Homemade Christmas Confectionery

Every year before Christmas my sister and I make chocolate confectionery. This year we couldn’t even wait till December to get started – I wonder if we’ll have any chocolate left at Christmas time…Homemade chocolate confectionery

We made three molded chocolates, one with amaretto marzipan and raisin compote, one with rum-caramel and one with raspberry and framboise liqueur. We also made chocolate covered blackcurrant ganache pieces, chocolate bark and soft honey nougat.

We use sugar free chocolate sweetened with tagatose or stevia, so everything is sugar free except the small amount you get through natural sugars and the liqueurs. And the nougat is made with honey, but although honey is natural, it’s just as sweet as sugar and causes the blood sugar to rapidly rise – so eat only one!Homemade chocolate confectionery

For everything we used approximately 3,3 pound (1,5 kg chocolate).

Amaretto marzipan with raisin compote:

3 oz. (90g) almonds
1 oz. amaretto
1 tablespoon tagatesse
3 tablespoons raisins
1-2 tablespoon amaretto

Finely grind the almonds and add amaretto and tagatesse. Transfer the amaretto marzipan to a piping bag. Mix the raisins and amaretto in a small blender to get a compote-like consistency.

Rum caramel:

1 ¼ oz. (40 g) tagatesse
½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
1 oz. (3 cl) brown rum
1 teaspoon butter

Warm up the tagatesse over medium heat until it is starting to caramelize. Pour in the cream and allow the tagatesse and cream to cook together a few minutes while stiring. Remove the caramel from the heat and stir in butter, then the rum. Pour the caramel into a piping bag or small bottle and store at room temperature until use.

Raspberry Jelly:

½ cup (120 ml) pure sugar free raspberry juice
4 cl framboise liqueur
3 sheets of gelatin
tagatesse to taste

Soaked the gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the raspberry juice to just below the boiling point. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin. Pour in the framboise liqueur, stir, and sweeten it with tagatesse as needed. Let it cool in room temperature for 1-2 hours, it is ideal if it is just starting to set when you are ready to use it.

When you are working with chocolate it is important to melt it in a special way in order for the chocolate to remain shiny and nice, and not melt on the fingers. This process is called tempering the chocolate, and this is how to do it:

Chop the chocolate into even sized pieces, not too big. It is best to temper approximately 1 pound (450g) of chocolate or more to make it easier to work with and it is easier to control the temperature. Melt 2/3 of the chocolate over a bain-marie. Use a steel bowl that fits well into the pot, and there should be no contact between the water and the bowl. It is also very important that the chocolate is not in any direct contact with water, which will ruin the chocolate. Use low heat and stir occasionally. Heat the chocolate until the temperature reaches 113-131° F (45-55° C). Then remove the bowl from the pot. Stir in the rest of the chocolate in order to bring down the temperature to 81° F (27° C). If it is to hot, wait and stir occasionally until it is 81° F (27° C). Now we need to bring the chocolate up in temperature again to 89,6° F (32° C), and it is very important not to exceed this temperature. If the chocolate gets too hot, you need to get it back down to 81° F (27° C) and then up to 89,6° F (32° C) again. To find out if the chocolate is properly tempered, you can dip the tip of a knife into it. If the chocolate hardens quickly and is shiny and smooth, it has been correctly tempered and you can start the production.

First you have to pour the tempered chocolate into the molds and shake it, or tap it against the counter a few times to get the air bubbles up. Then pour the chocolate back to the bowl, this will leave a thin layer of chocolate in the mold. Use a spatula to remove the remaining chocolate from the top of the mold. After a few minutes the chocolate is set. Fill confectionery filling into the molds so it remains 0,04-0,08 inches  (1-2 mm) to the top to make room for the chocolate bottom. When the filling is set, pour on more chocolate, tap gently to remove bubbles and scrap of chocolate residues at top. After about 10 minutes, vault the candy out of the molds.Rum-caramel Homemade chocolate confectionery

Blackcurrant ganache:

0,5 dl heavy cream
50g sugar free black currant jam (preferably homemade)
150 g dark sugar free chocolate
4 cl. Creme de Cassis

Warm up the cream and jam in a small saucepan. Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Remove the cream from the heat and pour in the chocolate. Stir with a spatula until all the chocolate is melted. Stir in the Cassis. Pour the blackcurrant ganache into a parchment paper covered tin, approximately 5×5 inches (12×12 cm) in a 1/2 inch (1cm) thick layer and let it set overnight at room temperature. Cut the ganache into bite size pieces and dip in tempered chocolate. Let them harden on parchment paper. Blackcurrant ganache Homemade chocolate confectionery

Chocolate Bark

When making chocolate confectionery there is always some chocolate left over which is difficult to use. Here’s a suggestion: Pour the chocolate onto a baking paper, spread it into an approximately ¼ inch (5 mm) thick layer and sprinkle with nuts and pieces of dried fruit. When the chocolate has hardened you can break it up into smaller pieces.Chocolate bark

Soft nougat with nuts and fruit:

400 g honey
3 egg whites
400 g of dried fruits and nutsNougat

Heat the honey in a bain-marie over low heat. Beat the egg whites until stiff, and when all the honey is melted, fold in the egg whites. Stir, still over in the bain-marie for one hour. To check if it is ready, you can drop a drop into cold water. If it hardens it is ready, but if the drop dissolves, wait 10 minutes and check again. Continue like this until it is hard. Mix in nuts and fruit and continue to stir over the bain-marie for 30 minutes. Cover the bottom of a 7×7 inch (20×20 cm) tin with edible wafer paper. Pour the mixture into the mold and cover the top with wafer paper. Press down to flatten the surface. Cool the nougat in room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator wrapped up in plastic wrap. Let it set for four hours, then cut into bite sized pieces.honey nougat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: