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A Candy For Every Season

Jan 23, 2008
For the candymaker Easter is the big springtime challenge. Those friends of yours who have been going without sweets for Lent will welcome your best candies whatever shape they come in.

Once you have mastered chocolate dipping you can dip any manner of sweets.

Another great idea is to shape chicks with scissors from cooled marshmallow, and then dip them in yellow colored sugar. Use pieces of nut for the eye and the bill. Penuche is another all-time favourite. Enjoy the fun of making these chocolate dipped candies and penuche, closely related to fudge.

CHOCOLATE DIPPING

The best compliment that can be paid store-bought candy is to say it tastes homemade. This is as true of chocolates as it is of any other candy, but the proudest compliment a home chocolate dipper can receive is to have someone say her chocolates look professional - though they must still taste homemade.

Chocolate dipping is a profession and dippers spend much time becoming adept at it, but once you have learned about the temperature requirements, the actual dipping is not difficult.

Use at least a pound of chocolate for one session of dipping, shave it finely and put it in the top of a double boiler over water no higher than 120 degrees measured on your candy thermometer. Cover the chocolate and begin to get your centers ready for dipping. Stir occasionally so that the heat is distributed evenly. When most of the chocolate is melted beat it thoroughly with a spoon or rubber paddle, smoothing out all the lumps.

In the meantime have the candies you are going to dip lined up on a board or tin in the room where you are to dip them. Spread waxed paper or oilcloth over your work surface or use a marble slab.

Dipping forks may be used instead of the fingers but while it may sound easier and certainly is less messy, there are many objections to it. Finger dipping is the best and quickest way for the amateur to become a professional.

SUGGESTED CENTERS FOR CHOCOLATES

Plain fondant mixed with Butter brickal
chopped nuts or fruit Toffee
Butter cream mixed with Cherries dipped first in
chopped nuts fondant
Maple creams Fruits
Oriental creams Jellies
Nougats Apricot paste
Caramels Apricot orange balls
Butter crunch Marzipan

PENUCHE

1 pound brown sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, (2 1/3 cups) 1 teaspoon vanilla, 3/4 cup milk or equal parts milk and cream

Measure 1 pound brown sugar and 3/4 cup milk or milk and cream into a 3-quart saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Continue stirring until it boils, then put in your candy thermometer and boil over medium heat until it reaches a temperature of 237 degrees. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons butter but do not stir.

For a creamy penuche, cool to 110 degrees, add 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until thick and creamy. Turn into a buttered pan, 8 by 8 inches. For a harder, more sugary candy, let cool to 150 degrees and beat until the candy begins to lose its gloss and begins to feel a little grainy under the spoon. Penuche is easier to doctor than chocolate fudge, if you miss the perfect moment for turning it out. If it becomes too hard, you can thin it with a small amount of cream, which will lessen the grainy texture, too.

With these tasty treats, your spring holidays will become a whole lot more enjoyable. Have fun!
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