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 challenge was pretty wide open in terms of what kind of candy we had to make to satisfy our requirements. We had to make one chocolate candy (an incredibly broad category itself), and one other candy that could be whatever we like (chocolate or non-chocolate). For my chocolate candy, I was partially inspired by the S’mores Squares I made earlier this month. The marshmallow component is so good! So, I decided to make some marshmallow, cut it into little square slabs, and sandwich peanut butter between two halves. (Pardon the blurry photo.)
Tempering chocolate was an optional part of the challenge this month, and I just didn’t have time to deal with it. (I’m posting late as it is! ) I ended up melting some Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate (I think it balanced the sweetness of the marshmallow and the peanut butter nicely) in a double boiler, dipping the sandwiched marshmallows in that, and then adding a chopped peanut garnish. The candies turned out amazing! My husband loves them so much that I’ll have to start making them regularly.
For my other candy, I made lollipops. I’ve had a molar lollipop mold (totally ironic, right?) sitting in my pantry, waiting for its moment to shine. I used the DIY Lollies recipe from Oprah.com with all corn syrup and orange extract. (I didn’t have any flavored oil and preferred to use what I had in the pantry, so I was able to determine that one part flavored oil is equal to four parts flavored extract.)
My first try was a flop for two reasons: I only made a half recipe (there just wasn’t enough candy to go around!), and I followed the part of the recipe that told me to transfer the hot candy to a measuring cup (glass, of course) before pouring it into the molds. So much heat was lost in the transfer that my candy started to set in the glass measuring cup before I had managed to fill my lollipop molds. The second time, I made a full recipe and poured the hot candy straight from the pan. Things worked out much better, though I still had some difficulty getting my lollies out of the molds (hence the broken root tip on the molar). Broken or not, they were really tasty.
So I’ll definitely make the chocolate candies again, and I may try lollipops again if I’m feeling brave. Thanks for a great challenge, Lisa and Mandy!