Friday, 7 February 2014

SUCCESS! Tempered White chocolate heart using candy thermometer

I had a browse around rajani’s the other day to find, low and behold… a CANDY THERMOMETER! I have searched many a time around this store and have never found  any luck. I took one and read the price of £1.49! This was truly a bargin after searching high and low online for something cheap so that I could try my  hand at tempering chocolate and following my ‘Something Sweet’ issue one recipe. I had some hardened white chocolate remaining in a piping bag which I didn’t want to go to waste and therefore I wondered how about re-tempering. Would this work?
Today I tried this out and excited to be using my chocolate hearts mould that came with the magazine. I followed the recipe as it had suggested with the melting temperatures of white chocolate and working temperatures and had my handy gadget to assist me. I took me right back to my chemistry days of analytical precision! Haha.
Once at the working temperature I poured the chocolate into the mould and poped into the fridge to harden.

I looked at the product made the following morning… it looks promising that there’s some ‘snap’ to the chcooalate =] I removed the hearts from the mould and popped into the fridge again to think of what I could use them for.
I thought to try out another bake I am quite wanting to try out to which I could also use these hearts as little decorations.
‘Petite Fours’
It is quite a coincidence as again the ‘Something sweet’ magazine consisted of a step by step tutorial of how to make ‘fondant fancies’ which looked pretty much similar.

It uses a pound cake to which I have never made before and from the one provide in the mag I amended it slightly to my preferences:

Vanilla Pound cake  
adapted from 'Something sweet Issue 1 pg.10

2 eggs (weighed together as 106g)
106g Butter (same weight as eggs)
106g Caster Sugar (same weight as eggs)
130g Plain flour (would have been 115g butter to 140g self raising; minus 10g from butter hence minus 10g from flour)
1/2 Tsp Vanilla extract
2 Tbsp Milk
1/4 Tsp baking powder


1. Preheat the oven to 180'C. Line a 1lb loaf tin with grease proof paper and set aside.
2. Weigh the eggs into a bowl and note the weight. Add equal weight of butter, sugar. Add the flour all into one bowl along with the vanilla, baking powder and milk.
3. Using and electric whisk, beat for 3-4 mins until pale and creamy.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.
5. Bake in the oven for 30 mins until risen
6.Leave in the tin for 5 mins then turn out onto a sheet of cling film and leave to cool completely.

For making petite fours: (this made 12 squares using a paper template of a table measuring 16 columns of width 2cm - each slice cuts 2 smallest squares)
7. Once cooled, place some guidelines under the cake and holding an eye shut slice into equal slices.
8. Once sliced, lay on one side and using a cookie cutter cut out squares and top two on top of each other.
9. I have decided to use 'Betty Crocker butter cream' and a wide piping nozzle to fill each mini cake; just a single slither of cream. Sandwich the layers together and repeat for the rest.
10. Place the individual cakes into the freezer to harden.
11. once hardened, warm some of the butter cream until it is spreadable in consistency. Using a palette knife, spread over the entire cake to produce the 'crumb layer'. Return to the freezer for this layer to solidify.
12. Repeat with a second layer of butter cream icing for the final layer.

Alternatively try this covering

The following morning, I got ahead to begin the covering process. First I attempted to cover the cakes with the warmed buttercream. It proved to be very messy and not very consistent in its smoothness. It would require a first base crumb layer and then a second final layer - use up some extra time. I left it at one and resorted to the recipe on the link above.
It has originally been written to use 'White chocolate' yet instead I had replaced this with plain chocolate and halved the quantities as I wanted to test whether the recipe was what I was after. 

Poured chocolate fondant  
adapted from the blog 'diamonds for desert

2.5 oz white chocolate chips or white candy melts
240g powdered sugar
43g honey
30ml hot water 


1. Boil some water in a saucepan.

2. Mix the powdered sugar with the honey in my metal sieve designed bowl (ikea) which can rest comfortably in the saucepan of boiling water. Pour the hot water over the sugar and honey. Mix until smooth. 

3. In a bowl, melt the plain chocolate over simmering water. Once melted, scrape the melted chocolate into the powdered sugar mixture and stir until smooth. 

4. Place the mixture over the simmering water to keep melted.

5. Taking a frozen cake out of the freezer, place onto the microwave wire rack and place this rack on top of a glass bowl. Pour the fondant over the cake to cover. transfer the rack to another bowl to collect the drips and spoon the fondant residue back into the bowl over simmering water. Repeat with the rest of the cake. (I found it easier to control by covering the cakes one at a time)

6. Wait for all the dipped petit fours to dry and place into the fridge to set before decorating.

# Wide wire rack good for ease of transfer of the petit fours once slightly set and I was able to use a teaspoon/fork to lift up without leaving finger prints on the cake.
# Not use buttercream as it seems to time consuming
# Next time try the swiss roll technique, spreading the filling between one half and sandwich together with the remaining half. Freeze this and then cut with a warm knife to get perfect edges to the petit fours.
# Make sure the icing is sieved next time to avoid lumps

Mum and dad tried one this evening. Its funny how if they look pretty to the eye they want one without even me asking them to try it. Moral is "Presentation is everything".
However, the verdict on taste :
“The fondant was very sweet”
"Cake wasn't frozen!"

 Flowers (The ones which were now sadly dying that Julie had given me) I tried sugar dusting with egg white and granulated sugar

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