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December 2, 2011 Le Cordon Bleu San Francisco 0 Comments

How to Make your own Candy Canes

Candy canes have long been a staple of the holiday season. As soon as the thanksgiving rush draws to a close, a brand new one begins. The shelves at every local market become stocked with sugary sweet Christmas goodies and whether you are a kid, or a kid at heart, candy canes are one highlight of the season.

While they come in a variety of interesting colors and flavors in the store, there is something so much more interesting about the idea of making these holiday treats yourself. Much like the decorations you probably grew up making as a kid, homemade candy canes retain the unique and one of a kind shape that can’t be recreated in a factory, not even a Willy Wonka-type one! Add one more homemade treat to your holiday agenda this year with this simple candy cane recipe. Candy making is a culinary art of its own and while you may find it to be a bit tricky the first time around, practice makes perfect and in no time you will be making beautiful candy canes and holiday treats that will have you thinking that perhaps Culinary school in California doesn’t sound like such a bad idea!

Step 1: First, you will need two cookie sheets which will need a thin coat of cooking oil sprayed on them.  Set these aside and preheat your oven to 200 F.

Step 2
: Combine 3 cups sugar, 3/4 cup corn syrup and ¼ cup water. Stir until well mixed Place ingredients in a stovetop pan and heat to a boil, while stirring continuously. Once you begin to see the sugar dissolve, then you have nearly reached the ideal temperature. It is best to use a candy thermometer to find when you have reached 285 F.

Step 3: Once you have reached 285 F, remove saucepan from heat and add ½ teaspoon of peppermint extract to the mixture. After mixing this in, pour half of the saucepan mixture onto one of the cookie sheets and place in the oven to keep the temperature warm.

Step 4: Next, add a few drops of red food coloring to the half of the mixture that is still in the bowl. Remove this mixture and place it on a heat safe surface (ex. marble). You will want to leave it untouched until it appears to be forming a skin-type texture.  Once this is reached, begin working the candy by pulling it apart and bring it back together while rolling it out using a heat-safe spatula.

Step 5:
When the temperature is still very hot, but you are able to touch it without burning your hands, wear plastic gloves and spray them lightly with cooking oil. Begin working each section into a long rope-type shape. Pulling it apart and pushing it back together until is pliable enough to be pulled into a long rope. Once the candy is just barely warm, make it about 1 and ¾ inches thick and set it on the cookie sheet in the oven to keep it warm. Next, remove the cookie sheet with the remaining candy from the oven.

Step 6: Repeat the same process of pulling, twisting and stretching the remaining portion of the candy only this time, no food coloring is needed. Continue working the candy until it is roughly the same shape and size as the red portion.

Step 7: Cut about a 5 to 6 inch section of each portions of the candies and begin twisting them up. Form the hook at the end and twist the candy into the traditional cane shape. Don’t worry if the shape isn’t perfect, half the appeal of these treats is that they do look homemade! Continue the process until all the candy is made and then once the desired shape is reached, carefully wrap the candy in cellophane.

This article is presented by California Culinary Academy. California Culinary Academy offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in San Francisco, California. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/San-Francisco for more information.

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures. Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.


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