Tuesday, February 9, 2010
On nice days--nice being a relative term in Seattle--the little Humble and I make the short trip down to the beach. It is one of her favorite activities outside of the house. She could spend the better part of the day beach combing at the shoreline, looking for interesting shells, rocks, sea glass and little dead crabs.
She really likes those smelly little crabs. Hopefully she grows out of that particular obsession soon.
I felt like doing some Northwest beach theme treats this week, since the little Humble and I will be resuming our beach trips soon. I know that other parts of the U.S. are up to their armpits in snow but in Seattle, the weather has been rather nice. That is to say, it hasn't been pouring rain.
For all you snowed in folks, the ones boggling at my choice of theme given the time of year, hopefully a little sea glass will remind you of warmer times to come.
I made four different colors/flavors this morning: Blueberry/Cobalt, Lemon/Clear, Key-Lime/Green, and my favorite Rootbeer/Brown.
I recommend using Lorann candy flavoring oils for this recipe. You can also use regular extracts but you will need to add slightly more, as they are not as concentrated as traditional candy oils.
This recipe calls for a candy thermometer. If you do not have one, you can still make this simple hard candy using the cold water test to monitor the temperatures. Be careful, I speak from experience when I say sugar syrup burns are no fun.
Not So Humble Sea Glass Candy:
yields roughly 3/4lb of candy
210 grams (1 cup) sugar
140 grams ( 1/3 cup) light corn syrup
85 grams (6 tablespoons) water
1/2-1 teaspoon flavoring oil (depending on how strong you like the flavor)
non-stick cooking spray
powdered sugar for dusting
Lightly spray a small metal pan with non-stick spray. I'm using quarter sheet pans for my candy, however a 9x9" pan will work just fine. I don't recommend using ceramic or glass pans/casseroles because we'll be hitting the candy with a mallet later and well... you don't want real glass in your sea glass candy.
In a small non-stick sauce pan, weigh out the sugar, water and corn syrup and place over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. When it begins to simmer, wash down the sides of the pan with a damp pastry brush, attach your candy thermometer and sit back and watch. Just watch, no stirring.
When the mixture hits the 250°F range, go ahead and add your food colorings. I use gel coloring but regular colorings should work fine. Again, don't stir. The bubbling action will distribute the color for you. In fact, watching it spread is one of the more entertaining aspects of staring at a boiling pot of sugar for 10 minutes.
Once your thermometer* reads 300°F pull it off the heat and then add your flavoring and stir. Be careful as it will bubble and steam. Immediately pour the bubbling mixture into your prepared pan and allow to sit until cool.
Once it has fully cooled, cover with a piece of parchment paper and hit it with a mallet.
Collect the pieces and brush with powdered sugar. To store the candy, place in an air tight container and keep at room temperature.
*(Check out the caramel comments for useful information about candy thermometer calibration and testing)