(c) 2009 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Rich ganache is studded with bits of crunchy mint candies in these Crispy Mint Chocolates. The light mint pieces contrast nicely with the dark, smooth chocolate and make for a refreshing and indulgent candy. If you want to simplify the recipe, you can use purchased peppermint hard candy in place of the homemade hard candy, and crush it finely in a food processor or blender.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
- 8 oz chopped semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 5 tbsp heavy cream
1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Line a 9x5 loaf pan or 8x8 pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside for now.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup, and place over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then brush down the sides with a wet pastry brush and insert a candy thermometer.
3. Continue to cook the candy, without stirring, until it reaches 300 degrees on the thermometer. As soon as the proper temperature is reached, remove the pan from the heat, take out the thermometer and stir in the mint extract, stirring just until it is mixed in. Pour the candy onto the prepared baking sheet. Carefully hold the sheet at an angle to cause the candy to spread out into a very thin layer. Allow it to cool until completely hard and set.
4. While the mint candy is cooling, prepare the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate and butter in a large heat-safe bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium until the cream simmers, but do not let it boil.
5. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and butter and whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth and shiny.
6. Take the hardened mint candy and peel it off the foil backing. Use a rolling pin to crush it into small pieces, or chop it with a large knife until it is fairly finely chopped. It doesn’t need to be crumb-sized, but the pieces should be small enough to bite manageably.
7. Mix the chopped mint candy into the chocolate ganache and stir until well-mixed. Pour the candy into the loaf pan and smooth it into an even layer. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set, about 2 hours.
8. Once set, remove the candy from the pan using the foil as handles. Use a large sharp knife to cut it into small squares. Allow to come to room temperature before serving for best taste and texture. Store Crispy Mint Chocolates in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The crispy mint candy tends to get softer and stickier as time goes on, so these candies are really best within a few days of being made, but they will last up to a week.