My grandfather's 84th birthday was this week and this is the candy we make for him every year. At Christmas, you can make a peppermint marshmellow, and use dark chocolate for a special yuletide treat. You will want to splurge on a good quality chocolate and melt it slowly over a double boiler....it's worth the extra time. My microwave has too many watts to melt the chocolate slowly. —lorigoldsby
Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Candy Making & Dipping bar
mini marshmellows or peppermint marshmellows
To toast/season your pecans: Using a water mister (if you have one, if not, a silicone basting brush lightly dipped in water) LIGHTLY mist some water on the pecans. Sprinkle some of the sea salt on top of the pecans. Roast in a 250 oven for 10-15 minutes until fragrant.
Bring water for double boiler to a simmer. To make sure your water line is below your bowl/pot, Put your bowl/pan in and then remove. Look to make sure there is no water left on the bottom.
Chop your chocolate bar into small pieces. Pour into bowl and add butter. stir with rubber spatula until most of chocolate is melted, remove from heat and keep stirring until chocolate is smooth and glistening.
In a buttered or silicone 8 x 8 pan, add marshmellows and pecans. Pour 3/4 of chocolate mixture into pan and stir with spatula to coat. press flat down. Add additional chocolate on top to smooth. Sprinkle of french grey sea salt.
Allow to set for 2-3 hours, cut into small pieces. Store in an airtight tin.
THESE NEED TO BE MADE A DAY AHEAD!
Soften gelatin in 1/2 c. water for 10-12 minutes in your mixing bowl.
In a heavy bottomed pan, stir 2 c. sugar, 1/4 c. water and evaporated milk JUST UNTIL liquids are incorporated. Simmer until candy thermometer reaches 240*
If you do not have a stand mixer, get a friend to help, as one of you needs to pour and one needs to run the mixer.
Pour syrup into mixing bowl, beating on a low speed until all syrup is in the bowl, then increase speed to high. Add vanilla, peppermint extract and food coloring. Beat for approximately 10 minutes. Mixture will be fluffy and shiny.
Pour into a buttered and confectioner's sugar "floured" pan or silicone 8 x 8 pan, using a buttered spatula. Flatten and smooth mixture. Allow to dry at least 2-4 hours or even overnight.
to create "mini" marshmellows: Use kitchen shears dipped in confectioner's sugar and cut strips into the tiny pieces. You will use approx. 1/4-1/2 of this recipe. Cut the remaining marshellows into larger squares and seve with hot cocoa or chocolate sundaes.
I learned to cook with my Gran. I can still see her reading a recipe and figuring out how she would make it better. She was fearless about substituting ingredients--but also knowledgeable. She approached food in the same way she built her antique business--appreciate quality ingredients and workmanship, but don't be a snob. I think I carry those same beliefs in my approach to cooking. I love family style dinners, I love a fancy ladies' luncheon with my wedding china, or a backyard seafood boil to celebrate my husband's birthday...I love to share food with others.