Candy Book M O R E T H A N 7 0 0 Q U I C K A N D E A S Y, S O F T A N D C H E W Y, H A R D A N D C R U N C H Y S W E E T S A N D T R E A T S
B R U C E
W E I N S T E I N
In memory of my grandpa, Joe Helfman “Sugar sugar sugar please”
C O N T E N T S
CANDIES FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS
Quick and Easy Sweets
Soft and Chewy Treats
Hard and Crunchy Candy
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ABOUT THE AUTHOR OTHER BOOKS BY BRUCE WEINSTEIN CREDITS COVER COPYRIGHT ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
I N T R O D U C T I O N
Y THE AGE OF SIX, I was hooked. I loved to watch my pennies disappear into the red metal base of a gum ball machine. Where did they go? How did the gum balls make their way down the chute? By junior high school, I no longer cared. I saved my pennies for Doc’s, a candy store where I could choose exactly what I wanted, from taffy to lollipops. Traveling has introduced me to some of my new favorite sweet snacks. On my ﬁrst day in Paris, I discovered pâte de fruits—chewy, intensely ﬂavored fruit candies. I ate an entire kilo before I got back to my hotel. Every day I stopped in a pâtisserie near the cathedral of Notre Dame and bought all of their orangettes— strips of candied orange rind covered in bittersweet chocolate. In New York, I’ve found traditional marzipan at the Elk Candy Company near the Metropolitan Museum of Art, wandered through the myriad chocolate shops from Europe that line Madison Avenue, and continue to marvel at the century-old stores specializing in dried fruits and nuts that dot the Lower East Side of the city.
I decided to tackle candy making in my own kitchen to add to the jams and cookies I always put in holiday packages. I started with lollipops. I found a set of metal molds at a local kitchenware store, complete with sticks, bags, and ﬂavorings. But I didn’t stop there. I tried making marshmallows and peanut brittle the following year. I ﬁnally tried my hand at pâte de fruits and (to my dentist’s horror) homemade chewing gum. Friends and family started asking for the recipes and I was more than happy to oblige. I am thrilled to be able to share all of my recipes with you and hope you enjoy making them as much as I have over the years. This collection of recipes follows the format of my previous Ultimate Books, The Ultimate Ice Cream Book and The Ultimate Party Drink Book, in which I offer you basic recipes followed by a series of easy-to-create variations. Now your kitchen can always be ﬁlled with everything from peanut butter cups to pistachio bark, from coconut snowballs to butterscotch drops, and endless variations of your all-time favorites and your soon-to-be new favorite candies.
I N T R O D U C T I O N
E Q U I P M E N T
ware store, consult the Source Guide on page 242.
Most candy is made from sugar that has been cooked. At different temperatures, sugar takes on different properties, so measuring the temperature is the most important step in successful candy making.
Before you use your new thermometer, test its accuracy by clipping it to the inside of a pan ﬁlled with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat and make sure the thermometer registers 212°F. If it doesn’t, bring it back to the store and get another one.
There’s no way around it: you must have a candy thermometer. Meat thermometers and instant-read thermometers just won’t work because they are not designed to stand up to the continued high temperatures of candy making. They are also not designed to be clipped to the inside of a pan, which is where candy thermometers must be placed. Readability is the most important feature to look for when buying a candy thermometer. If you have a hard time telling what temperature the thermometer shows in the store, don’t buy it. A pot of boiling sugar syrup will only make it more difﬁcult to read. The best candy thermometers register 100 to 400°F in 2-degree increments. They clearly mark all the stages sugar reaches as it cooks: thread, soft ball, ﬁrm ball, hard ball, soft crack, and hard crack. I’ll discuss these stages at more length under Techniques, page 10. Two brands of thermometers that I have trusted for years are Taylor and Wilton. If you can’t ﬁnd them in your local cook-
T H E
U L T I M A T E
C A N D Y
B O O K
CHOCOLATE THERMOMETERS Chocolate melts at low temperatures and requires a thermometer that reads 90°F or lower. I prefer to use a chocolate-melting thermometer rather than a candy thermometer because chocolate thermometers register from 40°F to 130°F. They’re usually marked in 1-degree increments, making them more accurate. And after all, temperature accuracy is the key to successful candy making. My chocolate thermometer is made by Component Design Northwest (model TCH 130). Check your local baking supply store or consult the Source Guide on page 242. Some people melt chocolate without a special thermometer. Not a good idea, as the lack of accurate temperature measurement can lead to less than perfect results: burned chocolate or chocolate that has a cloudy or dull ﬁnish.
Both a candy thermometer and a separate chocolate thermometer are a wise investment for every candy maker.
CANDY MOLDS Candy molds are the best-kept secret for beautiful, easy-to-make candy. Molds help you make lollipops, caramels, mints, and hard candies that are perfect every time. Some molds are made for shaping hot syrups, while other molds are made for shaping cool to warm candies like marzipan or tempered chocolate. Don’t be misled by materials: not all hard-candy molds are made of metal. Some plastics can withstand very hot temperatures. When you purchase molds, remember to ask whether the mold is made for hard candy. If you try to pour a hot syrup into a mold made for chocolate or other lowtemperature candies, you’ll melt the mold and have a dangerous mess on your hands. Pouring liquid candy into molds is easier to do from a pan with a pouring spout. If you don’t have one, transfer your hot mixture to a Pyrex measuring cup with a spout and a handle.
these recipes for the home cook who may not have professional dipping tools. These are long-handled plastic or metal tools designed to dip particular candies into melted chocolate. Some have double prongs which are great for dipping trufﬂes or other ﬁrm candies. Others have triple prongs, making them more suitable for marshmallows or other soft candy centers. Some have no prongs at all, but are shaped to hold speciﬁc fruits or nuts. I have seen candy dipping tools that have spirals on the end (which will give the candy a swirl pattern when it’s ﬂipped over), and others that have ﬂat spatulalike ends for dipping cookies or crackers. All my recipes describe how to dip candy into chocolate using tools you already have in your home, such as forks, tweezers, and toothpicks. If you want to try your hand at dipping candy with professional tools, consult the Source Guide on page 242 and follow the manufacturer’s directions.
CHOCOLATE DIPPING TOOLS
A double boiler is a great tool for melting chocolate and other candy ingredients. It’s a two-part pot. The bottom is ﬁlled with water, which is heated to produce steam. The top part ﬁts snugly over the bottom and is heated by the steam in the bottom. Melting chocolate this way rather than over direct heat allows you to control the temperature better and avoids burning the chocolate. Double boilers are also great for melting fondant, caramels, butterscotch chips, and marshmallows.
Many recipes in this book call for dipping candy into tempered chocolate. I wrote
If you don’t have a double boiler, you can improvise. Any saucepan will do for the bottom, but I think a 31⁄2-quart
You can also use a candy funnel to ﬁll molds. Candy funnels have a handle plus a built-in stopper on the bottom that you control with your thumb. This makes ﬁlling molds quick and easy. Funnels can be found at cookware stores, or consult the Source Guide on page 242.
E Q U I P M E N T
saucepan is the perfect size. Now choose a heatproof bowl or second saucepan that ﬁts snugly over the bottom pan. Snug is the key word, because you don’t want any steam to leak out and condense onto whatever you’re melting.
KITCHEN SCALES Kitchen scales are the best way to make sure you use the exact amount of chocolate required in each recipe. Kitchen scales are available at most cookware stores and come in two basic varieties. The ﬁrst is spring-loaded. Look for spring-loaded scales that have a device that allows you to adjust the display to make sure that you always start at zero. I don’t recommend buying a spring-loaded scale without this adjustable feature. The other type of scale is electronic. It is very accurate and consistent. One of the beneﬁts of electronic scales is that you can measure fractions of an ounce and switch between ounces and grams at the touch of a button. While professional electronic kitchen scales need to be plugged in, smaller versions designed for home use run on batteries. Kitchen scales also make it easy to divide up a batch of candy for gift giving. Whether you make four kinds of fudge or seven kinds of brittle, you can be sure that everyone gets the same amount if you measure it out with a scale.
PASTRY BRUSHES These resemble little paintbrushes and can be found in almost every cookware store. They come in sizes from 1⁄2 inch to
T H E
U L T I M A T E
C A N D Y
B O O K
2 inches or larger. They are used for everything from greasing pans and molds to brushing melted chocolate into paper cups. I like to use brushes made from natural materials such as boar’s hair or hog bristles. Nylon brushes are also available. Wash your pastry brush well after each use and let it dry completely before putting it away. Never put your pastry brush in the dishwasher or the bristles will dry out and can break off the next time you use the br...