, so I hope that you will prepare one for making these. 
Actually I think  candy thermometer is one of the kitchen gadget that I use a lot, for making ice cream, sugar syrup, candy or tempering the chocolate.  
I'm really happy to join this challenge, and all the members in my family enjoy the truffles and Paté de Fruit. So "Thank you Lisa and Mandy for hosting this great challenge". 

"The August 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Lisa of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Driveand 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 at offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!"

Ready to enjoy!

 Milk Chocolate & Almond Praline Truffles
Servings: Makes +- 30 truffles, recipe easily doubled or halved
Adapted from the Cook’s Academy Curriculum, Dublin

 Active Time: 1 - 2hrs
Ganache Setting Time: 2 - 4hrs or Overnight

Praline Ingredients:
½ cup (2 oz/60 gm) almond, shelled & skinned
½ cup (4 oz/115 gm) granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
Ganache Ingredients
1¾ cup (9 oz. / 255 g) Milk chocolate, finely chopped (I use half dark chocolate and half milk chocolate)
½ cup (4 oz. / 125 ml) Double/Heavy Cream (36% - 46% butterfat content)
2-3 Tablespoons (1-1 ½ oz. / 30ml – 45 ml) Frangelico Liqueur, optional
½ - 1 cup Crushed or Ground Roasted almond for coating

 Making the praline and ganache. Once set, making balls of the set ganache then rolling in crushed almonds
1. Preheat oven to moderate 180°C / 160°C Fan Assisted (convection oven); 350°F / 320°F convection / Gas Mark 4
2. Place whole almond on a non-stick baking tray and dry roast for 10mins
3. Allow to cool
4. Place almonds in a clean dry kitchen towel and rub to remove the skins
5. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicon mat
6. Place the skinned almonds onto the prepared tray
7. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved
8. Turn the heat up and bring to the boil (do not stir), brushing down the sides of the pot with a pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals
9. Boil until the mixture turns amber (160°C - 170°C / 320°F- 340°F on a candy thermometer)
10. Remove from heat immediately and pour the syrup over the almonds
11. Allow to cool completely
12. Break into small pieces
13. Transfer pieces to a food processor and process until desired texture, either fine or rough
14. Set aside

Make the ganache
1. Finely chop the milk chocolate
2. Place into a heatproof medium sized bowl
3. Heat cream in a saucepan until just about to boil
4. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir gently until smooth and melted
5. Allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes
6. Stir in the praline and (optional) liqueur
7. Leave to cool and set overnight or for a few hours in the fridge
8. Bring to room temperature to use
Forming the truffles:
1. Using teaspoons or a melon baller, scoop round balls of ganache
2. Roll them between the palms of your hands to round them off
Tip: Handle them as little as possible to avoid melting
Tip: I suggest wearing food safe latex gloves, less messy and slightly less heat from your hands

3. Finish off by rolling the truffle in the crushed roasted almonds
Tip: You can also roll them in almonds praline
4. Place on parchment paper and leave to set
Tip: They look great when put into small petit four cases and boxed up as a gift!

Strawberry Paté de Fruits
Recipe by Elizabeth LaBau, Guide
Makes about 40-64 squares depending on size cut, recipe easily doubled or halved

3 cups (16 oz/450 gm) Strawberries, fresh or defrosted from frozen
1 tablespoon (15 ml) Lemon juice, fresh
2 cups (16 oz/ 450 gm) Granulated White Sugar
2½ tablespoons (38 ml) Liquid Pectin

 Making the strawberry purée then combining with the other ingredients and cooking until ready to pour into the pan
1. Prepare an 8”x8” (20cmx20xm) pan by lining it with aluminium foil or parchment paper and spraying it with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Place the strawberries in a blender or food processor and process until very well pureed.
3. Pour them through a mesh strainer into a medium saucepan, discarding any remaining fruit chunks. Stir in the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the sugar, place the pan over medium-high heat, and insert a candy thermometer.

 4. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it is hot, around 140°F/60°C. Add the remaining 1.5 cups of sugar and the liquid pectin, and lower the heat to medium.
5. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture registers 200°F/93°C. At this point, turn the heat to low and hold it at 200°F/93°C for 2-3 minutes. After this, return the heat to medium and bring it up to 225°F/107°C. This process will take some time, especially with the heat on medium, so have patience and be diligent in stirring frequently so the bottom doesn't scorch.
6. Once the fruit paste reaches 225°F/107°C, turn the heat to low and keep it at that temperature for an additional 2-minutes.

 7. Remove the pan from the heat and scrape (Note from Lisa: I poured it in, it should still be quite liquid) the strawberry pate de fruit mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing it into an even layer.
8. Allow the pate de fruit mixture to set at room temperature for several hours, until completely cool and firm. Use a sharp knife to cut it into very small squares, and roll the individual pieces in granulated sugar.
9. The strawberry pate de fruits can be served immediately, or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week. If refrigerated, the pieces may need to be re-rolled in granulated sugar before serving.

"Some paté de fruits take quite a long time to cook. If you think about what's happening, you're cooking all of the liquid out of the fruit puree and reducing it to a very thick paste. The exact amount of time depends on a lot of factors, like how much water was in your puree to begin with, the capabilities of your stove, and the quality of the pan you use. But you can expect the process to take at least 30 minutes and sometimes up to an hour. I do want to add that this is easier on a gas range, but can absolutely be done on an electric stove - in fact, I use a very old electric stove at home and it works fine." - Elizabeth LaBau

August 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge # 55: 
Candylicious! Chocolate & Almond Praline Truffles 
and Strawberry Paté de Fruit


  1. Rolling the truffles in nuts makes them look so fancy! I would have gone for almonds too--the last time I had to skin hazelnuts, it was so messy!

  2. Your two candies look beautiful! I'm so glad that they both turned out for you. Nice job on the challenge!

  3. Absolutely beautiful candies. Your pate de fruits are perfect and your almond praline truffles are making me weak in the knees! Thanks so muh for taking part in our candy challenge!

  4. Absolutely gorgeous! My mom loves Paté de Fruit, so I guess I´m going to try these soon. How did the texture of the Paté turn out? Are they more chewy, soft, firm, etc.?
    Thank you for this recipes!

  5. The Chocolate & Almond Praline Truffles looks very pretty! I am sure it tasted good!

  6. Delicious! I've already made the truffles twice and they are absolutely perfect! I peeled the almonds by putting them in hot water for 60 secs, it's easier this way! ��



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