Sunday, March 27, 2016

Candy Making 2016

The (briefly) clean kitchen
Yesterday was candy making day.  The kitchen was spotless at 10am, and by 3pm every surface was covered with platters of chocolates and piles of bowls and spatulas.  Success!

There were six of us preparing sweets this year.  We spent the morning mixing together centers for most of the chocolates:  buttercreams, peanut butter, truffles, toffee.  The toffee was a particularly smooth batch.  That recipe never comes out the same way twice; I can never predict what I'll get.  But this batch was excellent, not a bit of separation.

I had forgotten that the cookie dough truffles used flour, and I only have whole wheat flour in the house.  I adjusted the amounts, but had no idea how they'd turn out.  I hadn't intended to be experimenting with such a large batch on candy day!  The whole wheat was nice and I liked the color, but they need more oomph.  More sugar and vanilla?  Add some salt?  Or maybe it's just time to swap them out for something else.  (They looked great dipped, though!)

Candy making can be messy work - I'm surprised it's only our hands that get dirty.

We break for lunch, then spend the afternoon dipping and decorating.  There was a new toy to play with this year - a tempering machine!  It could handle up to 1.5 pounds of chocolate, which is about how much milk chocolate we use each year.  That's great, since I find the milk chocolate is more difficult to temper than the dark chocolate.  So I only had to worry about tempering two pounds of dark chocolate used for buttercreams, toffee and cookie dough truffles.  It took a while to get the machine working and there were some problems with the dipping wand.  Otherwise the tempering machine was a hit.

At one point we were all in the kitchen dipping chocolates.  It was quite the assembly line!

The afternoon slipped by so quickly.  Chocolate to chop.  Centers to dip.  Paves to cut.  I discovered only after we made the straw nests that Nestle has changed the butterscotch chip formula.  The new chips are terrible!  This may be the last year we make those, unless I find a good substitute.  (Bummer - because those are one of my favorites.) 

 Thankfully, everything else was delicious (I know - I did poison check taste testing).  In no time at all they were packed away and heading to a variety of destinations.  I have a couple of deliveries to make this week, to spread the happiness around.

Thanks for all the hard work, gals!  It was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.  I hope you're all enjoying your goodies.

1 comment :

  1. hmph, no goodies... yours look great and the friends there look so happy. That's the real sweet. LeeAnna


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