Imperfect Paradise by Dan Dembiczak - I'm so proud of Dan Dembiczak, whose first novel - Imperfect Paradise - is available for sale in both eBookor Paperback on Amazon.com! The story follows ...
Saturday, October 8, 2011
With Halloween (aka the greatest holiday ever created) coming up, my attention has been turning to sweets - much to the detriment of my weight loss goals.
Today, I retried my hand at tempering chocolate properly - this time attempting to make a chocolate peanut butter cup. I've tried before, but not had the results I wanted. This time around I had help from the Culinary Institute of America and their book Chocolates and Confections at Home with The Culinary Institute of America.
Using their technique and testing for proper tempering, I was much more successful. I also used their guidance for making filled chocolates, and their recipe (loosely) for a peanut butter filling.
For a mold, I used the Fred & Friends Stone Cold Ice Trays silicon ice cube tray. It makes Moai head shapes - those infamous stone sculptures found on Rapa Nui (aka Easter Island), which was populated by Polynesians from the Marquesas, making it the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian triangle.
Anyway... After tempering the chocolate and testing by dipping a spoon and patiently waiting for it to dry, I used a silicone pastry brush to paint a layer of chocolate into the molds. After that cooled, I did another layer, and repeated a couple more times - until it seemed like I had a good solid layer and no holes. Then I piped in the peanut butter mixture, leaving room at the top. Finally, I poured the remaining melted chocolate over the mold and used my bench scraper (and some tapping on the counter) to make sure all the bubbles were out and the molds were full of chocolate. I wiped the top clean with the bench scraper (to make sure the candies didn't have messy backs), and then let them cool off before popping them out of the tray.
They turned out so well (and tasty) that I plan to make more - perhaps to give out to neighbors for Halloween? And to make the tempering part even easier, I invested in a Mastercool MSC52224A Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer with Laser. It'll come in handy for all sorts of things in the kitchen and around the house - and Hilo already loves the laser it emits.