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Chocolate Truffles and Chocolate Covered Caramels~

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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’ve been conspicuously absent from the past few Daring Bakers’ challenges…vacations, foods my family would totally snub, and just general over scheduling are my excuses.  But when I saw the August recipes involved chocolate…and more important, tempering chocolate, I had to jump back in.  No way would my family refuse candy!  Especially CHOCOLATE candy!  As long as no nuts were involved, I was in business.

I decided to make chocolate truffles and chocolate covered caramels.  Usually when I make truffles, I roll them in cocoa powder, coconut or sprinkles. You know the dilemma…you dip with melted chocolate, they look glosssy and lovely, but the next day they have gray streaks, or bloom, covering them.  This is because the chocolate was not tempered…a bit of a complicated method to ensure the chocolate does not recrystallize when cooled and stays beautiful and clear.  And a bit akin to watching paint dry…at least, that was my experience.  You heat 2/3 of your chocolate over a double boiler, till it melts, add the other 1/3 and heat to 113º, then allow to cool to about 81º…and it was the cooling part that took FOREVER.  Part of the problem was that I only used 8 ounces total…larger quantities wouldn’t be so time consuming. And I don’t think it helps to do this in the midst of summer when  the AC only gets the house slightly cooler than 80º.  When it finally cooled down, I was instructed to reheat to 90º…which took only a nanosecond.  So mine may have overheated.  Only time will tell.
Next came the dipping.  I had ganache balls and caramels ready to go.  A fit of fussy work as candies got soft as they waiting their turn, and the warm tempered chocolate only helped them get softer.  SO I doubt a career as a chocolatier is in my future, though their were no complaints about these bonbons…except that they weren’t the most beautiful things.  I was glad to be pushed out of my comfort zone…and nothing makes the family more giddy than a chocolate treat~
Caramels…from my grandfather’s circa 1952 Today’s Woman Candy Cookbook
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 pound (I stick) butter
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Combine sugar, corn syrup, butter and 1/2 cup of the evaporated milk in a medium sized saucepan and cook to 220º.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup of evaporated milk and cook to 260º stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Pour into a greased pan.  When cooled, cut into squares and wrap in waxed paper. For this challenge, I poured into candy molds.  Chill caramels till tempered chocolate is ready.

Frangelico Ganache for Truffles…adapted from Nick Malgieri
9 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon corn syrup
2 tablespoons Frangelico or liqueur of your choice
Gently melt chocolate in microwave, stopping and stirring at 30 second intervals till smooth.  Set aside.
In large pyrex measuring cup, heat cream, butter and corn syrup in microwave till just starting to bubble.  Remove from microwave and stir till combined.  Cool for about 5 minutes, then add to chocolate and whisk to combine.  Add Frangelico, then refrigerate 15-30 minutes till mixture is almost cooled to room temperature.  Beat with electric mixer till it reaches the consistency of frosting.
Pipe or scoop rounds onto parchment lined cookie sheet.  Chill till tempered chocolate is ready.

Tempering with Chocolate Piece or “Seeding”

8 ounces semisweet chocolate ( I made half a batch of caramels and half a batch of ganache)

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 > 84.2º

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 with couverture callets

• 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 chocolate and don’t need to fish out several small bits of unmelted chocolate once the chocolate has reached temper.

• If you’re using the chocolate to dip a lot of truffles etc. which means the chocolate will be sitting off heat for a while it will naturally start to thicken as it cools. To keep it at an ideal viscosity for even coating, put the bowl over steam for 30sec – 1min every 10 – 15mins, just do not let the temperature go over the working temperature!
• Having the chocolate in a warmed glass bowl and wrapped in hot kitchen towel can also help keep the chocolate at its working temperature for longer
• It is also easier to keep the heat if you work with larger amounts of chocolate rather than small amounts. Any leftover chocolate can be kept to be used later and then re-tempered
• Remember, don’t let any water get into your chocolate at any stage of the tempering process!
• Unless you’ve been working with chocolate for a while and have developed a feel for the tempering process and can tell the chocolate’s temperature by touching it to your lower lip like a pro, it’s imperative that you use a thermometer to determine the temperature, as going a few degrees either way can ruin the temper.
• If at any stage you do make a mistake with the tempering process you can simply start again from the beginning.
• While a marble or granite top is ideal for cooling the chocolate in the first method, you can also cool it on a countertop that’s laminated, glass or steel. It will take longer to cool, but it’s possible!
• Any chocolate left over after making your molded or dipped chocolate can be stored away in a cool place and then re-tempered before using again. There’s no need to ever waste good chocolate!
• Wooden spoons can retain moisture so it’s best to use a rubber spatula while tempering


Linked to Sweets for a Saturday~
Linked to Savvy HomeMade Monday~
Linked to Recipe Sharing Monday~
Linked to On the Menu Monday~

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53 comments on “Chocolate Truffles and Chocolate Covered Caramels~”

  1. Watch out Russel STover here comes that skinny chick and she can make professinal candy too! You are simply amazing! fabulous!

  2. What a process! Intimidating since I’ve never done it. Then again, working with yeast was intimidating for me in the beginning of my blogging days and now I have no reservations. These candies look so delicious. Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

  3. This looks really good, you beat the ones sold out there with this choc recipe. Wish I can have a small bite of it.

  4. You have been busy! Both of these candies look delicious. The caramel ones are-thick with caramel with a light coating of chocolate and the others look nice and fluffy inside. Well done!

  5. Good job, Lizzy! I’ve never tempered chocolate…I have to admit that I’ve only eaten truffles from Godiva or Vosges. Never made my own…your caramels are so pretty!!

  6. Amazing job on this month’s challenge Lizz..I am writing my post now..
    I will have to try those caramels…my kids love them

  7. Thats quite a process involved, and both look delicious. They don’t look ugly at all. If someone complains that they look ugly, tell them to eat it quickly, or take it away from them and give it to me:) Have a nice weekend.

  8. These look amazing! I offered to make candy for my sister in laws bridal shower so this recipe will be perfect! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  9. Danielle, I checked my other caramel recipe ( has about double the ingredients for an 8 x 8. You may want to check that one out, too.

  10. Beautiful, Lizzy. Tempering is a bit of a pain, but they payoff is huge. One of these days I’ll treat myself to a tempering machine. 🙂

  11. WOW..Awesome

  12. The Frangelico ganache sounds heavenly!

  13. YUM!!! Must make. I absolutely LOVE truffles. The caramels look delicious too. I used to work at a candy store (Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory) and we had a dipper that tempered the chocolate for us (of course). That was so nice. I have actually never tried to temper chocolate at home so I appreciate the how-to! Great post.

  14. These chocolates look perfect! Truffles are one of my favorites, I think I’ll have to try them next. Tempering sure isn’t easy in summer, hopefully we’ll have better luck when it cools off!

  15. My husband would die for all this chocolate 🙂

  16. WOW!!! you are a master dear Lizzy!! look delicious!! LOL, gloria

  17. You have a lot of patience but your efforts certainly looked like the paid off. Wonderful looking treats!

  18. Those caramels sound so good! Thanks for the tutorial, this is great!

  19. I’ve never tempered chocolate (looks like a lot of work!). Your truffles and caramels look ridiculously tasty. I just finished lunch and now I’m thinking about making Paul take me over to the local chocolatier (we actually have one). Darn your delicious-looking goodies! 😉

  20. Beautiful blog!
    I love your recipes and presentation of dishes.
    I have added to your followers.
    If you want, come and visit me, you’re welcome

  21. I’ve never made candy before! I’m so nervous! You’re my hero! These look amazing (especially the caramels!) 😀

  22. Now THAT is baking!


  23. These looks awesome Lizzy!! Complete perfection… Both candies looks so good. Those Truffles are to die for….
    I feel like having them now. Love it Love it Love it.

  24. wow! That’s a lot of work! But they are delicious and beautiful.

  25. Thanks for the sweet comments! You candy looks amazing and so professional! Great shots too! This was a fun challenge…and now i need to get on the tredmill… LOL =)

  26. Way to go on those truffles! They look soooo yummy! My son has mentioned making caramels before. I may have to try out that recipe on it’s own. It sounds pretty easy.

  27. Your candies look wonderful and I love all the info on tempering the chocolate.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  28. I am loving all these candy post everywhere. And you have some really tempting ones, especially the frangelico one. Hope the family scoffed it all down.

  29. Oh I don’t know… I wouldn’t rule out a career as a chocolatier yet Lizzy! These look wonderful. Especially love the frangelico truffles. The caramels sound temperamental but they look like you won them over in the end.

  30. Are you kidding me? They look awesome and I wish I was the person who stole a bite from the last picture! Great info on the chocolate babysitting, It can be a very tempremental ingredient to work with..
    Thanks for sharing…

  31. they look beautiful and delicious! i have a weak spot for caramel…but tempering has always intimidated me. I might just have to give it a go, armed with your helpful tips 🙂

  32. The truffles look good, I don’t like caramels though, sorry. 😛

  33. Oh my gosh! These look SO good!! The truffles look so rich and decadent! And your post is really helpful, especially about the tempering. That has always made me nervous and has turned me off from ever attempting to make my own candy!

  34. Oh wow! Now I have to go search my pantry for anything chocolate 😉 These look amazing Lizzy!

  35. That’s it…I’m running away from your site. These are simply evil. If I make them I will eat every one and where will that get me…oh that’s right: Heaven. 🙂

  36. Ohhhhh I would eat these by the dozen (and that would be a problem!). I have tried tempering chocolate only once and it didn’t work that well… the theory is not too hard, but doing it… well, that’a a completely different story! hehehehe It also didn’t help that my thermometer could not measure such “low” temperatures… I’ll need to get a chocolate one before I try again. 🙂

  37. These are absolutely stunning! I had no idea it too so much to temper chocolate! This is really, REALLY good information! Like you, I usually roll my truffles in something (I like chopped nuts). I sure do appreciate the info….and I would PURCHASE a box of those amazing chocolates and caramels!

  38. Wow! You out did yourself on these, they look great! I love Truffles!

  39. These look SO good. I absolutely love chocolate caramels, they are one of my all time favorites so you have totally stollen my heart with this one!! Your truffles look so beautiful too!!

  40. both chocolates looks amazing! i love them! great challenge!

  41. These look absolutely fabulous! My mouth was watering just reading the recipe!

  42. WOW!!! great recipe and excellent photo!!!!

  43. Frangelico truffles? You know me; not a chocolate fan, but I’d devour anything with Frangelico in it. I love the stuff. The caramel made me swoon as well since it’s my most favorite sweet concoction.

    If you don’t have a career as a chocolatier, than I shouldn’t even attempt either one of these since yours look gorgeous.

  44. Your candies look absolutely amazing! I love truffles so much and those caramels…mmm… I could eat so many of those!

  45. These look divine! Thank you so much for the recipe too- I can’t wait to try them & I’m sure my husband can’t wait either. Thanks again!

  46. My, my Ms. Lizzy you have been a busy lady. You did an awesome job with this challenge. The candy looks so delicious.

  47. What a great challenge. Your candies look delicious. Those centers….especially the chocolate one…call to me.

  48. Hey, who took the bite out of my truffle? Thank you so much for this great and informative post. I never knew how to temper my chocolate. Great info and really wonderful recipes!
    Thanks for sharing your sweet treats with us at ON THE MENU MONDAY!

  49. What a wonderful job! Your chocolates look amazing! I linked to you from On the Menu Monday!
    Thanks for all the interesting info!

  50. GREAT job! I think I’ll leave the chocolate tempering to you 🙂 kate @kateiscooking

  51. Not sure I will be placing “tempering” on top of my favorite thing to do list but loved the challenge of it!
    Great job!

  52. Those looks so yummy. Great pictures. Come over and see us today. We have a really awesome scone recipe.

  53. You have been pinned AGAIN Lizzy. 🙂 These truffles look amazing and look like they will make perfect finger food for a party. Thank you so much for sharing and thank you also for linking your post up at Savvy HomeMade Monday!

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