I'm giving a Christmas gag gift to my SIL. I've already made a burlap sack and stenciled COAL on the front with a paint pen. Now I need some coal to fill it with.
I tried a Martha Stewart recipe (link provided below), it turned out okay, there's room for improvement. Martha called for a tbs of black gel food coloring. I knew this seemed like a lot because I can get a whole batch of chocolate buttercream icing black with 1 tsp of Wilton gel. Well I put in 2 tsp of black Wilton gel, the candy came out beautifully but it tasted like dye, and my mouth was washed in black/purple. I also added 1floz of McCormick immitation banana flavoring, I could barely taste it... It's a delicate flavor, I figure it boiled out, but it's possible the dye drowned the flavor... Not really sure, and I'd welcome any thoughts about this. I'd like to use banana since we have an inside joke over bananas. :)
Here's the big question.
While I was searching for coal ideas I found a candy recipe called Carbon Dulce (links provided below). Since I recognized Martha's recipe as a brittle without nuts I felt more comfortable using it, brittle isn't as weather dependent as divinity. Well the Carbon Dulce looks like a divinity recipe, and its still hot & humid down here in Southern USA.
I have some questions about the recipes. All of them call for lemon juice. Is the lemon juice there for flavor, or does it provide some kind of acidic chemistry with the other ingredients? Since the Carbon Dulce recipe dosent require 300F temp, I'm hoping it will retain the banana flavor better. I don't want to give up on banana just quite yet. But if the lemon can't be omitted, it's gonna overpower the more delicate banana. [/b]So is it safe to remove the lemon?[/b]
Candy Coal - Martha Stewart Recipes
Diamonds for Dessert: Carbón Dulce (Sweet Coal)
Sprinkle Bakes: Christmas Coal Candy
Christmas Coal Candy (Carbon Dulce) Recipe | Key Ingredient