Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Candy Time

Every time I use a single word in front of 'TIME', I automatically think of that song Hammer Time, and the song stays with me forever. I don't suppose that happens to any of you does it?
So as I was writing this post, guess where the other half of my brain was? Yup! Tossing each shoulder up and scooting along the floor sideways in my parachute pants.

Here we have a caramel recipe and a toffee offering. The difference? Although both are very similar in appearance and taste, caramel is made with milk and is cooked in less time. Caramel, also, hardens at a lower temperature(about 250-degrees F) than does toffee because of the addition of milk. Toffee, on the other hand, hardens at about 300-degrees F because of the shorter crystals on a molecular level.

Soft, Yet Crunchy, Caramels

My son comes running every single time he knows I am doing a shoot now.
I adore the down-home feel(and taste)of molasses-flavored caramels, and I think you will too. Add to that some maple syrup and you have yourself an indulgence that should not only be enjoyed during the Holidays, but year round. Just pay attention when the caramel reaches the correct color and consistency before removing from heat. It only takes a minute for it to overcook, burn and just plain be nasty tasting. But even so, at least it won't stick to your teeth if it is just a tad too hard.
Nonstick cooking spray
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 cup maple syrup or dark corn syrup
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk


Place a sheet of wax paper in the bottom and up the sides about an inch of a bread loaf pan. Spray with nonstick cooking spray liberally. Combine all food ingredients in a medium saucepan, mix to combine. Place over medium heat and once bubbling, cook 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Although it will be dark to begin with, you will notice the caramel getting darker. Once it looks as though it is pulling away from the sides of the pot when stirring and it is dark amber in color, immediately remove from heat and pour into prepared pan. Let cool, at room temperature, enough to handle. Invert the pan onto work surface, tapping the bottom if necessary to loosen. Immediately cut into thin, 1-inch strips and slowly roll tootsie-roll fashion. If you do this slowly and use the warmth of your fingers, this is easily accomplished without breaking. Wrap in small bits of waxed paper if desired.

Alternately, you can let this completely harden before removing from pan. Break apart using a rolling pin into various sizes.



Cocoa Crispy Buttercrunch Toffee

Here is a delightfully crunchy toffee recipe for those who are not able to withstand the effects of peanuts. Just as crunchy as a nut, but without the fat and worries. If desired, by all means replace the Panko bread crumbs with chopped nuts of your choice.

1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Nonstick cooking spray
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water

In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, brown sugar, cocoa and cinnamon until mixture is evenly colored; set aside. Layer wax paper on the bottom of a bread loaf pan, and up the sides about an inch. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Evenly layer half the crunch topping on the bottom. In a medium saucepan, add butter, sugar, corn syrup and water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, cook 7-8 minutes, or until it turns to a medium brown color, now stirring frequently. The color change will be almost instant, so keep a close eye on it. Pour into prepared pan, top with remainder of crunch topping and let cool completely. Invert onto a work surface of plate and break into desired sizes.


Beckaandson said...

He is so adorable. Thanks for posting. Oh, and yeah, thanks for the recipe. I just now made it and it came out perfect. I didn't think I could roll the candy at first but I took my time like you said and it was fine.

Anonymous said...

Came out PERFECT. Have any pumpkin recipes?

bethany said...

I really appreciate the nut substitution. My sons are allergic but they loved this recipe. Thanks again chef.

M.M.Seaver CMC said...

Bostons Best is NOW The Yankee Chef. We just wanted to give you a thumbs up Chef for having not only the best chowder in Boston, but you have been recognized as the best Yankee Chef in Boston. Thanks for all you do and look forward to seeing you next year again.
All the best,

The Yankee Chef said...

Anonymous, I just posted an terrific pumpkin cake above. And thank you everyone for saying such nice things. I, and my family, certainly are pleased with the popularity of this blog as well as the nicest people who visit it. Bless all of you.

The Yankee Chef said...

Mr. Seaver. TY for the compliment and I appreciate you thinking I have the best chowder in Boston but to be honest, I have never prepared my chowder in Boston. I received another query with regards to what CMC means. I think you posted an observation many MANY months ago and I asked you the same thing. All I remember is that it had something to do with computers. Not that it is anybody's business, you can call yourself anything you want on this public forum but could you kindly refresh my memory. TY my good man. And have a great Christmas.

The Yankee Chef said...

I received this reply from the gentleman everyone is referring to and I have edited it in order so that I may post. I have deleted swearing and other things too.

"Thank you Jim for forwarding you reply and the other questions relating to the acronyms I place after my "name" in all the correspondences I write. I am only going to be "nice" because I enjoy reading your posts, your recipes and you truly are a nice guy even during tough times. As for the morons who think they need to know everything about someones personal life, **** off!!! No, I am not a cook and YES I live in Boston with my wife and 2 adult children and am a computer tech. My mother, grandmother and one sister have all died from cancer as well as someone in my wifes family. The acronym Seaver CMC has to do with my tribute to them and it holds a very special place to me personally. All I am going to allude to about my name is a play on words. "See verse Seaver C", with the rest only me and my wife know. It helps me remember them every single day. That is why I enjoy reading your posts because you have been there as I have. So let me say this...IT IS CHRISTMAS you *****. Don't you all have something better to do with your friends and family than to be worried about someone else? Holy **** people. It you find it neccessary to engulf yourselves in someones elses business, then you really REALLY need to go see someone about your insecurities.
I hope I didn't go off the deep end Jim and if you decide to publish this, by all means edit it as yiou wish. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
The President of the World"