I make candy and write for a living. It's hard work, but it's pretty awesome. I live in Brooklyn, wear glasses, and generally pretend that I'm a real live grown-up.
Great additions, all – keep 'em coming! A 5-book list will never be enough to cover this vast and fascinating topic :)
@Larikatz not sure that would work; the sugar is integral to the structure of the fudge. But if you try it let me know how it ends up tasting!
@TheWillieB oh no! Sorry to hear it didn't work out. The thermometer is actually a key part of the recipe; depending on the type of pot you use, ambient temperature of the room, etc there can be quite a bit of variation on the temperature the mixture ends up at after sitting for 10 minutes.
That said, there are a bunch of great no-fail fudge recipes similar to the Soldier Fudge Larikatz mentions; I've used the recipe on the side of the Fluff container many times with great results!
Oh, Kat. You are a delight.
@omnedon Excellent catch! Not sure how 92F got up there; I'll see if I can get it fixed. Good lookin' out :)
@coda831 @skelly27 – Cold storage is actually very effective. Both ganache and finished chocolates can be frozen for several months (or more), but you mainly have to be really careful about bringing it back to room temperature. Condensation is your enemy (if it collects on the surface of the chocolate and dries it will cause sugar bloom and make the candies look blotchy and uneven), so the more gradually you can bring everything to room temp, the better.
If you do fridge/freeze, wrap everything as airtight as possible. If you put stuff in bags, get as much air out as you can before sealing them! When you're ready to defrost, move from the freezer to the fridge for at least a day, then from the fridge to room temp. Wrapping the whole package in a towel or cloth can help slow the thawing process and further insulate the chocolates from condensation.
And particular to you, skelly27, the ganache will indeed keep in the fridge (again, completely airtight), though 4 weeks is about as long as I'd want to keep it there before either freezing or using it.
Hope this is helpful – best of luck to you both!
@esauer - sorry I didn't see this when you posted half a year ago(!) The answer really depends on the type of center you'd be using for the chocolate, but I trust they turned out just fine :)
@Sugarama26 - there are a lot of variables that could be affecting that. If they're molded bonbons, under what circumstances they are produced/stored, whether the cracks appear right away or over time, etc...but anything runny is going to eventually escape from chocolate, no matter how well they're coated to being with! I don't know enough about your process to be able to help, but feel free to contact me at the email in my author profile.
@GreatEat - don't worry, you had the right idea! You can absolutely store chocolate in the fridge. Just keep it sealed in an airtight container (a large zip-top freezer bag works very well, just press as much air out of it as you can); and when you do remove it, allow it to come to room temperature slowly.
@ocasey - cocoa nibs are fermented, roasted, dried cocoa beans that have been crushed into small pieces. If you were to grind them and add sugar, you'd have chocolate! They're not sweet, but good nibs have a lovely, mild chocolatey flavor and delicate crunch that are really unique. I love Scharffen Berger's nibs, but many larger grocery stores or specialty stores will have more than one brand available. They're also great in brittle, granola, on ice cream...all over the place :)
@glutenfreewithemily - I don't believe I did! Here's the short version:
-for round stuff, the technique is similar; just use something like this little swirly guy on the right instead of a regular fork. You sort of just dump the finished piece off onto the parchment instead of sliding it (the coil leaves a nice little pattern on top). It'll take some practice 'till you get it right, but it's a lot of fun!
-for weird-shaped stuff (including bacon and chunks of honeycomb candy) - I learned this technique at Roni-Sue too. Grab a wide-mesh or spiral wire skimmer and a big pair of tweezers (metal and wood are both fine, though wood is a little more gentle). Toss a handful of whatever you're dipping into the chocolate, submerge with the skimmer, swirl it around a bit, fish it out, and tap to get rid of the excess chocolate. Use the tweezers to transfer the coated pieces to the parchment.
Hope that helps!
@MRubenzahl - I've never used SV for tempering, but in theory method 1 would work just fine (providing, as you point out, that you dry the package VERY thoroughly)! Tempering does require agitation, though; so 2 wouldn't result in tempered chocolate. Would love to hear results of anyone who's tried using SV for this!
Anna - check out the one-page version here and scroll down -- basically, just heat a little more cream or some milk and add it slowly while whisking. Good luck!
@Likeswords - That's correct! Thanks for pointing out the clarification.
LOVE this stuff. I use it with noodles, in pickle brine, on sandwiches...nothing's ever spicy enough for me, and these are super spicy plus super delicious. Great to see Nafi featured on SE!
@Kenji - the kale was 3 ways: fresh, sauteed (or braised, can't recall - cooked/tender) and crispy-fried - all those different textures and tastes were lovely just by themselves. Pancetta and ricotta were delightful; and I found the ratios of those and the dressing to be spot-on.
Two words: kale salad. It was divine, and totally different from any other kale salad I've had.
@chickenlivers best of luck - let me know how it turns out!
@carignane @jjiol - sorry for the belated response! It should stay fairly stable at cool room temperature (~65˚F); but don't quote me on it! I've never stored it for more than a couple hours.
@Lillamiu - As far as frosting a cake with it, I think that would be difficult - it sets up extremely quickly, and the line between "almost there" and "there" is paper-thin. If you still want to give it a go, I'd recommend at least one trial run so you get a feel for it. Good luck!
No such thing as a wrong opinion - and I know plenty of folks who love freezer-chocolate :) There's no bad way to enjoy chocolate!
@ Beagle - you can subsitute any extract; or just leave it out! It'll taste lightly coconutty, mostly chocolatey.
@ Tony and killa - solid-packed! You can also sub solid vegetable shortening.
@katz - sorry it didn't work out for you! You can always start with less extract and work up from there; if the chocolate was too bitter, maybe try a lower percentage?
@mtgall - it would definitely be sweeter with bittersweet chocolate; though I've never tried it, I doubt it would taste terrible! You wouldn't be able to sub cream in the same amount, since the viscosities of cream and sweetened condensed milk are so different; if you decide to try that, I'd suggest also adding a tablespoon or so of light corn syrup, to get it closer to the consistency of the original recipe. Good luck!
Tried these a few years ago & keep seeing them pop up here and there. Delightful. LOVE the Betty Jo and love the owner. Congrats, Jennifer!
@redfish they should bring back the original three-flavor package! I'd totally give that a whirl. @Amandarama ditto.
@cdp no snark taken! I suppose I should have specified that they were new to me; not necessarily to all candy fans.
There seems to be a general consensus that the Now Richer Chocolate taste is yucky. What a shame...
@Taylor - Robyn is in fact a staff member at SE. She does great work!
Apologies for all the confusion; the bun is from Fay Da bakery, as covered in Robyn's blog (thanks to @lululunacy for the link) - a chocolate chip walnut bun. Clearly I should try and track down that recipe...
@kestrel I never even thought of that! man, immersion blenders are good for everything.
@scalfin planning on dipping a D&D die? (mmm, plus two deliciousness points.) I just meant anything that would rest comfortably on a fork without rolling off, more or less.
@sugarchef @lemonfair excellent points all. When I used to work at Roni-Sue, I believe Rhonda would let the ganache rest unrefrigerated (in a cool place) right after she made it; but we stored it in the fridge, wrapped airtight, and it never suffered any degradation of texture. just my two cents.
@jutes this technique would actually work for bacon (with steady hands and sturdy bacon); perhaps that's for a future post...
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