Hello everyone! I love making hard candies, probably because they are 'hard' to screw up and they taste wonderful (Still managed to do it once, though)! I was thinking about making some candies one day, but couldn't decide on what flavor to make them. I finally decided on cherry when I noticed the juice-filled jar that once held Maraschino cherries in it. We sometimes put the juice on our ice cream, but not often enough to really use all of it, so I figured "why not?". I really like hard candies as is, but these were especially good and, surprisingly, tasted exactly like I'd wanted them to taste, if not, even better!
The fondant thing came up later on when I realized that adding a lot of powdered sugar to the melted candies, gave them a consistency similar to fondant. After a bit of experimenting, it really did turn into a cherry fondant that goes wonderfully with chocolate cake!
By the way, Happy Mother's Day, all of you moms out there (including you, mom!)
Note: Some of the pictures look a bit like HDR images because I was playing around with Photoshop's High Pass filter, just in case anyone was wondering... ;^)
Step 1: Ingredients and Supplies
A list of the things you will need for the hard candies. The original recipe that this is derived from is by Tami L. Smith at allfoods.com and can be found here.
2 cups of granulated (white) sugar
1 cup of water
3/4 of a cup of light corn syrup
About 1/4 of a cup of canned maraschino cherry juice or real cherry juice
Food coloring to liking
A Few Other Things You will Need:
Powdered (confectioner's) sugar (for non-sticking surfaces)
Butter (for non-sticking surfaces)
A 2-quart saucepan
A small microwaveable casserole dish
A wooden stirring spoon
A marble slab or otherwise non-textured cutting board
A glass measuring cup
Step 2: Setting Up
Prepare the casserole dish by coating its surface with butter and/or powdered sugar. Set the candy thermometer in the saucepan, careful to make sure the tip doesn't touch the bottom.
Step 3: Basic Ingredients
Mix the granulated sugar, syrup, and water together in the sauce pan. Set the remaining ingredients aside.
Step 4: Waiting, Watching, and Stirring
Turn the temperature to a nice, medium heat. Stir the mixture constantly. When it reaches 175°f (79.4°c), you will start to notice little bubbles forming around the edges of the mixture. When the temperature gets to about 212°f (100°c) or 'the fizzy stage', it will boil up pretty fast, so stir constantly until mix gets a syrupy look and the bubbles roll smoothly and clearly. At this point you only need to stir every now and then to keep the candy evenly heated and to ensure that it doesn't burn. Just make sure that you keep an eye on it. While you wait on the candy, mix the cherry juice with 15 to 20 drops of food coloring. When the temperature reaches the 'hard crack' mark on the thermometer, remove candy syrup from heat. Add in the cherry mix and stir, then pour the candy into the buttered or powder-sugared casserole dish.
Step 5: An Easy Alternative to Cutting Hard Candies
Every how-to on making hard candies that I've found so far has the same old method for cutting them. This way can work, but this is assuming that your mixture cools evenly, and even then you'll end up with jagged edged morsels that can cut your mouth. If you do it this way, you will get nice-looking disks and not have to worry about the hustle and bustle of candy cutting.
On a buttered or lightly powdered marble slab cutting board, use a regular spoon (or two) to drip the syrup onto the slab, forming little candy disks. It takes a bit of practice to get the right shape and size, but it's much easier than trying to cut the candies by hand. If the mix gets too hard to work with, just blast it in the microwave in 15 to 20 second increments. Easy, huh?
Step 6: Bonus: Cherry Fondant!
Fondant is a really good doughy paste that goes over frosting and is often only found on expensive or homemade cakes, and somewhere along the way I decided to use a good bit of my candy mixture for it. I've never actually made fondant before, but this has the same look and texture, so I'll just call it that.
For the fondant, you will need:
A batch of cherry hard candy mix
About 1 cup of powdered sugar
1/3 of a cup of water
1/4 (1/2 a stick) of a cup of butter
1 1/2 Tbs. of heavy whipping cream
You will also want to have:
A cutting board (for rolling it out on)
A rolling pin (for rolling out out with)
A frosting spatula, or palette knife (For mixing the fondant)
Microwave the candy until it is soft. Add and mix ingredients together. Let it cool in the refrigerator, then place on the cake or pastry of your choice. If you don't plan on using it immediately, wrap in parchment paper and freeze.
To transfer to a cake, roll the fondant out with a rolling pin. Cut the fondant to size with a kitchen knife. Flip the fondant onto a piece of parchment paper then gently slide it onto the cake. As for flavor, it has been equated to vanilla Tootsie Rolls® with a flare of cherry.
Since this was a last minute thing, I didn't take as many pictures, but it really is that simple, so hopefully it won't be hard to understand. If you have any questions, just ask.
Step 7: Enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed this instructable and that you enjoy this recipe. Have fun!
Here is a question that I haven't asked y'all in a while (a how to steal instructable ideas instructable put me off of this for a while): what would y'all like to see next from me? Some ideas I've been playing with include 'how to draw a dog/puppy (simplified)', 'how to draw a realistic cat eye', 'how to draw realistic grass (2 ways)', '1-2-3, the quick 'n easy breakfast', 'healthy pineapple iced cream', and, of course, the next 'how to draw manga' lesson. If you have an idea or suggestion that is not on this list, suggest away! Until next time, bye! Keep on makin'!