I think I've lost my baking mojo.
This is the first weekend we've had at home since the middle of December. We've been jetting up and down the country for tramping, Christmas, and weddings and somewhere along the line I think my baking mojo went on holiday.
We are going to a dinner party tonight and I thought I'd try and be a little bit fancy and make Homemade after-dinner mints to branch out from the sea salt cracker toffee I always make.
It was easy enough to whip up. Essentially just melted some chocolate and made a peppermint icing and let it all set in layers. I let it sit in the fridge overnight to doubly make sure it set properly and took it out this morning.
It was a thing of beauty.
The peppermint filling was deliciously creamy and minty. The chocolate was smooth, dark, and shiny and had that characteristic snap like it was properly tempered chocolate.
It looked like I was on to a winner.
And then I tried to cut it.
I heated my knife, measured out the squares. And pressed down on the chocolate and...
Ooze fest. Like molten lava.
Delicious, pepperminty molten lava. Impossible to cut.
The snappy perfect chocolate compounded the problem by snapping away in chunks as it pleased with no regard to where I actually wanted to cut it.
Any tips on how to salvage or where I went wrong??? Was the chocolate too thick? Too much evapourated milk? Knife not hot enough?
Homemade Peppermint Patties a.k.a. After Dinner Mints
Tweaked from Lynn's recipe
4 cups dark chocolate chips
4 Tablespoons vegetable shortening
85g salted butter, soft/room temperature
7 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup evapourated milk
6 tsp peppermint essence
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Prepare a 20 x 30 cm baking dish by lining it with a layer of tin foil and then a layer of wax paper.
2. Melt 2 cups of the dark chocolate chips and 2 Tablespoons shortening in the microwave (in 30 second bursts) or in a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Spread the chocolate over the base and put it in the fridge to set (think it took about an hour or so?)
3. Put the evapourated milk, butter, icing sugar, vanilla and peppermint into a food processor (in that order so the butter doesn't get stuck in the bottom). Whiz until it forms a smooth paste. Pour over the bottom layer of chocolate and then put in the fridge for at 1-2 hours to set.
4. When set, melt the remaining chocolate chips and shortening (2 cups + 2 Tablespoons) and spread over the mint. Put it back in the fridge to set.
5. Ok so here's where I'm not really qualified to write any more instructions! The original recipe says to bring to room temperature before cutting. I've read other recipes that say to use a knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry. Neither of these methods worked for me! For now I've put it back in the fridge while I contemplate what to do with it! Of course, it might just all end up in my belly because it is just that tasty.