The August 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Lisa of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drive and Mandy of What the Fruitcake?!. These two sugar mavens challenged us to make sinfully delicious candies! This was a special challenge for the Daring Bakers because the good folks at http://www.chocoley.com offered an amazing prize for the winner of the most creative and delicious candy!
I chose to do a few of my favorite candy recipes. Sea foam or honeycomb is something I first tried in Canada years ago. I have since had it several times and it continues to be one of my favorites. I didn't quite know how this would turn out since I have never even dreamed of making sea foam. The first experience was less than perfect. The candy itself tasted ok, but I left it out on the table uncovered for a few hours and when I came back I found that my sea foam was melting and gooey. This would not do since I wanted to dip the sea foam in chocolate. I also wanted a slight honey flavor so this gave me the opportunity to try again. This second recipe I liked even better than the first as far as taste goes. I was also quite a bit smarter and as soon as it cooled I stored it in an airtight zip lock bag. I didn't get around to dipping it for about a week and it still turned out wonderful.
75 grams honey (1/4 cup)
140 grams light corn syrup or glucose (1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon)
400 grams sugar (2 cups)
20 grams baking soda (3 1/2 teaspoons)
Prepare a sheet pan (preferably with sides) with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil and brush it with a thin coating of butter or oil. If you have a silpat, put that down and forgo the grease. Set aside.
Combine the honey, corn syrup and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan--one large enough to allow the mixture to quadruple in size (which it will do when you add the baking soda at the end). Moisten the mixture with enough water so that there are no dry patches of sugar; then wash down any stray sugar crystals that might be clinging to the side of the pan.
Set the pan on high heat and cook and cook and cook until a candy thermometer reaches 300 F or, if you don’t have a thermometer, until the mixture turns a light amber color. While the mixture is cooking, do NOT stir it at all. Stirring can cause the sugar to seize (one moment it’s fine, one moment it’s hard and crystallized). Don’t worry about it mixing properly, it will do that on its own when it starts to boil.
When the honeycomb is sufficiently cooked, take the pan off the heat. Dump in all of your baking soda and whisk vigorously until it is well combined; while you whisk, the honeycomb will foam up dramatically. After the soda is whisked in, gently pour the mixture out onto a prepared pan and allow to cool completely, about one hour.
Once cool, break into smaller pieces and dip in chocolate if desired. Store in an airtight container. Really, we mean airtight. A rubbermaid wrapped in plastic inside a ziplock freezer bag would be good. (Honeycomb is hygroscopic, meaning that it sucks in moisture from the air, leaving an unprotected initially crisp candy sticky and gooey in a matter of hours.)
Sea Foam : Recipe Source: Seattlest
I will be honest I had never heard of Pate De Fruit, but when looking at different candy options I knew that this one would be delicious! I have always loved gummy candies but never dreamed of making my own. This candy is so delicious and full of fruit flavor. I loved making it and eating eat!
Raspberry Pate de Fruits
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2/3 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup, seedless raspberry jam (or a cup of your favorite jam)
Vegetable oil for coating the pan
Additional granulated or superfine sugar for sugar coating
Oil an 8-inch square pan. Set it aside. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/3 cup water. Let the gelatin soften at room temperature until needed. Combine the remaining 1/3 cup water and the granulated sugar in a heavy medium saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Add the jam and stir until it melts into the syrup completely. Add the softened gelatin and stir until the gelatin dissolves completely.
Return the mixture to a boil and cook until thermometer reaches 225 degrees. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the syrup into the prepared 8-inch pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator until the candy is set, at least 4 hours.
Use a wet knife to cut the candy into small squares. Using a narrow spatula dipped in water, carefully remove one square at a time and coat each one completely with sugar. Store the candies in layers, separated by wax paper, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.
Pate De Fruit: Recipe Source: A Chow Life