After days of baking cakes and pies, people have begun to acknowledge me as a baker. At gatherings and social dos, that’s the first line of introduction these days “oh she’s an amazing baker.” And then there’s this funny mixed feeling that creeps in; this gush of happiness sets in but soon I wonder if I’m worthy of all that praise.
May be I am but there’s nothing greater than “doubt” for someone who wants to travel leaps and miles ahead from where they are standing. I often ask my husband to criticize me, I ask friends for honest feedback, I look at bygone posts and kick myself for not being able to deliver the best and this is not a modesty exercise where I try to fish for compliments. If you have a look at the growing community of food blogging and the kind of beautiful things people put up, you’ll know what I mean.
While I share with you all these tried and tested recipes, I am also setting myself up for a challenge every day. It’s a learning process for me as much as it is for you. There’s not just one kind of cake in this world one can master in. When you are done perfecting butter cakes, there are butterless cakes that you can attempt making, when you’re done perfecting that, then there are flourless cakes, pound cakes, oil cakes, angel-food cakes, chiffon cakes; I could go on and on.
What’s amazing about baking is there are no two cakes that are similar; a pound cake is so different from a normal butter cake or an angel food cake for that matter. The ingredients might be similar, but the techniques are vastly different. As a sweet lover and a baker, you have to realize that there’s no end to learning.
Yesterday, I learnt how to temper chocolate and disseminated that knowledge to you. Today, I used that shiny pool of chocolate to make candy, something I’ve never attempted before. Making confections at home is a different feeling altogether; creating a chocolate candy bar from scratch, you feel like you’ve earned yourself a new degree. It’s a happy feeling.
- 1 recipe tempered dark chocolate
- 70 g (3/4 cup) icing sugar
- 50 g almonds, toasted
- 3-4 tbsp heavy cream (Amul is good)
- 190 g (2 cups) desiccated coconut
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- Pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
Makes 8-9 candy bars
- In a bowl, combine coconut, cream, sugar, pepper and salt. Mix well until you have a paste.
- Shape the mixture into 2 inch logs with a flat surface (see pic). Stick 2 almonds on top of each log.
- Place the logs on a tray and refrigerate them for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, begin to temper your chocolate.
- Your chocolate should be at 90 C when you are about to dip the logs in.
- Drop each log gently into the chocolate. Using a spoon, coat the log by spooning over the chocolate over the log. Lift the log and place it over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with all logs. Dust with cocoa powder.
- Refrigerate the candy bars for 10-15 minutes for the chocolate to set.
Store in airtight box at room temperature for 3 days, in refrigerator for 2 weeks, in a freezer for 2 months.
Notes: The original recipe calls for sweetened, shredded coconut, I used desiccated because I like the nutty flavour. If you don’t like almonds, you can use cashews or even walnuts. Just be sure to toast them.
Recipe adapted from Hand crafted candy bars by Susie Norris