Chocolate-dipped Candies [Daring Bakers]

This month’s challenge actually had nothing to do with baking, but, really, I’m not complaining, because it had to do with chocolate. We even learned how to temper chocolate, which was really useful, since there’s a technique you have to master if you don’t want to screw up your chocolate (see this pic to understand).

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!

I went with two chocolate-dipped candies:

  1. marzipan with Grand Marnier-infused candied orange peel and pistachios
  2. honeycomb (sponge) candy

The former was very, very easy to make. The latter, um, not quite as easy.

The first attempt at making honeycomb candy resulted in an enormous river of caramel lava overflowing out of the glass dish that I was hoping would contain it. It also was a bit too moist (I cooked it until 285F), so the second time, I made a much smaller batch that I heated to 300F. The candy was perfect – crunchy, not sticky or chewy. It’s actually easy to make once you have the recipe/technique down, and dramatic. Even my caramel-hating boyfriend liked the taste of it, too.

I used the seeding method of tempering the chocolate, since I don’t have a scraper and didn’t want to mess with the marble/granite method. As it turns out, with a decent thermometer and a microwave, the seeding method turned out just fine.

More pics after the jump…


Szymborska’s “The End and the Beginning” (Koniec i poczatek)

Po kazdej wojnie
ktos musi posprzatac
Jaki taki porzadek
sam sie przeciez nie zrobi.

After every war
Someone’s got to clean up
After all, some kind of tidyness
Isn’t going to come about on its own.

Ktos musi zepchnac gruzy
na pobocza dróg,
zeby mogly przejechac
wozy pelne trupów.

Someone’s got to sweep aside the rubble
to the side of the road
So that carts full of corpses
Can pass through.

Ktos musi grzeznac
w szlamie i popiele,
sprzynach kanap,
drzazgach szkla
i krwawych szmatach.

Someone has to bury
in the sludge and ashes
couch springs
shards of glass
and bloodied rags.

Ktos musi przywlec belke
do podparcia sciany,
ktos oszklic okno
i osadzic drzwi na zawiasach.

Someone has to drag the beam
to support the wall
Someone has to glaze the window
and set the door in its hinges.

Fotogeniczne to nie jest
i wymaga lat.
Wszystkie kamery wyjechaly juz
na inna wojne.

It’s not photogenic
and it takes years
All the cameras have already left
for another war.

Mosty trzeba z powrotem
i dworce na nowo.
W strzepach beda rekawy
od zakasywania.

Bridges must be rebuilt
along with train stations
Sleeves will be in shreds
from being rolled up.

Ktos z miotla w rekach
wspomina jeszcze jak bylo.
Ktos slucha
przytakuje nie urwana glowa.
Ale juz w ich poblizu
zaczna krecic sie tacy,
których to bedzie nudzic.

Someone with a broom in his hands
remembers how it used to be
someone listens
and nods with the head that hasn’t been cut off.
But already around them
Those who have become bored
will start to fidget.

Ktos czasem jeszcze
wykopie spod krzaka
przezarte rdza argumenty
i poprzenosi je na stos odpadków.

Someone will still occasionally
dig up from under a bush
some rusty old arguments
and carry them over to a pile of debris.

Ci, co wiedzieli
o co tutaj szlo,
musza ustapic miejsca tym,
co wiedza malo.
I mniej niz malo.
I wreszcie tyle co nic.

Those who knew
what happened here
have to give up their place to those
who know little.
And less than little.
And, finally, those who know nothing.

W trawie, która porosla
przyczyny i skutki,
musi ktos sobie lezec
z klosem w zebach
i gapic sie na chmury.

In the grass, overgrown with
causes and effects
someone has to lie back
with a straw in his teeth
and stare into the clouds.