The Bread Doctor

artisan bakery in Torrington, Wyoming
September 6, 2014

Confectionary Final Exam

Today we got to finish all the truffles we left partially done yesterday and get their second chocolate coat on and all dressed up for presentation.  It is important that candies are presented in a way that gives you a hint of the contents and it heightens the excitement to eat something beautiful.  So we are going to dress up all 400 truffles as we coat them the traditional second time.  This method is the traditional French method that my teacher has been teaching us.  However, there was one other confection waiting on the docket for today.  My teacher explained that we would also be making pate fruit.  These are wonderful French fruit candies that are made out of pure fruit puree or juice.  Their flavors are very intense and are a real tribute to the fruit that is used  They are only lightly sweet and fairly tangy inside and coated with granulated sugar on the outside.  One could consider them a cross between fruit leather, a gumdrop, and a Sourpatch Kid.  I think that they are one of the most sublime confections ever created, and was very excited to learn the technique.  She began to explain the methods and then told me that I will be making some of these treats, by making a reverse mold in corn starch…like sand mold for candles.  I have to make this impression in lightly packed cornstarch that we will then fill with the hot liquid fruit gels and let them sit for two days to set up and be ready for final treatment.  As I have mentioned before, Marda is a stickler for details and very high quality in the products that we make.  She also love to throw challenges my way which are very fun and teach me much.  So, here is a picture of the raspberry candies cooling in the cornstarch molds….very cool.

Made with Bill and Donna Pfeiffer’s raspberries

The rest of the pate fruit will be made in molds dusted with cornstarch or in sheets and then cut into squares later.  We will not be finishing them for several days.  However, we also made Meyer Lemon pate fruit and here it is cooling in a pan and in some molds.  I am very excited to see these come out…more on this next week.

The main event of the day was to finish the truffles and here they are.

French Mint dipped in dark chocolate
Mexican Chocolate truffle (cinnamon and cayenne)

Pistachio White Chocolate (absolutely incredible if you like pistachio)

French Mint Praline candy bars

So we get to the afternoon and my teacher says…”Well we have time for one more, is there a flavor you want to try?”  So as the last special problem on the final exam test, we put together a Gianduja chocolate.  This is a special mixture of milk and white chocolate with hazelnut that is very popular in Italy.  It is a flavor that I am particularly fond of and I think it could be very popular.  So we mixed up a batch of filling, and then molded the chocolates in a special mold with a transfer sheet design and it will likely be featured at the bakery in Torrington eventually.  It is heavenly if you like hazelnuts.  It is hard to pick a favorite, but I think this is close. 

So today felt a little bit like a final exam.  I am pleased with all I have learned about the art of confections and chocolate this week.  Tomorrow we are back to baking, but these lessons from this class will be lifelong.  Thanks Marda.