Saturday, August 27, 2011

Daring to do it: Candy

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 offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!

Yes, another challenge, and with it another contest. The contest part is kind of... well, a non-issue for me, I guess. But the challenge? Way cool! Candy making is something that has always seemed beyond me. Sure I have tried in the past, but not with the expectation of it being "real" candy, just a treat for me. But with the recipes provided by our fabulous hosts, I knew I would at least have fun trying! While the challenge was hosted by a chocolate company, there were plenty of non-chocolate options to choose from, also. Here at the four candies I completed this month.

Peanut butter fudge:

I followed the recipe as written, except I halved it (which I shouldn't have done!!) and I used soy milk. It turned out AMAZINGLY - Hubby is the peanut butter addict in the family, but I think I ate most of the pan!

Sponge candy (aka Honeycomb):

From a scientific perspective, this was awesome! Unfortunately I wasn't as thrilled with the taste as I wanted to be. There was too much of a baking soda taste, which interfered with my enjoyment. Strangely, though, I kept coming back for more nibbles... (There was some discussion in the forum about this candy, with other alternative recipes with differing amounts of baking soda... So I think I will have to try this one again.

Pate de fruits:

I used watermelon, strawberries and blueberries for my pate de fruit. I knew it would be a bit more complicated because of the high water content of the watermelon, but, having never made this before, I figured I wouldn't really know any better anyway! I used powdered pectin instead of liquid, as that was what I had. This was good. I would like to try a peach pate de fruit, as there is a peach tree growing in my backyard giving such yummy, juicy fruits!





These were good. I made my ganache with dark chocolate and soy milk. The ganache never set as firmly as I would have liked, but I think that is because of the milk - using cream, as is usually done, would have added more fat and depth. I then added pretzels to it, for crunch and yumminess. As for tempering chocolate... I will call what I did "pseudo-tempering." I don't have a chocolate thermometer, and the candy thermometer simply does not go low enough to be accurate. My chocolate shells had the right snap to them, but not the shine of a proper temper. I definitely want to do this again, with peanuts... And probably with candy molds so they will be a bit of a more manageable size!

I did attempt one more candy - rock candy. But that is one that requires days to grow. And it hasn't been enough days, so I don't think it has finished growing... Hopefully you'll see that one some other time...

Lisa and Mandy, thank you so much for this fun challenge. It was great to learn along with my fellow Daring Bakers, and to see the amazing and creative candies everyone made! Take a look for yourself, but try not to drool on your keyboard!


  1. Ruth, four candies! Wow! We are still trying to get through ours. But I must admit your peanut butter fudge looks amazing! I would devour that one very quickly! Thanks for your comment on my blog!

  2. You made four variations, you were brave, Ruth! All of them look amazing, specially the ganache, I like it when it is soft, oozing out of the chocolate shell... hmmmm.... that looks amazing!
    Thanks for your always lovely comment on mine :)

  3. Wow - So many varieties! I was planning to make peanut fudge first, but then made chikkis out of those and made a chocolate fudge. All your candies look lovely!

  4. I love peanut butter fudge! All your candies look great!

  5. Ruth, your fudge looks amazing! (I think I waxed on and off about your pate de fruits in th DK forum too lol). I'm so glad you njoyd our challenge, and do try the sponge with less baking soda, or the violet crumble like sponge recipe. Wish I had known of it prior to putting together the challenge!

  6. As always you did an amazing job Ruth..I salute you on making all these variations..Great job

  7. I LOVE the look of your fudge!! I shall definitely have to have a go. I had failure with my sponge and will try that again too. Thanks for stopping by my to see my efforts. Lx

  8. That peanut butter fudge looks so tempting. And the hoenycomb does taste great dipped in chocolate, give it a try. Yummy candylicious dreams still prevail ...

  9. Thanks for taking part in the challenge, it looks like you really enjoyed yourself!
    Great job with all your treats, really looks delicious :)

  10. Oh my goodness--all your candies are calling my name!! I can't decide which one I want to eat first, great job on this challenge!

  11. Wow....look at all your candies! The honeycomb is so cool to me. And I LOVE anything peanut butter, fudge included! You did a great job.

  12. All your variations have come out great. Sad about the taste of the honeycomb- the structure looks great! Great job with this month's challenge!

  13. Did someone say peanut butter AND chocolate! Looks yummy!

  14. your candies look delicious! i especially love the look of your chocolate one! must have been a tasty month for you! can't wait to see how your rock candy turned out :)

  15. Love the idea of pretzels in the chocolate. That's not a common ingredient in my region. Certainly going to try that out in a future project.