Chocolate Speaks: Who can resist Dark Chocolate Truffles? If you are new at candy making, truffles are one of the easiest candies to make. Even better, you can make traditional truffles using heavy cream and butter, or you can choose a healthier version by making them vegan. Follow the directions and I guarantee you’ll be a star. The trick is using the best ingredients.
Candies and Confections
Carole Bloom has graciously shared a toothsome recipe from her new book, Intensely Chocolate (Wiley, 2010), which not only is delicious, but is also an ideal gift to make for a chocolate lover. Carole says, “A blend of bittersweet chocolate, dark milk chocolate, hazelnut paste, and chopped toasted hazelnuts create a candy that fills the mouth with intense flavor. These go very well with coffee or tea after dinner.”
This Caramel Peanut Popcorn has been a family favorite for years. If you grew up loving Cracker Jacks, you’re going to love this crunchy treat. It makes a great gift over the holidays, or is delicious as a light snack any time of the year.
While these deliciously crunchy candies do not actually contain honey, the bubbles that give them their light air airy texture and their deep golden color, conjure up images of bees and nature’s sweet treat. Perfect for topping cakes and desserts or just served on their own, we think you’ll be pleased with their surprising texture and rich flavor.
Crème Eggs – Time honored store bought confections indicating the arrival of spring – Now available at your fingertips!
With the crack of their hard chocolate shell revealing syrupy yolk centers, these decadent treats have been delighting kids and adults for generations. Candies that have traditionally been available annually, can now be yours the whole year through. This recipe, adapted from Food 52, will light up your dessert buffet.
Wanting to take a more sophisticated approach? With the simple modification of removing the yellow centers, this recipe can easily be transformed, resulting in delicate vanilla crèmes.
The first time I had Nutella was in a very unlikely place — on the island of Tahiti! Tahiti, being a French Protectorate, means that all kinds of delicious European treats are readily available in markets except on some of the smaller islands. Also, fresh baguettes are delivered several times a day to even lowly gas station convenience stores! It was crazy wonderful.
At any rate, I was staying at a pension where they provided natural alarm clocks for everyone in the form of a band of semi-wild chickens. Fortunately, they also served breakfast, which included the aforementioned baguettes along with a variety of jams and Nutella.
True old fashioned fudge (not the kind with marshmallow crème) deserves to be elevated to the same lofty status as really good truffles and other high-quality, handmade, small-batch candies.
If you’ve read my blog on a regular basis, you know how crazy I am for pure maple anything. Not a conflict of interest here as vanilla and maple complement each other perfectly. After all, they’re both flavors of the Americas! So when I first met my friend Andrew Jue and learned that he is an exceptional fudge maker, I asked if he had a good recipe for maple fudge.
Ahhhhh, maple everything!! As my Vermont friend Sandra sent me 1/2 gallon of maple syrup, 1 pound of maple sugar, a box of maple leaf candies and a jar of maple butter, I embarked on a maple
desserts splurge. Wouldn’t you??
When I visited Sandra in St. Johnsbury in 2002, we went to the Goodwin Family’s sugaring shack. Although it was April and sugaring had ended in Vermont, the processing was still underway and the place was buzzing. There were molds filled with syrup drying into maple candies. People were picking up jugs of syrup, and boxes ready to ship lined the hallway.
There are times when you need to stick to the tradition and there are times you can mess with it. This riff on a New Orleans-style praline recipe produces sweet, slightly crumbly candies loaded with toasted pecans and a subtle maple flavor.
This is the ideal recipe for extreme milk chocolate truffles or borderline semisweet chocolate. By extreme milk chocolate, I mean chocolate that has a minimum of 30% cocoa butter. Tahitian vanilla works well with milk chocolate because of its fruity, floral flavor.
Courtesy of Chef David Lebovitz: www.davidlebovitz.com
Courtesy of Carole Bloom: www.carolbloom.com
Homemade fudge is a real treat and, with good instructions, an easy gift to make for the holidays. The following recipe is a delicious variation on the more traditional fudge, one we think you’ll enjoy. And…it celebrates tropical coconut, a favorite!