So, the fillings we did dip were a caramel, and a milk chocolate raspberry ganache with a layer of raspberry pate de fruit. Pate de fruit (pronounced more like 'paw de fweee' (it's French)), is fruit jellies. It utilizes pectin, the jelling agent in most jams and jellies. You can use gelatin, but it results in a more rubbery texture than pectin.
The pate de fruit is fairly easy to produce. It involves cooking raspberry puree, sugar, and pectin. The sugar is divided in half; one half is mixed with the puree, the other half with the pectin. Pure pectin cannot just be added to hot liquid. It would just seize up immediately, and give you a rubbery ball. It is mixed with sugar to give it time to become incorporated. The puree and sugar mixture is brought to a boil, and then the pectin and sugar mixture is added. The whole thing is whisked vigorously for a minute and a half to two minutes, until it becomes fairly stiff. It must be spread quickly in a plastic wrap lined pan. It will cool and firm quickly.
The raspberry ganache has milk and dark chocolate, corn syrup, cream, raspberry puree, butter, and raspberry liqueur. The butter helps add back the fat lost when some of the cream is replace with fruit puree. The liqueur is added at the very end, to prevent cooking it out. This is poured over the pate de fruit, and smoothed flat. Let everything sit for several hours, or over night, to become firm.
The caramel involves cooking sugar and corn syrup to hard crack stage (300 F), then stirring in butter, cream, vanilla, and salt, then bringing it back to a boil, and cooking it to a very precise 246 F. The point of the precision is the texture of the caramel. If you cook it too long, it will be too chewy, and tend to stick to the teeth. If the temperature is too low, it will be too soft to hold its shape to be dipped. Once the caramel is at the correct temperature, it should be spread quickly over a pan lined with aluminum foil, and greased. Let stand several hours, or over night, to harden.
Once everything is set, it needs to be footed. This means a thin layer of tempered chocolate is spread over one side. Once hardened, this will provide a slick surface that will make it easier to slide the dipped chocolate off onto parchment paper.
Once the footing is set, the candy can be placed chocolate side down on a cutting board, and cut to size. We cut the raspberry candies to one inch squares, and the caramels to 1 inch by 1 1/4 inch rectangle.
At this point, you can arrange your dipping station. Place the cut candies on a tray on one side, your bowl of tempered chocolate in the middle, and a parchment lined pan on the other. You will want food handlers gloves on. As I am left handed, I placed the candies on my right, and the tray on my left. Similar to breading, you keep one hand away from the messy stuff. You pick up a candy, and drop it footed side up into the tempered chocolate. With the other hand, using a dipping fork, press down on the footed side to submerge the candy, then roll the fork to bring the candy to the surface on top of the fork. Tap the fork on the edge of the bowl to remove as much chocolate as possible, then wipe the bottom of the fork on the edge of the chocolate bowl. Gently slide the candy off the fork onto parchment.
At this point, you can do whatever manipulations you want. For the caramels, we pressed one tine of
Transfer sheets are sheets of acetate with patterns printed in colored cocoa butter. They come in a bewildering variety of patterns. The transfer sheet is placed on the wet, unset chocolate, then gently pressed into place. It is let to sit until then chocolate is completely set. The acetate then can be peeled off, leaving a pattern embedded in the chocolate.
Both these candies came out really nice. The caramel is smoothly textured, and soft. The raspberry has a rich, silky mouth feel, with a lot of the tartness of the raspberry coming through.
On an unrelated note: I have yet to hear from anyone on the banner design contest. All y'all that repeatedly ask about me cooking for you, now is your chance. I will come to you with food, and cook it. All you need to do is create a cool banner for the top of the blog. Way too many of you are talented artists to let this go by.
All recipes courtesy of Chef James Foran.
Caramel for Dipped Chocolates9.5 oz. by wt. sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 oz. by wt. butter
2 cup cream
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Line a 9" x 13" pan with aluminum foil. Grease pan well.
Place sugar and corn syrup in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium to medium high heat. Using a clean pastry and plain water, wash down the inside of the pan twice, to remove any excess sugar crystals. Cook sugar mixture to hard crack stage (300 F).
Remove from heat, whisk in butter. Whisk in cream, salt, and vanilla. Return to heat, cook to 246 F. Remove from heat, spread caramel evenly in greased pan.
Raspberry Pate de Fruit5 oz. by wt. raspberry puree
4.25 oz. by wt. Granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. pectin
Spray an 8" x 8" pan very lightly with oil. Use this to hold in place a lining of plastic wrap.
Mix together half the sugar and the pectin.
Place the puree and the other half of the sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium to medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Whisk in the sugar and pectin mixture. Bring to a full boil. When at a boil, whisk mixture for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes continuously, until mixture is very thick. Quickly spread evenly in lined pan.
Milk Chocolate Raspberry Ganache6 oz.by wt. milk chocolate
1 oz. by wt. 58% chocolate
2 oz. heavy cream
1 tsp. corn syrup
2 1/2 Tbsp. raspberry puree
1/4 oz. by wt. butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. raspberry liqueur
Chop chocolates fine, and place together in a bowl.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, corn syrup, and puree. Bring just to a boil. Pour over chocolate, and cover. :Let stand two minutes. Whisk together chocolate and cream until smooth. Add butter, whisk in thoroughly. Whisk in liqueur. If ganache feels grainy, or is not thick and smooth, use a immersion blender to emulsify chocolate and cream.
Spread over top of pate de fruit.