For Recipe You Will Need:
- A 'kitchen scale' ;-P
- Rounded object, to create the mold shapes. I use a large pestle.
- Kitchen colander or strainer, for sifting
- Plastic/silicone spatula scraper
- Candy thermometer
- Double Boiler setup, larger pot with a few inches of water, smaller pot floats inside...
- Two 9" x 9" or slightly larger casserole dishes, or larger baking pans lined with foil
- Flat chopping board, large enough to cover the casserole dish or pan
- Two 16oz boxes of corn/potato starch (can be reused for cooking or candy making)
- 30 strong, preferably 1ml doses, of Golden Dragon
- 50 ml of your favorite liqour or liqueur...
I've used a blend of Laphroaig Islay single malt scotch, J & B blended scotch, and
In the end, you will want a total of 90ml strong alcohol, so use however much
Dragon you have, then make up for the remainder with your choice of liquor (I have got away with using above-12% beer successfully, in conjunction with Dragon! I
also usually prefer to use only half a gram per 29 - 30ml alcohol, for two cordials
plus more of an alcohol-vehicle, per dose, but these still came out QUITE strong).
- 220g Sugar
- 75g Water
- 4oz semi sweet chocolate, chopped into small chunks
#1 : Use MEDICATED chocolate, by simply blending in canna oil during the temper!
#2: If you'd like them extra-glossy, like the Koppers, you will want to use a soft pastry brush and 'bakers glaze' aka shellac (yes, it comes from beetles, and yes, it is used
on the Koppers cordial as well as many other store bought candies!)
Festive Rum & Assorted Liquor Cordials.. "Rum Balls!"
Medicated & MUCH BETTER Than Store Bought!
First thing's first......
You need to slowly and carefully pour one whole box, and about ¼ of the second box of starch (a total of 20ozs), into one casserole dish or foil lined pan.
Then pour the remaining corn starch, into the other. The deeper portion should be at least 1¼" - 1½" thick.
Do NOT have friends smoking nearby, don't have your gas stove lit, just in case you create a plume of dust... it is SURPRISINGLY FLAMMABLE .
Google a few videos on that topic to learn more.
Moving on... pre-heat your oven to 190 f, and in the meantime, taking the dish or pan with the MOST starch, level it out to an even layer, and make 30 - 50 deep impressions using your rounded utensil, but do not go all the way to the base.
They don't need to be perfect just yet, you'll be fixing them up a bit later on. Right now, you just want the general vicinity surrounding the future candy to be very, very dry. Make the other dish relatively level as well, but the candy holes will only need to be in one dish or pan.
Place them both in the oven, for 60 minutes.
This will ensure your corn starch is as dry as possible, which is CRUCIAL if you want the candies to come out properly!! If it is the least bit damp, it will begin to 'wick' the moisture from your liquid candies, rather than repelling the moisture and behaving like a mold!!
Once your corn starch is fully dry, remove from the oven and set aside.
Add your water to a sauce pot on your stove top, over a low-medium heat, then add the sugar directly in the center... do NOT let any sugar touch the water near the sides of the pot. If necessary use a wet paper towel or pastry brush just above the water line, to rinse stray crystals down.
Stir very gently, without splashing or causing the water line to rise and fall, until the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved, increase the heat to just above medium. At this time you may add your candy thermometer.
(If your smallest pot is still somewhat large, the liquid sugar will be very shallow... be sure that you keep the tip of your thermometersubmerged, but still just a hair above the base of the pot; do NOT rest it directly on the bottom or it won't be accurate!)
While your sugar water is heating...
In a double boiler, gently heat your alcohol and Dragon blend until it's just warmer than body temp. The temperature of the alcohol is not crucial, it just needs to be quite warm, so when it is later combined with the sugar it doesn't cause it to harden too fast.
For the sugar water (NOT the alcohol):
*** If you will be adding a sweetened liqueur or alcohol such as Amaretto, remove from heat the INSTANT your candy thermometer reads 244 f.
Sweetened liqueur = 244 f.
*** If you are using an unsweetened hard liquor like vodka or most whiskey, remove from heat the INSTANT the thermometer reads 246 f .
Unsweetened = 246 f.
Before your candy finishes heating to the correct temperature (you will have 8 - 15 minutes depending on the humidity and specific temperature of your burner), you will want to 'perfect' the depressed indents you made in your corn starch, prior to heating the moisture out...you don't want any cracks, and you don't want any lumps.
Simply re-inserting the same utensil you used before, is perfect for repairing any flaws. :) The reason we insert it first, before heating, is just to be sure that specific area directly where the candy makes contact, is as dry as possible.
Once you've removed your liquid sugar from the heat, immediately (but gradually, and without splashing) add your very-warm Dragon and liquor blend to the hot sugar, and stir very VERY gently, and slowly... this is
where you need to be VERY careful.
You want to nearly-incorporate the alcohol, but too much stirring, or stirring too fast, will cause your sugar to crystallize prematurely!!
The very INSTANT you see white sugar crystals forming, STOP STIRRING!!!... if you stop fast enough, you may still have time to salvage and make your cordials!
Ideally, you should stop stirring before any crystals even have a chance to form. It's OK if the alcohol looks 'swirly' in the candy, and if just a few crystals appear, you're safe too... just stop stirring the second you see them.
Unlike a hard candy, you do NOT want to get tricky, and try to use an 'interfering' agent such as glucose-containing corn syrup, or other syrups, to prevent premature crystallization... you don't want to do this, because you do not want to prevent the necessary-crystallization from occurring later on, when it needs to, once the candy is resting in the molds.
Once the Dragon liqueur is incorporated, using a tablespoon, begin to spoon small portions into each cavity in the corn starch. Try not to create 'bubbles' of starch, these can cause your candies to leak later on! You'll want to
fill nearly to the top.
(I fill to the top and slightly over in a 'bubble', without issue, but to be on the safe side, keep it under the line... remember, you will be able to make more, or fewer candies, depending on the size of your 'mold'!)
Now, once your cavities have been filled with Dragon/hash candy liqueur, take your kitchen strainer and (again, after extinguishing any nearby flames) begin sifting corn starch from the second tray, over the filled molds.
Cover the pan or dish carefully, with a plastic lid or chopping board, and set in a cool, dry place, for 4 hours.
After four hours, while keeping or holding the cover tight, very quickly (and very smoothly) flip the pan upside-down.
This is CRUCIAL!
If you do not flip your candies at all, they will leak!
If you flip them too late, they will leak!
If you flip them too soon, they will.... well, you get the idea. :)
Now, if you've timed things just right (or maybe you've licked the pan clean of any remaining sugar and Dragon ;-) ), you should be pretty sleepy, and just about ready for bed... it's possible to continue sooner, but it is best not to
continue working with the candies for a good 8 - 10 hours.
In the morning, or ten hours later, extinguish all flames, and very carefully pour the corn starch and candies through your colander or screen, sifting the starch into a separate container. You can set it aside, and box it back up, for future cooking and candy-making!
You should now have 30 - 50 candy cordials!
This can be one of the trickiest portions of the recipe if you're not familiar with chocolate. I strongly recommend both white chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate for this recipe. I took pictures during the tempering of some of my Hashy Bars, and the Peanut Butter BOMBS, and my temper suffered for it! I tried to avoid doing that here, and even still, the temper could still have been just a hair better....
Remember: a single drop of water can RUIN your entire batch of chocolate!
Do not dip broken candies in the chocolate, and do not splash your double-boiler!
If you know the chocolate is already tempered, just heat it on your double boiler to a temperature not exceeding 91 f, and it should be ready for dipping! I like to re-temper even 'already-tempered' chocolate, just in case...
If it's white or milk chocolate, using a double boiler heat to 110 f, then immediately remove from the inner pot from the hot water. If it is dark chocolate, using a double boiler heat to 114 f, then immediately remove the inner pot from the hot water.
(Don't just take the double boiler off the burner; the water is still hot, and the temperature of the chocolate will still rise!)
Set aside some chunks of chocolate beforehand; if all pieces initially added have melted completely by the time the chocolate reaches temperature, add the few chunks you set aside to seed and help bring the temp down.
If there are solid chunks remaining in the warm chocolate once the required temperature is reached, this is not necessary.
After the chocolate has cooled to 82 f, place the inner pot carefully back into the double boiler, for just a few seconds... this will be long enough to bring it up to 88 f.
Do NOT let it exceed 89 - 90 f, or the temper will be ruined! Remove from the water, as soon as 88 f is achieved, and set the pot down on a folded towel near your candy making station.
Now, you have perfectly tempered chocolate, and you're ready to dip your candies. :)
Any time it's needed, if it starts getting too solid again, just re-heat the chocolate to 88 f.
Inspect and dust off each candy, before dipping.... if it passes the 'dry test' (it's not leaking), then carefully drop it into the chocolate and flip it with a fork, and when it's coated, using the fork just lift it out and place it down
carefully on either wax paper, or a very-glossy marble slab.
I have to apologize for the hasty quality of the photos during the coating.. it's a part of the process you really need to pay attention to (but this should give you confidence; if I can whip up tempered chocolates, hard candies, and cordials using just my own two hands, and all while creating an organized photo tutorial, then you can make them even more easily! :P )
I've tempered the semi-sweet chocolate, but then simply heated cocoa butter and blended it with powdered sugar at a random temperature above the melting point, knowing that I wanted less 'sheen' with the white chocolate coat, than with the dark, for more of a 'snowy' appearance. :)
If you'd like to use either white chocolate or cocoa butter, and your want to temper it for sheen, just follow the above directions for tempering, but at the end of the temper reheat only to 84 f. instead of 88 f.
After coating in chocolate, just let your candies harden where they sit, hopefully it's in a cool dry location, and you'll be ready to seriously impress your friends and family, and blast off for the night!
Merry Christmas and happy assorted holidays everyone!!
'Much Love' - Kat Smiles
(All photos on the marble slab, were taken one day after coating with chocolate. All photos on the plates, were taken the day of the coating.)