Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cashew Blossoms

A few years ago Mike and I watched a cooking episode where the Chef made Dulce de leche by placing a can of condensed milk into a simmering pan of water for 4 hours.  We always wanted to try it but never did.
I bought some chocolate molds a while ago in a bargain bin, and thought I would try my hand at some real candy making this Christmas.
I usually make truffles in all flavors of chocolates, and that's about the extent of my candy making.  They taste good and everyone always asks for them, and so over the years it's just become a 'thing' that I do during the holidays.
So I had no idea really what I was getting into, but figured I could do it.
I hate tempering chocolate.  I figured out that straight away.  Obviously the tempering was worth it, as the chocolate was crisp and shiny in the way that only tempering can do.
First things first however; I had to make the dulce de leche (pronounced DOOL-se de LE-che).  I put the cans in without their labels, and had to add water once during the four hour simmering time.
The wait was worth it: after the cans came to room temperature this is what it looked like:

The creamy white condensed milk had become this amazing, caramelized toffee-in-a-can.  It tasted so yummy, and I can see how the Spanish just let it cool into a log and then cut it into bite sized candy; it was that good.  I had another plan for it however.

I prepared my chocolate mold with my tempered chocolate and a paintbrush, and set it in the fridge to harden.
Afterwards I placed some dulce de leche in the bottom of my molds and pushed a roasted salted cashew into the caramel with a toothpick then set it aside.

I simmered heavy cream with corn syrup and unsalted butter and poured it over semi-sweet chocolate.

Mmmm, ganache.  So velvety and creamy.  This I cooled for a while then whipped it for a bit before piping it on top of the dulce de leche.
Tempered chocolate completed the layers and I let them cool.  Then had to put them in the freezer to cool set some more as they would not pop out of the mold; totally aggravated me.  But they came out eventually and the casualties went to Mike and I.

This was the final product, and they were so good they deserved a high five in the kitchen and a huge compliment from Mike.
I also made up some Peanut Butter Cups with a whipped peanut center:

They were really good also, and I had to keep the kids away from those.

Bottom line:
I'm not sure if candy making is for me, but I wanted to give it a try.  It is time consuming and I just don't have the time or counter space to be hovering over tempering chocolate all day long.
I will finish what I started this year, and plan on using the rest of the dulce de leche on some kick ass Turtles tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment