Home Home Home Home Home Home Home
CakeSpy

 Buy my brilliant books!

Buy my new book!

Buy my first book, too!

 

CakeSpy Online Retail!

 

 

Gallery

Craftsy Writer

Entries in candy (45)

Monday
May232011

Do the Mashed Potato: Chocolate Covered Potato Kisses Recipe for Serious Eats

Desperate times called for desperate measures, and in the 1930s, candy was often made using an unlikely ingredient: mashed potatoes. No, really.

Potato fondant, rolled candies filled with peanut butter, and Potato Fudge were among the potato-rich candies referred to as "depression candy."

Of course, even in less depressed modern-day kitchens, these recipes are worth revisiting: turns out, potato is a surprisingly versatile candy filling, working very well with a variety of flavors and textures and making for a texture that is surprisingly creamy. This recipe for Potato Kisses is one of my personal favorites, rich with sweetened coconut. And of course, like so many things, it tastes even better with a rich coating of dark chocolate.

For the full entry, more cute pictures, and the recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Sunday
May222011

Sweet Love: A Bakery Crush on Willamette Valley Confectionery

A couple of weeks ago, at Crafty Wonderland, I met the two men of my dreams.

They were at a booth surrounded by cake pops, homemade pâtes de fruits, chocolates, and toffee. There was a dreamy sign that said "Willamette Valley Confectionery".

Of course, they also appeared to be a couple, but that was ok with me, because I really just wanted their candy. 

And oh, what candy it was.

Let's start with the cake pops. They really, really wanted to upsell the fact that they were gluten-free, and that is fine by me, and it made me happy for people who can't eat gluten, but it really wasn't of great importance to me.

But happily, devoid of gluten as they might have been, they were full of flavor: very moist, rich, and extremely--like, your tooth might fall out but it would fall out so good--sweet.

The pâte de fruit was a bit more subtle, still very sweet but made with local Marionberries. And shaped like a heart! Love.

Willamette Valley also boasts a full line of confections, such as barks, chocolates, and tiny cakes. 

Happily, if you are in Portland or the environs, you can pick up their goods at Whole Foods markets; it is slightly pricier but still delicious to have the goods shipped, which you can do via their website, willamettevalleyconfectionery.com.

Thursday
May122011

Sweet Honey: Homemade Honeycomb Recipe from Cake Gumshoe Victoria

CakeSpy Note: This is a totally sweet guest post from Singapore-based Cake Gumshoe Victoria, who blogs here.

Honeycomb; noun: A wax structure made by bees featuring hexagonal cells where they store eggs and honey.
Sounds a little... gross.

Honeycomb; delicious: An amalgamation of honey, sugar and glucose lifted to bubbly heights with the addition of baking soda. Promises to melt into almost nothing when you crunch into it. Much better and made even better when coated in dark chocolate. It’s like a whole fleet of honeycomb pieces entering a diving competition.
 
My first encounter with the confection was when my sister introduced me to Violent Crumble; similar to Crunchie. It was strange, like cotton candy, it looked so large yet dwindled into sugar sweet nothing in your mouth with only an aftertaste of honey lingering. I’m not even sure it was real honey now that I think of it. Their ‘pores’ were uniform, definitely not hexagonal and much smaller than the ones found in homemade honeycomb. I wonder how they did it.
 
So today I decided I’d try my hand at making my own. It’s simple enough, starring only a few main characters; sugar, honey, glucose and baking soda. It starts with a big pot, a minor effort of stirring and a huge uproar of sugar-ness rising once the baking soda comes into contact with the hot caramel-like liquid. It’s pretty fun to watch, like a school volcano project, only this time, completely edible.
 
They’re great covered in dark chocolate, or if you’re feeling quite hardworking, bake a batch of cupcakes and use these babies as their crowning glory.

Honeycomb
(from Home Cooking by Rachel Allen)
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 325g caster sugar
  • 50g honey
  • 125g glucose
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  1. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and grease lightly with the oil.
  2. Place the sugar, honey and glucose in a large pot. Add 4 tablespoons of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and stay away once it does; just let it boil in peace. Simmer, without stirring, for 5-10 minutes or until it reaches 149°C (300°F).
  3. Immediately remove from heat and quickly whisk in the baking soda. The mixture will grow very quickly. Pour into the prepared baking tray, swirling to spread the mixture evenly. Leave to cool completely before breaking into chunks and shards. Store in an airtight container.
For chocolate coated honeycomb chunks, melt 150g of chocolate in the microwave and then after it’s cooled down, spread it evenly with a spatula over the honeycomb pieces or just let them plunge into chocolate heaven. Leave to set completely on baking paper.
 
For more great recipes, visit Victoria's blog!
Thursday
May052011

Saltwater Sweetness: Saltwater Taffy Cream Pie Recipe

Now, you may not know this, but I hail from a magical land called New Jersey. And in that magical land, there is a magical snack that gives residents along the shore their secret, magical New Jersey powers. That snack is called Saltwater Taffy (and at this point, no, you are not invited to ask any follow up questions).

Now, the name may be misleading. This taffy doesn't actually contain saltwater, but instead is called such because it was popularized by the shore in Atlantic city in the late 1800s-early 1900s, and has been associated to a close proximity to the sea ever since. Dig?

But what is true is that it is a singular sensation of a confection: mellower and creamier than hard candies, with a texture that begs you to slowly savor rather than suck and bite. 

I don't know about you, but that's all I needed to decide it would make a great addition to a cream pie.

So here it is for you, friends: a modern marvel that I'm calling Saltwater Taffy Cream Pie. YES!

Saltwater Taffy Cream Pie

  • 1 9-inch pie crust (unbaked) - I tried out the Grand Central U-bake Crust, which I recently received a sample of, and it worked great!
  • 1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
  • 30 or so taffy candies (about 15 for the filling and as many as you'd like to garnish)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Bake the pie crust 8-12 minutes (using pie weights), or until lightly brown. Set to the side to cool.
  2. In a medium saucepan, mix 1/2 cup sugar and the flour. Add the milk and stir until dissolved. Add the egg yolks and mix very well. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened--this was about 15 minutes in total for me. Remove from heat and stir in the butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 15 or so of your taffy candies (um, unwrapped please). They may make bright swirls in the filling, which is...not necessarily pretty or appetizing. Power through it. Cool the mixture, and pour into the prepared pie crust.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer, til stiff but not yet glossy. Sprinkle the cream of tartar and salt on top, and beat lightly. Slowly add the remaining sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla, beating constantly until the meringue forms soft peaks and a nice glossy sheen, kind of like the consistency of shaving cream. Spread over the pie. Reduce oven heat to 325. Bake 8-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. I found that to brown evenly, it helped to shift the plate halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Once cool, dot the top with extra taffy, if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

Tuesday
Apr192011

In Good Favor: Candy Party Favors by A Favor Affair

CakeSpy Note: this is a guest post from Chef Jennifer DePalma for NYC Cooks !
Candy Party Favors- Now That’s How you Say Thank You!

While at a recent bridal expo I came across the sweetest display of edible party favors from A Favor Affair. Chrissy, the boutique’s owner showed me a variety of whimsical candy favors from her couture collection: candy cupcakes, cookie favors, chocolate favors even candy centerpieces!! Chrissy’s work screams sophistication which makes A Favor Affair so unique. Who would think candy could be classy? Chrissy does!

You absolutely need to try the cookie favors, they can be imprinted with a personal picture or whimsical design. I was so in love with A Favor Affair's cookie favors I purchased them for my bridal shower- my guests we’re in awe! Being a chef in NYC I have high standards and when it comes to my wedding, the bar is raised even higher! I love everything A Favor Affair has to offer, the cookie favors were beautiful and delicious, a sweet vanilla shortbread cookie topped with rolled marshmallow fondant then decorated to perfection with a dusting of edible glitter! The leopard and lace candy cupcake favors, were a smash at my bachelorette party and I now even offer them on my catering menu. Stop by A Favor Affair's website for ordering info and custom quotes. Candy, making the world a sweeter place one piece at a time!
Chef Jennifer DePalma for NYC Cooks
Sunday
Apr172011

Sweet Love: Sweet Art in Bellingham, WA

It's official: I am in love with Sweet Art in Bellingham, WA.

Why? Let me count the ways.

Let me start by sharing with you their self-description, as written by co-owner Jerry:

A small mom-pop type retail candy store and art gallery where my wife is the artist and I'm the candyman. She paints oils of flowers & landscapes and I dip chocolates and make candy.

That's right: an artist wife and confectioner husband who have teamed up to open the sweetest little spot--one that makes you feel as if you've entered Alice in Wonderland's rabbit hole when you walk in.

Curios and art line the shelves (there's even a little diorama to peek in from the outside), and in the candy cases, row after row of confections:

Fudge, English toffee, Czech Toffee(!?), chocolate dipped strawberries, turtles and so, so much more.

...yes indeed, this is a special place to discover. But even better? The chocolates are delicious. It was after much debate that I finally settled on the fat little mint truffle, known as the "Bombay Mint Truffle", featured at the top of the post. 

If I've ever tasted chocolate-coated bliss, this was it. Rich, buttery, minty ganache that coats the mouth in the most delightful, flavorful way, this is one of those "I think I will close my eyes for a moment now" types of treats. In fact, I solemnly vow to make this a destination for every Bellingham trip, from now until eternity.

Sweet Art, 1335 Railroad, BellinghamWA.

Monday
Apr112011

So Corny: Easter Candy Corn Recipe for Serious Eats

It's time to let you in on a little secret: Easter Corn is the same thing as Candy Corn, but colored differently. And like Candy Corn, it tastes better when made at home.

Of course, you can make the most of this festive treat by coloring it creatively. Instead of tricolors, why not go for five stripes of pastel sweetness? And, going even further, why not serve it in overturned baby-food jars to form the cutest enchanted forest-style terrarium treats you've ever seen? With all that magic, you might just give the Easter Bunny a run for its money.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Monday
Apr042011

Sweet Fusion: Easter Candy Choco Taco Plate Recipe for Serious Eats

It's true, I am a genius.What happens when you combine Easter Candy with a Choco Taco?

Nothing good, that's what. Instead, you have something great. This Easter-themed "taco plate" is fusion at its best, with sweet "tacos" filled with ice cream and all manner of pastel sweets, topped with green-tinted shredded coconut which simultaneously mimics Easter basket grass and shredded lettuce. Bonus points if you serve it up with a side of "rice and beans"—rice pudding studded with jelly beans, of course.

For the full entry and recipe, visit Serious Eats!

Wednesday
Mar302011

Oh Fudge: Chocolate Covered Cherry Fudge by Fields of Cake

Images: Fields of CakeCheck it. So, a week or two ago, I went to Vermont for the Maple Open House weekend. Which was awesome. You'll totally hear more about it soon. But.

Right now, I want to address a beautiful diversion from said Vermont Maple Weekend. 

So, I have been bloggy BFF's for, like, ever with Fields of Cake. Carrie Fields, the talented proprietress of this blog and Portland, Maine-area home-based baking business, has not only been a customer of mine for years, but has wowed me with her baking prowess on many occasions.

So when she sent me a message that basically amounted to "You're this close, come to Maine!"...I listened.

And I went to Maine, where I was treated to sea, sunshine...and the most delicious fudge I have ever, in my life, tasted.

And I have tried my share of fudge varieties, let me tell you.

This chocolate-covered cherry fudge is extremely sweet in the up-front, assertive way that only fudge can get away with. But Carrie's was a gorgeous variety: completely smooth, none of that "chocolate sand" gritty texture business, and in spite of the sweetness you could still taste the flavor of real cherry shining through.

Basically, this was the type of fudge that could make you swear off chocolate covered cherries forever.

And--happy dance--she posted a recipe, here. But I'll bet she'd also sell it to you if you sent her an email through her great site.

Tuesday
Mar292011

What I Ate On Vacation: An Introduction to Ate from Mexico

Usually, when someone brings you back a souvenir from their vacation, it's a cheesy t-shirt or small creature made from shells or snowglobe or something.

But not Diane, who you may know as the hottie who drives the truck called Street Treats in Seattle. When she recently took a Mexican getaway, she not only thought of me when she tried a local specialty called Ate, but she brought me back a big sack of this sweet stuff.

What is Ate? First off, let's make sure you're pronouncing it right. It's "ah-tay", so basically say "latte" but take off the L. 

As to what it is, it's fairly simple: dried fruit paste coated in sugar. Kind of like real-fruit gumdrops. While it appears that quince is a popular variety, the bag Diane brought me has a mix of (if I translated it right) quince, guava, apple, and Mexican Hawthorn and peach (thanks Adela). The candies are lightly crunchy on the outside but tender on the inside, and what is nice is that they actually taste like fruit--not merely fruit-flavored candy. They are very sweet, however, so a little goes a long way.

Want to eat some Ate? You might have luck purchasing at a Mexican grocery store, if you've got one in your area; otherwise, find a recipe here. Thanks again to Diane from Street Treats for introducing me to this delightful treat!

© Cakespy, all rights reserved. Powered by Squarespace.