Jan 26 2011

I Want Candy

Published by at 9:13 pm under Dessert

I truthfully cannot say enough good things about my instructor at cooking school. I’ve never met someone quite so approachable, yet whose approval I seek beyond all else. When Christmas rolled around, she reinforced just how amazing she is by giving each and every one of us students a hand-written card  and a bag of homemade sweets — truffles, gelées, and marshmallows. Positively adorable.

That’s why I was so excited to try out the treats myself during our recent workshop in confections. Candy-making is all about temperature; it’s extremely precise with very little room for error, and only the most meticulous cooks out there will want to devote their energies to it. As much as I’ve loved the pastry component of my course, staring at a thermometer submerged in boiling sugar doesn’t quite have the appeal I thought it would.

Equally disturbing are the ingredients in many of these confections. Obviously the sugar content is obscene, but cornstarch, gelatin and glue-like pure glucose syrup look much less appetizing in their raw forms.

That said, we made some truly delicious candies. Check it out: Homemade Marshmallows — something worth making yourself if you’re a big fan, because they’re so much fluffier and pillowy than the store-bought kind.

Toasted Coconut Marshmallows. Enough said.

Nougat, made with melted chocolate, chopped almonds and dried apricots

Blood Orange Gelées coated in sanding sugar. May cause diabetes in mass consumption.

And my project, Caramels topped with sea salt. YUM.

Unless there were a special request, the Caramels are probably the only ones I’d consider making again. They’re very easy, use no questionable ingredients, taste deliciously rich, and look precious when wrapped in wax paper. Bonus: Since they’re pure sugar, they’ll keep pretty much indefinitely.

I’ve already promised my sister a batch, but I’m holding out until my sweet tooth returns.

One response so far

One Response to “I Want Candy”

  1. JTon 28 Jan 2011 at 10:54 am

    The caramels were extremely decadent. I loved them.