Get into the Christmas spirit with these festive favourites! They make perfect homemade favours for Christmas parties or you could wrap them in clear cellophane and hang them on the Christmas tree!
Rose and other flower extracts are very widely used in confectionery, and these striped twists are a very old-fashioned fairground treat. Traditionally, boiled sugar mixtures would often be moulded into the shape of a shepherd’s crook or walking cane, or perhaps cut to mimic the shape of a cockscomb.
Rose Candy Canes Recipe
- 500g granulated sugar
- 100g liquid glucose
- 125ml water
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- Red food colouring (paste is best)
- ½ tsp rose extract
- Sunflower or almond oil, for greasing
- Large silicone non-stick baking mat (optional)
- Temperature probe or sugar thermometer
- Vinyl gloves
- Set the silicone mat on a large baking tray or lightly grease a large baking tray with oil. Fill your sink with an inch or two of cold water as you will need to cool the base of the pan.
- Place the sugar, liquid glucose, water and cream of tartar in a medium to large pan and allow the sugar to start dissolving into the water for 5 minutes. Transfer the pan to a low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat up and bring to the boil.
- Stop stirring at this stage. Use a pastry brush dipped in hot water to wash down the sides of the pan to remove any crystals of sugar.
- Cook the mixture until the syrup reaches 149ºC, then dip the base of the pan in the water-filled sink to arrest the cooking process. Stand the pan on a heatproof surface. Pour the syrup onto the sheet, and let it cool for 1 minute. Using the palette knife, separate the syrup into two portions, one twice the size of the other. To the smaller portion, add a tiny amount of red food colouring. To the other, add the rose extract.
- At this point, put on your vinyl gloves and oil your hands lightly.
- With one hand, begin to fold the red portion together, turning the mixture carefully over and over on itself on the tray, kneading the syrup until the mixture is evenly coloured. Wash your gloved hands to remove any trace of colour. Knead the other portion of the syrup as it cools until it is firm enough to handle – and as soon as you can pick it up, knead it until it satinises (i.e. turns from clear and glass-like to white and satiny). At this point, form the white syrup into a sausage, then roll the red portion into a strand the same length and place on top of it. Roll the two colours together until they are twice their original length, then fold in two, so you have two red strips. Repeat this action and then roll the striped syrup out to a diameter of about 5mm. Using a pair of oiled scissors, cut the roll into 10cm lengths and continue to roll these gently as they cool. Turn one end of each piece back to form the shape of a shepherd’s crook or walking stick. Allow the pieces to cool and set, then store them in an airtight container.
Mrs Beeton’s Homemade Sweetshop
Isabella Beeton and Gerard Baker Published as a hardback by Orion in October 2015
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