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!
This week I
1. studied for approximately 87,493 hours.
2. gloved up, scrubbed up, and scalpel-ed up for the first time.
3. learned 26 more new names and remembered 3 of them.
4. cracked open some vertebrae and saw a real (used-to-be)live spinal cord.
5. smelled like formaldehyde. A lot of the time.
6. took an exam, which I either failed miserably or owned. Not sure. One of those exams.
7. made these:
If you want to know more about those first two things, let’s chat in private. I’m not so sure that everyone wants to hear more details about biochemistry or people’s insides.
But candy, I think we can all agree on. Let’s talk about it.
This month, the Daring Bakers challenged us to make one candy involving chocolate, and another candy of our choice. I used chocolate in both my candies, as this seemed like a reasonable, normal lady thing to do.
Candy A, which we will name Cinnamon Toast Crunch Truffles, was pretty simple, but full of a flavor combo I love: cinnamon sugar and peanut butter. Awhile back I made some Peanut Butter Snickerdoodle Squares and they were pretty bangin. Sometimes late at night, I make cinnamon sugar toast, but spread peanut butter on the bread instead of butter. I don’t know what it is about these flavors, but I love them together.
So, more or less, I made white chocolate peanut butter truffles, filled them with a little more peanut butter, and rolled them in cinnamon sugar. Uh. Yes. Yum. Fab.
Candy B is probably not what Daring Bakers really had in mind, seeing as I used boxed cake mix to make Cake Batter Truffles. But! We were supposed to temper our dipping chocolate, which I did! So I followed directions. A+.
Also, just as a warning, these Cake Batter Truffles don’t last long if you bring them to your study group. They also don’t last long if you leave them in the fridge and you live alone and are unreasonably addicted to the taste of boxed cake mix. I mean. These things happen. Let’s take off those judge-y pants and all be friends here.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Truffles
Makes about 25ish truffles, depending on the size
9 oz. good quality white chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
6 TBS creamy peanut butter, divided use (I didn’t use natural, so I’m not sure how it would work out)
4 TBS granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
a small handful of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, for garnish if you want
1. Place the chopped white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small sauce pan, heat the cream until it is just about to boil (you should see small bubbles around the edges of the saucepan). Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until it’s smooth. (If some chocolate remains unmelted, place the bowl over a double boiler until it’s all melted.)
2. Stir in 4 TBS peanut butter until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 60-90 minutes.
3. Line a surface with wax paper. Using a small melon baller or a teaspoon, scoop out small balls of the ganache. If you need to, roll them lightly with your hands into smooth circles. Place truffles on the wax paper.
4. When all of the truffles are formed, fill a pastry bag fitted with a very small, round tip (I don’t know what Wilton number, I’m sorry) with the remaining peanut butter. Gently insert the pastry tip into each truffle, squeezing in a little peanut butter. You don’t really need very much filling. You just want a little extra hit of peanut butter flavor in each one. If you need to, smooth out the truffle surface after filling.
5. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Roll each finished truffle in the cinnamon sugar, then stick a piece of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the top. Keep the truffles tightly covered and refrigerated.
Cake Batter Truffles
Makes about 24 truffles
1 stick (= 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup white cake mix
pinch of salt
4 TBS milk (I used almond milk because it’s what I had on hand)
2 TBS rainbow sprinkles, plus extra to sprinkle on top if you want
16 oz. good quality milk chocolate, chopped
1. In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until well-combined. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour, cake mix, and salt and mix until combined. It will probably look pretty crumbly at this point. Add the milk and mix until it’s incorporated. It should have the consistency of a soft cookie dough. Mix in the sprinkles. Cover the “batter” and refrigerate for about an hour.
2. To form the truffles, you can either scoop out portions and roll them into balls (like the white chocolate truffles), or you can do what I did. Lay down a piece of plastic wrap, and place the batter on top. Place another piece of plastic wrap on top of the batter, and roll the batter out to about 3/4-inch thickness. Using a sharp knife, slice the batter into squares or rectangles. Re-roll the scraps and repeat, using all of the batter. Place the truffles on a plate lined with wax paper and freeze until firm.
3. Meanwhile, temper the chocolate. Place about 2/3 of the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Melt the chocolate, stirring with a rubber spatula to ensure even melting. When the chocolate is melted, wait until it reaches 113ºF. At that point, remove the bowl from the heat. Begin adding small handfuls of the remaining chopped chocolate, stirring with a rubber spatula to melt the pieces. Continue adding chocolate until the temperature drops to 80-81ºF. Place the bowl back on the heat and bring it back up to “working” temperature, 86ºF for milk chocolate. You’re now ready to dip the truffles!
4. Using a wooden skewer, or a fondue fork, or some other genius contraption, dip the frozen squares of batter into the melted chocolate, letting the excess drip off. Place dipped truffles on a wax-paper lined plate. If you’re topping the truffles with sprinkles, be sure to do it immediately after dipping them. Otherwise the chocolate will set. Keep the truffles covered and refrigerated.
Recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
Thank you to the lovely hosts for the Daring Bakers Challenge this month, Lisa of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drive and Mandy of What the Fruitcake?! Be sure to wander around the food-blogosphere a little bit to check out some of the other candies. Thanks for reading, happy baking!