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Crowded August, though it was as fast as you can imagine. Since we had our fasting month, and no time for a lot of things, plus my husband began remodeling bedrooms’ floor and painting the walls, add to that the schools began on the 17th and the battle of sleeping schedule… So very sorry I am late.

This month Daring Bakers’ challenge I can’t miss it, because it’s as delicious as the chocolate is, it is the first time I make candy, so I piled my cooking books and searched for something chocolity.

From The Martha Stewart Living cookbook, I tried the Nougat but added to the recipe some other elements and flavors to it, did the half of the recipe though, it was the most delicious nougat I ever ate. For the chocolate part, it was from my creations and ideas, I did the tempered chocolate the seeding method and dipped my truffled dates and macadamia nuts, and did another truffle but it was another beyond, I did the pritzel truffle, the saltness of the pretzel was amazingly very compliment with the sweetness of the chocolate, and it was my kids favourite one.

Blog-checking lines:

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!

Big THANK YOU Lisa and Mandy for this delicious challenge.

Almond and Cherry Nougat


For the mazetta

1 large egg whites, room temperature
1\3 cup light corn syrup
1\4 cup sugar
2 tablespoon water

For the Nougat

1\2 cups light corn syrup
1\4 cup honey
3\4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoon pure rosewater syrup
3\4 cup dried cherry
1\2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1\2 cups raw almonds, skin on, chopped

Begin by making the mazetta: Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff; set aside. In a 1-quart saucepan, combine corn syrup, water, and sugar. Clip on a candy thermometer. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Wash down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals.

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until temperature reaches 242 degrees (soft-ball stage), 15 to 20 minutes. Remove sugar syrup from heat. Beating constantly on medium speed, slowly pour hot syrup into egg whites. Continue beating for 3 to 4 minutes until syrup is incorporated. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to make the nougat.

Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with vegetable-oil spray; set aside. Place mazetta in a large bowl; set aside. In a 2-quart saucepan, combine corn syrup,honey and sugar. Clip on candy thermometer. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, 5 to 10 minutes. Wash down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to remove any sugar crystals.

Over medium-high heat, cook to 280 degrees (soft-crack stage), 12 to 15 minutes, without stirring. If heat is too high it can boil over, so watch carefully. Remove from heat; let stand for 2 minutes. Without scraping pan, pour syrup over mazetta. Working quickly, stir with a wooden spoon until almost smooth. Stir in butter, vanilla, rosewater,cardamom and salt. Mix until butter is incorporated. Stir in nuts and cherry. Scrape into prepared pan, and smooth the top; you may spray your hand with vegetable-oil spray and run it over the warm candy to smooth it. Let stand at room temperature, uncovered, until firm, 4 to 6 hours.

Spray a large cutting board generously with vegetable-oil spray. Unmold nougat from pan onto sprayed surface. Cut nougat into 3-by-1-by-3/4-inch pieces or other desired shapes. Wrap each piece in cellophane or waxed paper.

Tempering Methods:
for more tempering methods try this link

With tempered chocolate pieces, also called “seeding”

Tempering Ranges:

Dark: 45°C-50°C > 27°C > 32°C
Milk: 45°C > 27°C > 30°C
White: 45°C > 27°C > 29°C

Dark: 113°F-122°F > 80.6°F > 89.6°F
Milk: 113°F > 80.6°F > 86°F
White: 113°F > 80.6°F > 84.2°F

Chocolate is melted and heated until it reaches 45°C / 113°F. Tempered un-melted chocolate is then stirred and melted in until it brings the temperature down to 27°C/80.6°F. It is then put back over heat and brought up to its working temperature of 32°C/30°C/29°C /// 89.6°F/86°F/84.2°F depending on the chocolate you’re using. It is now ready for using in molds, dipping and coating.

Tempering using the seeding method

• Finely chop chocolate if in bar/slab form (about the size of almonds).
• Place about ⅔ of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl
• Set aside ⅓ of the chocolate pieces
• Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl does not touch the water)
Tip: Make sure that your bowl fits snuggly into the saucepan so that there’s no chance of steam forming droplets that may fall into your chocolate. If water gets into your chocolate it will seize!
• Using a rubber spatula, gently stir the chocolate so that it melts evenly
• Once it’s melted, keep an eye on the thermometer, as soon as it reaches 45°C / 113°F remove from heat (between 45°C-50°C / 113°F-122°F for dark chocolate)
• Add small amounts of the remaining ⅓ un-melted chocolate (seeds) and stir in to melt
• Continue to add small additions of chocolate until you’ve brought the chocolate down to 27°C/80.6°F (You can bring the dark chocolate down to between 80°F and 82°F)
• Put it back on the double boiler and bring the temperature back up until it reaches its working temperature of the chocolate (milk, dark or white) as seen in the above chart. (32°C/89.6°F for dark, 30°C/86°F for milk and 29°C/84.2°F for white)
• If you still have a few un-melted bits of chocolate, put the bowl back over the simmering water, stirring gently and watching the thermometer constantly.
• IMPORTANT: You really need to keep an eye on the temperature so that it doesn’t go over its working temperature

It’s now tempered and ready to use

Tip: Another way of adding the “seed” is by dropping in one large chunk of tempered chocolate (the seed). That way you only need to fish out one piece of unmelted chocoalte and don’t need to fish out several small bits of unmelted chocolate once the chocolate has reached temper.


1 ¾ cup (9 oz/250 gm) Dark/Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped
2/3 cup (5 oz / 160 ml) Double/Heavy Cream (36% – 48% butterfat)
1 ¾ cup (9 oz/250 gm) Milk Chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup (4 oz / 120 ml) Double/Heavy Cream (36% – 48% butterfat)
1 ¾ cup (9 oz/250 gm) White Chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup (2 oz / 60 ml) Double/Heavy Cream (36% – 48% butterfat)

Ganache can either be used to make rolled truffles or cut into squares and then dipped in chocolate, which is called a bonbon.

Making the ganache

1. Finely chop or grate the chocolate
2. Place in a heatproof bowl
3. In a saucepan, heat cream until just about to boil (it will start bubbling around the edges of the pot)
4. Pour the cream over the chocolate
5. Gently stir the mixture until all the chocolate has melted and it is smooth
Tip: If you end up with pieces of chocolate that won’t melt, put the bowl over simmering water (but not touching the water) and stir gently until it’s all melted
Tip: Be careful if you do need to heat it over simmering water, if the mixture gets too hot it will split and you’ll end up with gooey chocolate swimming in oil, so don’t overheat the ganache, steam from a gentle simmer is all you need.
6. Stir in your desired flavorings

For rolled truffles

1. Allow the ganache to firm up in a container of choice, preferably deep rather than shallow
2. Using a teaspoon or melon baller, scoop up room temperature ganache
3. With gloved hands, roll the balls between your palms to round them off
4. Dip in tempered chocolate or roll in various ingredients like cocoa or chopped nuts as desired
Tip: If dipping in chocolate, it’s best to refrigerate the ganache balls before dipping so that they’re firm and don’t melt from the warm chocolate
Tip: For a thicker chocolate shell, dip once in tempered chocolate and allow to set. Then do a second dipping or smear a small amount of chocolate over the truffle and roll in desired ingredients
5. Place on parchment paper until set

Dates and Macadamia Nuts truffles

1 1\2 cup Medjule date pitted
1\2 teaspoon cinnamon
1\4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon butter
Macadamia nuts, raw
1 ¾ cup (9 oz/250 gm) Milk Chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup (4 oz / 120 ml) Double/Heavy Cream (36% – 48% butterfat)
tempered chocolate(from the recipe above)

Knead the date in your hand a little with the cinnamon, nutmeg and the butter into a paste like (it can be easily combined since this kind is very soft). Roll a small ball of date in your palms and make a grove, put the nuts in it and close roll it to make sure it’s cover with the dates. Dip the date balls in the warm ganache and let it cool and harden a little in the fridge. with the ice cream scoop, scrap the balls and all the ganache around it, and make it into a ball in your hands making sure that the chocolate ganache covers all around the dates, set back in the fridge to cool.

After you make the tempered chocolate, dip the truffled date balls into the melted chocolate( here I find it very difficult to control even with forks), set a side to cool.

Pretzel Truffle

2 small bags of pretzel
ganache recipe (above)

After making the ganache, chop the pretzel and add half of it to the ganache, let it cool down in the fridge, with your hands roll it into a ball and dip it in the remaining chopped pretzel