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Old 12-25-2011, 12:39 PM   #1
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Making candies

Wow! Making candies is work. Truffles are easy, but time consuming. Making the right consistency ganache for filled chocolate candies isn't hard, it just takes a great deal of care. Tip, to make fruit flavored fillings for chocolate, simply use white chocolate to make your ganache, then flavor with a bit of Kool-Aid of whatever flavor you want, or, throw some freeze-dried fruit into the blender and turn to powder, then mix in with the ganache.

Making a proper, fruity fondant, what a pain! The first batch was frozen blueberries, with peach syrup, , sugar, butter, and cream. Just for grins, add ten large marchmallows. .cook to the soft ball stage. The texture was perfect, but the flavor was off. Next batch, same ingredients, but without the marshmallow, and replace peach syrup with corn syrup. Over cooked to the hard-crack stage, but flavor was right on the money..

Try number three, same as the 2nd attempt. Watched the temp carefully and cooked to the sot ball stage. When cooled, it was like working with a slow poke caramel bar of my childhood. It was somewhat pliable, if you are a weight lifter in your twenties. I was able to form it into balls and use it to fill chocolates, but they won't be the easiest to eat, and not what I wanted.

Other candies made include milk chocolate fruit and nut with dates, raisins, and broken walnuts. Came out nice. Next batch was white chocolate with freeze dried bananas and frees dried strawberries, all chopped before adding to the white chocolate. Came out nice. Waiting for my ganache to cool to make chocolate truffles. I will place a whole hazelnut in the center of each truffle. I don't expect any problems with those.

This is a lot like work!

Christmas with my daughter and SIL, and my son who is home was perfect. I'm making the candies as gifts for my sisters, and their kids, as presents. And I'm bringing a pear pie for desert for the Christmas dinner. I hope that goes well.
After that is all done, I still have to complete a silver pendant with a turquoise cabachon to be put in the mail for tomorrow. The stirling silver bezel is solderd to the sterling silver base. But it has to have the jump ring and clasp soldered on yet, then be filed and polished, and the stone set in it. Hopefully, that won't take too long. Just got a new multi-speed Dremmel tool for Christmas, so polishing will be easier. The old Dremmel tool is 30 years old, and is finally wearing out. The handle gets very hot under normal use, and so limits how long you can use it. Also, it won't hold its speed. It was time to put the old girl to rest.

Well, break time is over. Time to get back to work. Have to have the candies done, the pie made, and be to my sister's by 5 p.m.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North

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Old 12-26-2011, 05:24 PM   #2
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I bought a really expensive ($20) candy thermometer---went to CT and have no idea where the DH put it. I am still waiting for the humidity to drop to make salted chocolate divinity. Way back when, I used to make a lot of candy and learned that the humidex played a huge part in the success. My aunt LaMae always made anise hard candy at Christmas. I think I posted the recipe before. For that, the secret is snow because we'd take the pan outside to chill in the snow. Most likely snow is not an issue in Upstate Michigan at this time of year!
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:16 AM   #3
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For the first forty years of my life, snow was never an issue. I remember 2 feet of snow on the ground by Nov. 15th (the begining of rifle deer season). We didn't get any snow on the ground until last Friday, this year. It snowed lightly on Friday, and continued to put a couple inches down on Saturday. We almost had a brown Christmas.

I too rely on the big outdoor freezer (my oepn porch) this time of year to quickly chill things down. It was just barely cold enough to keep the snow from melting. Ah well, at least I didn't have to shovel.

Seeeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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