March 25, 2010

The Candy, man

I was bursting at the seams with sugar last week. It was the end of the section and the first 20 days with Chef Hall. Tests, checklists, spring, my brain was just overwhelmed.

I love making candy. Some of you have been the lucky recipients of some of my experiments. Now, I have even more ideas and skills! I really enjoyed class last week, it was hard but worth it.

First up, the classic peanut brittle. Baking soda is the trick here. It is what makes it better, trust me.

Next on the list, pralines. Never had one until this class. I don't eat a lot of nuts so I don't go out of my way to find candy with nuts. These candy were weird to make. You want them to crystalize and get glossy. They are piles of tan, cloudy nuts. They are super sweet too, hurt my teeth. I gave all but a few to Chef because he likes them. I am not sure how I feel about them...

You all know I love to make soft caramel. Now, I can make soft chocolate caramel. Heehee. Alan really likes these.

I on the other hand, really like nougat. REALLY like it. I made mine with pistachios, pine nuts, dried apricot, and pepitas. So colorful and so good. I am limiting myself to a couple pieces a night just so it will last.

If you are a fan of jellies, I have the recipe for you! When we made these in class, I liked them so much I made 2 more batches! The first ones, mandarin orange with ginger. The second, peach. The third, blueberry. After you make these, you let them sit out in the air for 24 hours. Then you can roll them in citric acid. My table mate at the time, Sarah, was clever and put lime zest and salt in with her citric acid. This made the jellies even better. MMM... Think of sour patch kids with actual fruit.

Truffles, wow, these are rich. We made traditional ones and we got to choose the flavor. I went again with the orange. I can't get away from it. The truffles are so smooth and tasty. I hope that the folks who were lucky enough to get some of these babies enjoy them!

Next, we worked on tempered chocolate and filled candies. I made a caramel filling, a fondant filling flavored with coconut and lime, and I got to use the rest of my orange truffle filling on some too. I got to use a fancy geodesic dome mold. It is cool! You fill it with tempered chocolate and let it set. Then you add your filling. Then you put on some more tempered chocolate and smooth the bottom. Then you wait a minute and pop them right out. I added some luster dust so I could tell the difference in the fillings. It made them pretty and shiny.

With the left over tempered chocolate, we made some nut clusters. We had some sugar coated, toasted nuts and then you add the chocolate. Ta da! Tasty.

Then that was then end of my third section. One more section. Twenty more days. Four more weeks. Yippee!


  1. I loved the mandarin orange and ginger jellies. No one got to try the filled candies with seasalt since I ate them all before they could be distributed :) Sorry!

    The chocolate caramel is to die for!

    Candy week was so tasty, but I fear going to the dentist next month to hear about the damage!

  2. Wow, those jellies look mighty tasty. And made of real fruit?!

    I think I am getting cavities and diabetes just reading this blog. Don't stop though, it is fun to see all the sweet things you are making. :)

  3. I love candy! Wow, so many different kinds.