Introduction: Mini Candy 'Apples' for Christmas - Gluten-free Organic Party Food
I recently challenged myself to produce 100 gluten-free organic appetisers by Christmas and I divided them into 25 of each - sweet and savoury, hot and cold. I thought I'd share one of each category here on Instructables. This is one of the most finicky sweets I've made so far but it was so yummy, I'd eaten several of them before I got to the photo finish.
I'd seen photographs of both stuffed grapes and caramel candy covered grapes but I wanted to make a dessert on a stick that had both. The grapes this year are very juicy, we've had a lot of rain and when a friend gave me a bunch of these beautifully photogenic Chasselas Rosé Royale I decided to seize the moment. This variety is both a wine and table grape and it has the advantage of being large and so foolishly I thought it would be easy to work with!
A foreword on gluten-free party food
If you are having buffet parties, cookouts, or a few friends and relatives around over the holidays, it is a good idea to label the gluten-free food. This not only signals to guests what you have prepared for them but in the case of dips and such like, it warns people to avoid cross-contamination. To this end, in the ingredients section I've added a link to some distinctive flags you can add to your gluten-free dishes.
For the Caramel:
60g - 2oz cane sugar
1½ tablespoons of cold water
For the Sticks:
20 large grapes
1 teaspoon cane sugar
65g - 2¼oz Mascarpone cheese
10 chopped hazelnuts
20 cocktail sticks
Gluten-free party food identification flags (useful if you are having a party with all kinds of foods)
Step 1: METHOD, ASSEMBLY & FINISHING
For the Sticks:
Make in this order for ease of assembly!
Shell and chop hazelnuts finely.
Mix the raspberries and the Mascarpone.
Wash and thoroughly dry the grapes.
Cut the grapes in half and remove seeds with the tip of a knife.
Divide the Mascarpone mixture into 20 and using a teaspoon add to one half of a grape.
Push a stick through the grape half and Mascarpone mixture until it comes through the other allowing enough of the stick to spear the matching half of the grape.
Place stuffed grapes on a plate and when you have completed half of them start the caramel. Then continue with the grapes.
For the Caramel:
The great thing about caramel is that once you have completed the initial stage, you must leave it alone, so this gives you time to complete the grapes!
Dissolve the water in the sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan over a low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Do not allow to boil until the sugar has completely dissolved into a syrup.
Once the sugar has dissolved boil rapidly without stirring until a caramel colour appears at the edges of the syrup, at this point you can lower the heat, or in my case move it away from the main firebox.
As the caramel colours develop further, swirl the pan gently a couple of times to spread the caramel evenly. When the caramel achieves the desired thickness (largish bubbles) it is ready. If it hardens in the pan whilst you are using it return the pan momentarily to a gentle heat and it will melt.
ASSEMBLY & FINISHING
Using a warmed teaspoon add the caramel to the top half of the grape.
Roll the grape in the hazelnuts or sprinkles.
Place on a dish and powder the plate with a few pieces of hazelnut and sprinkle 'confetti'.
If you would like to see more of my gluten-free appetisers then please feel free to visit Simply Organic Recipes and also remember check back here for an example of a cold savoury coming to this Instructable page shortly!
It only remains for me to say Bon Appėtit! from Normandie, Sue xxx