Friday, September 01, 2006

Mis-Adventures in Candy Making

I made this easy confectioners sugar/cocoa/butter/microwave fudge a couple days ago to cheer up my husband, who had eye surgery earlier this week. He is doing better now. It was from the Recipe Hall of Fame Quick & Easy Cookbook, and I've made wonderful chocolate/peanut butter candy from that book for the Holidays for friends. This recipe is called "Grandma's Microwave Fudge". I'm not sure either of my Grandmas knew how to operate a microwave, but that's the title.

It was a rich, smooth fudge, and when chilled it was delightful. So I now had visions of myself making beautifully wrapped little packages for friends at Halloween and Christmas, or even going into molded candies.

My next attempt at candy making was from the Farm Journal's Country Cookbook I used in yesterday's blog entry for Pineapple Muffins. There is a chapter in there entitled "Money-maker Recipes". Here is part of the intro: "Our readers often sell dishes they make unusually well." My fantasy spread after reading this to include blue ribbons at fairs, booths at fairs, orders, etc. I chose "Chocolate Ripple Divinity" listed as "Black and white beauty that will open pocketbooks."
I will be opening my pocketbook to buy more ingredients...

2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1/8 tsp. salt (I forgot this)
2 egg whites, unbeaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 6 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate pieces

Combine sugar, water, syrup and salt in heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Cook to hard ball stage (252 F) without stirring.
Amy's notes: OK, here is where the trouble started. I used a brand new candy thermometer, which fell into the pan when I stepped away for a second to start the laundry. Hey - farm women were busy too, right? Then, I burned my hand getting it out, and the top part began to melt. Water and syrup got in it. I had a backup thermometer, but decided it was hot enough and went on to the next step.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Pour hot syrup slowly over egg whites, beating constantly. Add vanilla. Continue beating until mixture loses gloss and will hold shape.
Amy's notes: After 15 minutes at the highest speed on my KitchenAid, it was still glossy and held no shape - see picture. I decided to move on again.

Fold in chocolate bits quickly and drop from teaspoon onto buttered waxed paper. Makes 2 dozen.
Amy's notes: Were the chocolate chips supposed to be melting? And I had to use my hands as this was ultra sticky.

This is tasty, but ultra rich. I am renaming it "Chocolate Ripple Disaster". I think Godiva is still safe from my budding candy enterprises.

Collecting cookbooks has caused to inevitable things to happen in my house: I'm out of room for more books and I have a couple dups now by accident. I am now doing an inventory, like any good librarian should.

I've been reading a great manuscript of a very good friend this week, but have a stack of teen books and mysteries to review that I will crack this weekend. It will take me a couple days to find a new candy thermometer anyway.

No comments: