This month's Daring Baker challenge is all about candy. And that's not all, my friend Lisa and I were the hosts!
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 at http://www.chocoley.com offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!
Every now and then Lisa phones me and we have a good ol' chat about everything and anything. They don't happen as often as I'd like for a couple reasons. One, we're on different timelines so sometimes it's a bit tricky getting the timing right where we're both free to chat. The second reason is that these calls last for hours. I'm not kidding. And Lisa is the darling who calls me, so I do feel very bad about her phone bill!
So anyway, in one of these phonecalls, the topic came up of Lisa being asked to host the August challenge which was all about candy, chocolate making and tempering. (There's a whole preamble to this but you can read all about that on Lisa's site, see, even co-blogging now).
I'd recently done a one day chocolate course at Dublin's Cook's Academy, so when she started on about chocolate and tempering, I went on a long ramble about my experience with the course and how I could finally temper chocolate etc etc. I was getting so excited about the idea of putting my course to good use again and the idea of making more chocolates was just too much for me to handle that I blurted out "Do you want me to co-host with you?!" (I felt a little silly afterwards, after all, she's fully capable of hosting a DB challenge and now I was putting her in an awkward position of having to answer me).
Turns out, because it was such a big challenge, she was hoping that I'd help and was about to ask me to co-host with her. Nice!
So that set things in motion. We decided who would be doing what, three candies each and one tempering method each. From there our shared Google doc started filling up rapidly with ideas and the beginnings of the challenge.
I had such a good time co-hosting this challenge that if Lisa called me tomorrow and asked if I'd host another one with her, I'd immediately say yes, not even knowing what we were supposed to be doing. Lisa is a good friend and I thoroughly enjoy our chats and rants and e-mails. She also has the most amazing way of coming up with ideas. Her creativity with food is just incredible, and then to see her ideas actually materialise, a very talented woman. Lisa, thank you! I really had a blast!
Ok, so, the challenge was mammoth (you should have seen it on the DB challenge thread, it was huuuuuuge!) so what Lisa and I have done is we're posting our halves of the challenge, and then you can visit the other's site to see the rest. I've also broken up mine into sections, so there's a separate post for the tempering, my truffles, bon bons and chocolate bark all contained in this post. Just scroll down and you'll see them.
So, here are the candies we've made for the challenge:
Milk Chocolate & Hazelnut Praline Truffles
Candied Orange & Pistachio Marzipan White Chocolates aka Bonbons
Sponge Candy / Honeycomb
Paté de Fruits
Passion Fruit Caramel Filled Chocolates aka Bonbons.
To all of the Daring Bakers who jumped in with both feet, thank you! Both Lisa and myself were so thrilled to see how excited everyone was about the challenge, and even being a good sport about making candies in the middle of summer for some of you. You made amazing things and it was seriously tricky choosing who would be getting the prizes. Thank you for all your efforts!
Do yourself a favour and make her passionfruit caramel bonbons. They're incredible!
Her paté de fruit is also just beautiful, like little fruity gems on a plate. Stunning stuff!