I love making homemade candies, from simple caramels to layered chocolate bars. They’re not only delicious, but they make fantastic gifts when you need something that has a little bit of a “wow” factor to it when you deliver it. Making candy is a little bit different from cooking or baking because it requires you to be even more precise than usual. If you’re a little bit off on the quantities of your ingredients or the temperature that you are working at, your goodies might turn out to be as perfect as they look in the picture paired with the original recipe. That said, as long as you are willing to take your time and work carefully, homemade candies are not difficult to make and the results are well worth the time invested. Classic Candy: Old-Style Fudge, Taffy, Caramel Corn, and Dozens of Other Treats for the Modern Kitchen is all about the art of candy making, and this is a book that keeps things simple and straightforward so that you get started off on the right foot.
The book begins with a brief overview of the tools and ingredients that you’ll be working withas you make the recipes, and the introduction includes a guide that walks you through the process of tempering chocolate. I have a tutorial for tempering chocolate at home and taking some time to learn the process can really raise the bar when it comes to homemade chocolates, since all your chocolate will set with a smooth, glossy sheen and won’t need to be put in the refrigerator at any time. The first set of recies focuses on chocolate and candy bars, with a few fudge recipes thrown into the mix. Other chapters focus on taffy, toffee and caramels; hard candies, brittles and bark; soft candies, marshmallows and meringues; and fruit and nut recipes. The recipes are clearly written and very approachable, made with ingredients that you’ll likely be able to find easily at your local grocery store.
This book is a great place to start out if you’re looking to start making candies or want to get a few more recipes into your repertoire. The recipes are simple and easy to excute, yet the results will look like you put a tremendous amount of work into them. If you have a lot of experience with candy making, you might find the book to be a bit too basic, though it’s hard to argue with such straightforward recipes when you have a busy schedule! The book is filled with beautiful photos that illustrate the various recipes inside. They’ll definitely get your mouth watering and inspire you to start trying your hand at some of those treats.