Salt water taffy was today’s project of choice at work. I didn’t realize this was such a do-it-yourself home project until I typed ‘taffy’ into google to pull up a recipe! Unfortunately I’ve taken the sugar to too high a temperature for my liking, but I’ve adjusted the temperature in this recipe so you can make the soft chewy version, not the hard candy version I ended up with at the end of my day! It’s sure a beauty though, isn’t it? There’s not a feeling quite as awesome as transforming a bowl of flour into a crispy loaf of bread, or a pot of sugar and corn syrup into silky little candies…
The Taffy: yields about 50 small pieces
2 cups sugar
2 TB cornstarch
1 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup water
2 TB margarine/butter
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp flavouring oil, I used orange + vanilla
-Grease a sheet tray or heat proof glass casserole dish, set aside.
-Combine the sugar, salt, and cornstarch in a pot and mix until fully combined and there are no small lumps of cornstarch.
-Add the remaining ingredients but reserve the butter and flavouring for last.
-Slowly heat the ingredients until everything is dissolved before it comes to a boil, being careful not to leave any clumps of dried sugar on the edges of the pot.
-Increase the heat to a slow boil, and cook the sugar syrup to just below 250F, without stirring. Remove the pot from the heat just before the temperature hits 250F, as it will ‘carry over’ and still increase by a couple of degrees since the pot is still very hot. Don’t wait! I didn’t catch the syrup in time on the first try and they ended up looking beautiful, but cooling to a hard-crack candy!
-Once removed from the heat add the butter and flavourings immediately, stir in thoroughly, and pour onto your sheet tray or casserole dish. Allow to cool until it’s cold enough to handle without getting burned.
-Begin pulling the taffy into long cords, folding over, and pulling again to incorporate air into it. You’ll need to keep pulling and pulling for about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your candy batch. You will notice the candy changes from a translucent sticky mass to a more pliable, pale coloured, fluffy mixture. You want a nice glossy looking pale look at the finish. When your arms start to hurt and you’ve broken a sweat- you know it’s ready!
-Stretch into a thin cord and cut pieces with scissors, wrap in wax paper or candy wrappers and enjoy!
I haven’t made much in the way of pastry at home in the last few weeks, but my freezer is looking empty once again- which means its time for another bread batch. I haven’t decided what’s next, but I guess I’d better decide sooner rather than later, since Wonder Bread isn’t an option in this house! Despite my lack of cooking and baking at home, I have been able to squeeze in: apartment cleaning, a bit of work research, attending a wedding, and starting a new book (Bill Bryson’s ‘At Home’, you should read it.) So I suppose I’ve just been productive in other ways!
Until my next post… Thanks for reading, and hope you all aren’t freezing wherever you are (because we sure are here in Toronto!)