I’ve decided to start doing my bookish recipes again, after not doing them for MONTHS, even though I was supposed to be doing them monthly. But I didn’t. Oops.
Anyways, it’s now officially spring break, and I have something that resembles free time again, and I’m going to use this short, short week and a half of free time to do ALL THE BLOGGING THINGS.
But, I have actually been reading. I’ve been reading a lot, mostly on the bus and while waiting for the bus, so while I haven’t been reading the 20+ books a month that’s typical of me, I still have been finishing ten or so. And one of those books I’ve finished is Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor.
Now, blood candy doesn’t play a huge role in the story. It’s one of those little, worldbuilding tidbits, but it got stuck in my head. It’s candy, made (presumably) of blood, that if you continuously eat throughout your life, it makes you immortal.
My blood candy neither has blood nor will make you immortal, but it’s jewel-red, just the right amount of sour, and it looks really pretty.
Now, there are several things about this recipe. One, it’s cooked to hard-crack stage, which is really freaking hot, and nothing burns like hot sugar. Trust me. Three, tiny drops of molten butterscotch on my fingers caused way more pain that accidently touching the heating element of the oven. So you do not want to touch this while it’s hot.
Second, the trick to making perfect hard candy is simple. You don’t stir. In the words of Chef Smith, “agitation promotes crystaliaztion”, meaning that if you stir this, you’re more likely to create the little sugar crystals that make candy grainy. Give it a quick stir at the beginning to make sure everything’s mixed together, and then leave it.
Third, you can make the batch as big or as small as you want. It’s a simple ratio: 3:1:1 sugar to water to corn syrup. And even the sugar you roll the candies in after is a simple 2:1 ratio of sugar to citric acid.
Forth. The whole citric acid thing? Don’t be like me and eat a spoonful of it because you’re curious as to what it tastes like. It may not be real acid, but it still makes your tongue feel like you just licked barbed wire.
But that’s about it. And, so, onwards with the recipe!
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon candy flavoring oil (I used watermelon)
Red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon citric acid
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons citric acid
- Place sugar, water, and corn syrup into a heavy-bottomed pot on medium heat. Stir just until all ingredients are combined, and use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush off any sugar crystals that may be stuck to the sides.
- Once sugar is disolved, clip on a candy thermometer, and heat to hard-crack stage (300 degrees fahrenheit, 148 degrees celsuis). While it’s heating, gently swirl the pan occasionally to ensure even heating, but don’t stir.
- Once sugar syrup has reached hard-crack stage, remove from heat. Using a whisk or a heatproof spatula, stir in flavoring oil, food coloring, and 1/2 teaspoon citric acid. Working quickly before the sugar hardens, pour into heatproof molds or in small circles onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Mix together 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons citric acid in a small bowl.
- Once the candy is cool, roll in the sugar/citric acid mixture. Store in an airtight container in a dry, cool place.
- The powdered sugar in the coating can be replaced by superfine sugar.
- If you don’t have citric acid, you can leave it out, and not cool the candy in the coating.
- If you don’t have flavoring oils, you can use extracts, instead, but up the amount to 1 1/2 teaspoons. However, when you add the extract, be careful, because it will bubble up and it could splatter.
Five Reasons Why You Should Read Strange the Dreamer:
- Laini Taylor’s beautiful, flowing, gorgeous writing style.
- THE WORLDBUILDING. It makes my writer head jealous and my reader heart flutter.
- It’s so unique, and unlike anything else I have ever read.
- One of the narrators is a librarian! And if that isn’t a plus, I don’t know what is.
- It is, like the blurb promises, a story of lost cities, of gods and monsters, of dreams and nightmares. Which means it’s utter perfection.
So, blogglings, do you have any recommendations on what I should read while on spring break? Are there any recipes you want to see me make? Have you read Strange the Dreamer yet? If not, do you want too?