Results tagged candy from David Lebovitz

Fouquet

I’m not sure if there’s a French term that’s the equivalent of “phone tag.” I’m pretty sure there isn’t one for “internet tag”, but I can say with relative certainty that there isn’t one in English. At least I think there isn’t.

I’d met Frédéric Chambeau’s father about five years ago and he graciously invited me to visit their laboratoire in Paris, but hadn’t heard back after our last bout of telephone messages. Then I got an e-mail from Frédéric, who’d taken over Fouquet, and after a few months of back-and forth messages, we finally kicked it into gear and made a date.

I don’t think there’s a comparable expression for “kick into gear”, but it wouldn’t be the first time I got something wrong in French. Or in English, if you want to get picky about it.

pâtes de fruits

Fouquet is one of the oldest confectioners in Paris, and one of the last remaining who makes their candies and chocolates in their own shop, which is tucked away on a sidestreet near Drouot, the main auction house of Paris. Speaking of terms, when I asked him what “fouquet” meant, he told me it’s an old French term for squirrels, but didn’t know how the business took the name. (There’s a fancy-schmancy restaurant on the Champs-Elysées with the same name, but there’s no connection to them.)

fouquet orangettes

When I visited Fouquet, it was just before the Christmas crush and the staff was in full swing, wrapping boxes of all sorts of treats, including colorful pâtes de fruits, orangettes (candied orange strips dipped in dark chocolate), and hand-wrapped squares of buttery salted caramel.

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How to Make Candied Ginger

candied ginger

There’s an inside joke amongst people who write books about baking that any recipe that begins with “Using a candy thermometer…..” scares the pants off of people and is enough to ward away all but the most dedicated baker.

I’m not sure why that is. It’s like when people tell me, “I can’t bake.” While baking is a fairly exacting affair, 1 cup of sugar is pretty clear: it’s one cup of sugar. It’s not like frying fish or meat, where you need to gauge doneness yourself, or making salad dressing where personal taste and the ingredients used can alter the finished result. But the thermometers does not lie.* I mean 225 degrees is pretty clear: it’s 225 degrees.

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Oursons Guimauve

oursons guimauve

There’s a misconception that the French don’t eat junk food. While it’s true that the drugstore shelves around here are lined with, of all things—drugs, there are some foods around that don’t quite fall into the high-fallutin’ AOC category elsewhere.

It’s become commonplace to see teenagers swilling la Coca from plastic liter jugs on the sidewalks and it’s not unusual to see a Parisian toting a bag from McDo. In the candy department, the dubious tagada, artificially-flavored strawberry marshmallow domes, I’ve unfortunately had served to me melted on top of a crème brûlée in lieu of a crackly layer of caramel (which was not an improvement, believe me…) and in more upscale desserts in trendy restaurants. Both I found rather icky.

But there is one junk food that I do share their affection for: les oursons guimauve.

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Papabubble

candy jar

If there’s anyone out there who likes homemade candy more than I do, I would like to meet that person. I used to have a dream about opening a shop that sold nothing but confections made by my own two hands: chocolate-covered marshmallows, twisty peppermint sticks, naturally-flavored lollypops, sugary orange slices (god, I love those…), and chewy red licorice whips.

I even went so far as to go to take courses in candymaking, which was a lot of fun. But ultimately I decided that candy was too finicky, and that not only would few people buy it, but with my luck, I’d probably get picketed by the local dentists for making all that chewy stuff.

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Candied Peanut Recipe

candied peanuts

Let’s get right to the point: this is my killer app recipe, the one I go to more than anything else. I could tell a million stories about this, but I’ll just skip all that stuff for now and scoot right to the goods.

I love these peanuts! Not only are they absolutely scrumptious and the easiest candy you can make, but if you keep a sack of raw almonds or peanuts on hand, you can make them in about 10 minutes. Tied into a little sack, they’re a great hostess gift in lieu of a bottle of wine (and cheaper!), and I serve them often as a cocktail snack, or after dinner, in a bowl for everyone to dig into.

candied peanuts

I also like to mix these candied peanuts in just-churned ice cream, which I’m going to do with this particular batch, along with a swirl of homemade dulce de leche. A handful chopped and sprinkled over a spinach salad or batch of cole slaw would be pretty terrific, for those looking for savory apps. And at the risk of infuriating any purists, topping a bowl of Asian noodles.

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wine gums

wine gums

I don’t get it. Why are these called wine gums?

According to Wikipedia, it’s because the flavors are “similar to the experience of savoring a fine wine”.

You know, I like gummy candies. A lot. And I like wine too. But I see zero connection between the two. Zilch. I bought these a while back in London, intrigued by the little words on each one: port, claret, chablis, rioja, and gin…with apologies to my British friends, I don’t think qualifies as wine.

And what is ‘hook’?

So there I was, this afternoon, scavenging for something sweet and finally ripped open the bag. After picking through and tossing the black (licorice…ick!) and green ones (medicinal…ick!), I did a little searching and found they have quite a cult following. But to me, they don’t compare to the world’s great gummy candies—Chuckles, orange slices, Boston Fruit Slices—or my favorite filling-yankers; Jujubes.

(Ok, and can’t forget Dots, which I used to hold up in front of the screen at the movies before I ate it to make sure I didn’t eat a green one.)

Seriously, what is up with these little fellas?

How to Make the Perfect Caramel

morecaramelstirring.jpg pouringcaramel.jpg

Here are my tips and step-by-step instructions for How To Make The Perfect Caramel.

(You may also wish to read Ten Tips for Making Caramel, which preceded this post.)

Ice Cream

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Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking

I love whole grains and I love chocolate.

So when I saw this curious Muzzi chocolate bar in a terrific Italian traiteur and grocer, Au Village Italien, I had to add it to my shopping basket. Inside the bar was little bits of puffed farro, or spelt as one would say in English.

(It’s épautre in French, dinkel in German and for the brainiacs out there, it’s triticum dicoccum in Latin.)

farrochocolate.jpg

I was curious to taste how the dark Italian chocolate would meet up with the earthy, crispy little bits of whole grains and I was not disappointed. Boy…I took one bite of this and stopped in my tracks.

What a great bar of chocolate!

Speaking of not being disappointed, did you ever correspond with someone online, then meet up with them to find out they’re nothing like you think?

Okay, you don’t need to admit to that.
But I will.

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