Just because I haven’t been blogging all that much, it doesn’t mean that I haven’s been out in the world facing certain culinary failures and disasters. Most notably of these recipes gone wrong was my attempt to make candy corn. Now, I can be pretty adventurous when it comes to cooking, and I certainly love a challenge… but I cannot do sugar work for the life of me. Place me in front of a candy thermometer and you’ve got one of those sudden melt down situations that ends with ruined pots and pans, me in tears, and possibly a rip in the time-space continuum. Seriously, that hadron collider’s got nothing on a woman who has to spend four hours scraping burnt sugar off the walls. I’m just saying…
Attempt number one to create delicious vanilla-y candy corn:
Things seem to go well until it’s time to add the powdered milk. As the mixture begins to cool, it also gets harder. Really hard. So hard in fact that the top comes off my spatula as I try to stir. No big deal, I just need something a bit tougher is all. The wooden spoon is taken out and proceeds to snap in half right in my little enraged hands. This shit just got personal!
At this point my blind rage causes me to make a rather poor decision. Rather than calling it quits, my desire to literally strangle the sugary snark out of my would-be-candy-corn causes me to use my hands. It burned as all get out, but I still tried to mix everything together as it continued to cool and harden more and more. Eventually the pain was just too much as not only was it burning me, but the mixture had become sharp and tough. I had to stop and all I had to show for my efforts was this:
Yup, not only did it weigh a ton, but when I dropped some of it on the floor it made a sound as if Satan himself had taken a dump on my linoleum. Nothing was damaged mind you, but I bet if I took a hammer to that stuff, there would have been glass-sharp shards, not unlike sugary throwing knives, everywhere.
I had to call back-up for round two, a friend with more sugar work and candy making experience than myself. This time we erred on the side of caution and didn’t cook the sugar long enough. We waited and waited for the mixture to harden, but instead we got play-dough. I’ll save you the gory details this time, but rather than continue to attempt to make super soft corn shapes that would lose that shape as soon as they came into contact with absolutely anything, we called it a day and created this:
The world’s largest and softest candy corn (that’s a quarter next to it for reference).