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Candy Is Magic: Real Ingredients, Modern Recipes Hardcover – April 18, 2017
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From the Publisher
Makes About 160 Caramels If Made In A Frame Or 115 Caramels If Made In A Pan
I’m apple-obsessed, and I’m fortunate to know a very skilled apple farmer named Susan Christopherson. Susan lives on a beautiful piece of land in Ridgefield, Washington. The property is dotted with rare and heirloom apple trees—trees with which Susan is so familiar that a walk through the orchard is not unlike flipping through the pages of her family photo album. For me, an afternoon spent at the farm is the perfect getaway. Something about the trees and the sky and Susan herself, I forget about every trouble and doubt, and I find myself feeling completely inspired. (Of course, Susan is a great listener, usually has an apple pie on her kitchen counter, and is a total pro at having a pot of coffee at the ready. These three things definitely add to the getaway spirit.)
The key to this recipe is the use of a good-quality apple butter. Homemade is great, but if you use store-bought, the ingredient list on the jar should mention only apples and apple cider. Before you begin the recipe, take a few minutes to remove any extra water content from the apple butter, whether it’s homemade or store-bought, by scooping it into a small saucepan and warming it over medium heat until you see steam. Keep the apple butter moving (stir it) so it doesn’t scorch and allow it to steam for 5 minutes. Remove it from the heat and proceed with the recipe. When the caramel has set, see pages 164 to 165 for cutting tips, detailed instructions, and illustrations.
Set up a 12 by 14–inch candy frame or lightly butter a 9 by 13–inch pan.
Weigh the glucose syrup directly into a heavy-bottomed pot, then set the pot over medium-high heat. Allow the glucose to warm until it liquefies and then starts to bubble. Once the glucose has bubbled a bit in one spot, swirl the pot to distribute the heat.
Add the sugar, about one-third at a time, sprinkling it over the glucose syrup. Using a high-heat spatula or wooden spoon, poke (no stirring) the sugar down into the syrup after each addition. Keep watch to make sure no giant lumps of dry sugar remain before you add the next installment of sugar. If you see lumps, poke them down into the glucose. Once all of the sugar is added and has been poked down into the liquid so it’s wet, stop poking.
Pour the cream into a small saucepan and add the salt, vanilla bean powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, and apple butter. Stir to mix, then set the pan over low to medium heat. You’re not looking to boil the cream; the idea is to simply warm the ingredients so they’re not cold when they go into the hot sugar.
Meanwhile, let the glucose and sugar cook, swirling the pot occasionally, until the mixture is dark amber, or the color of a copper penny (see the Caramel Color Chart). Time-wise, you’re looking at 13 to 15 minutes for the caramel to reach the target color. At first the sugar will turn pale brown, then darker brown. This may happen in spots around the pot, so it’s important to swirl the pot as the sugar cooks. Once the sugar is a uniform color, cook it for a second or two longer until you feel good about the color, remembering that you want it to match that dark amber target.
Remove the pot from the heat and very carefully add the warmed cream mixture, immediately followed by the butter. Whisk the candy for 5 minutes, until completely emulsified. This means that the fats have been completely mixed into the sugar with no chance of separating. The mixture will be homogenized, with no oily separation or bits of anything burnt floating around.
Pour the caramel into the prepared candy frame or pan, nudging it into the corners as needed. Allow the candy to sit until cooled and set, at least 3 hours or preferably up to overnight, before cutting.
- 438 grams glucose syrup
- 800 grams granulated sugar
- 110 grams heavy cream
- 7 grams kosher salt
- 3 grams vanilla bean powder
- 3 grams ground cinnamon
- 2 grams freshly grated nutmeg
- 16 grams vanilla extract
- 130 grams apple butter, excess moisture removed before weighing
- 120 grams unsalted butter, cut into roughly 1-inch pieces
“Sweet rewards made with all-natural ingredients make Candy Is Magic shine. With Jami Curl's clear, easy-to-follow instructions, you'll be making lickable lollypops, chewy caramels, pillowy marshmallows, and fruity gumdrops to the delight of your family and friends. And believe me, if you offer up treats like these, you'll soon have more friends than you know what to do with!”
—DAVID LEBOVITZ, author of My Paris Kitchen
"We love Quin Candy in the Jeni's kitchen! We crush the hard candies and twirl the shards into our ice cream or sprinkle on top. Jami's brilliant, creative recipes turn out magical confections — as great as your favorite candy growing up, and yet better and more fun than it ever was."
—JENI BRITTON BAUER, author of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home and Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Desserts
"An eye-dazzling mix of basic cooking/chemistry lessons and a luxury coffee table topper studded with saturated images that recall geological surveys and precious stones. [...] Candy Is Magic is designed to kickstart creativity on every page; a torrent of recipes and ideas building and building to a crescendo of sugar fever all delivered in Curl’s clear, detailed, relentlessly cheerful tone."
—KELLY CLARKE, Portland Montly
"Curl’s enthusiasm for her craft makes this cookbook a pleasure to read; she is the ideal coach for would-be candy makers."
"Curl’s fearless approach is punctuated by the fact that all her recipes begin in her home kitchen. This means these are no large-scale recipes trimmed down (often with questionable results) for the home cook."
—ERIN PRIDE-SWANEY, Everett Herald
“That emphasis on real, discernible flavors are the essence of Curl’s brand—and the balance between youthfully inspired fantastic treats and quality that adults appreciate. It’s no surprise her customers are of all ages. Quin Candy is more than just a treat; it’s a topic of conversation. […] It’s also is what makes her cookbook so exciting—the concept of making candy can seem daunting to the uninitiated. Creating a homemade version of a Starburst must be impossible without specific sorts of pressure cookers and gelatins and chemical fillers and dyes, but she shows us we can do incredible things with the ingredients that are likely already in our kitchens (although you may need a new thermometer). Curl turns candy-making into a something like a grade school science experiment with sweet results.”
—BENAJAMIN WEISS, Life & Thyme
About the Author
Jami Curl is the founder of QUIN – a small batch, handmade candy company headquartered in Portland, OR. She was recently named one of Fast Company’s 100 most creative people in food, and Bon Appteit dubbed her “the new Willy Wonka.” Jami’s work has also been featured in Food + Wine, Gourmet, Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart Weddings, Sunset, O Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and many more.