Making your own candy chocolates isn't as difficult as it sounds and is extremely rewarding. The process requires a few non negotiable staples, so that is where we will begin.
- A heavy durable pan, ceramic, enamel, or waterless aluminum pan, minimum of 4" deep
- A stand mixer with a kneading hook, such as a Bosch, or Kitchen Aid, with lid - or a very patient, strong upper arm
- A marble slab, or a flat surface that will retain a cool temperature
With a 4" deep pan, mix 2 cups sugar with 1 cup water or heavy whipping cream, plus a scant amount of karo syrup - 1 teaspoon. Place all ingredients into your heavy pan, stir to combine and turn your heat to medium high, cover. Do not stir. When the mixture boils to the top of the pan, without going over, (5-7 minutes) remove lid and add 1 tablespoon butter.
Let cool to for 15-20 minutes. When ready, it will lift from the marble and stick to itself.
Transfer candy to your mixer, affix lid, and turn on high. While mixing, your candy will move through three distinct stages. Do not leave mixer unattended. This process can range from 10 minutes to 1 hour, depending on a number of variables.
The first, and longest stage is fairly close to the same consistency as when you poured the candy from the pan.
The second stage is hard and crumbly.
The third stage is smooth and creamy.
When candy has reached the third stage, transfer to a bowl or container and cover tightly. Let cure for a minimum of 3 days, in the refrigerator.
One batch will make approximately 30-40, ½ oz. chocolates. If you have a larger pan you can double, or triple the recipe.
Step 1: Complete!
For more detailed instructions, and some of the science behind the process, visit my blog: Fahrenheit 350° for Candy Making Step One, and Step Two.
After your candy has cured, the next step is where you can get creative.
For the second process, once again you will need a few key staples.
- A stand mixer with a kneading hook, such as a Bosch, or Kitchen Aid, with lid
- A chocolate warmer, or double boiler
- Brown Sugar, substitute brown sugar for white sugar during cooking
- Strawberry, add strawberry jam
- Orange Pecan, add fresh orange juice, orange zest and bits of pecans
- Mint, add mint extract
- Blueberry, add blueberry jam or fresh blueberries
- Chocolate, add melted chocolate
- Caramel Core, add vanilla extract and encase small balls of caramel in fondant
Clean bowl out after each flavor. Once all your fondant has been flavored, roll candy into equal shaped balls, (a kitchen scale comes in handy) place on wax paper, and refrigerate.
While your candy is chilling, prepare your chocolate by finely chopping it into small pieces. Place in chocolate warmer, or in double boiler on high until chocolate begins to melt. Reduce temperature to low and add chocolate, stirring to melt. Do not overheat your chocolate.
Prepare garnish to differentiate your dipped chocolates.
When ready, remove shaped and flavored fondant from refrigerator. Submerge candy into chocolate, remove and transfer to wax paper, sprinkle with garnish. Allow to dry completely, then transfer to paper candy cups.
Step 2: Complete!
Good luck! Feel free to email me if you have any questions!
Thank you so much, Kitty! What a great tradition--especially this time of year!