Sometimes a sweet treat is all it takes to boost the spirit. We know this well, the power of a great piece of candy to make us feel like a kid again. Normally, we don’t eat much candy but when fresh, homemade candy is put in front of us, we’re definitely ready to indulge.
Last year we were asked to photograph and style Sweet Confections candy cookbook written by amazing Nina Wanat. The 5 day shoot was such a treat to be surrounded by homemade candies, all made with love by Nina. You can read her interview from Lark Books here. So we’re excited to be sharing with you all this new book that is now available!
With so many wonderful recipes for handmade candy in Sweet Confections, it’s hard not to make a huge batch and share it with friends and family. The holidays are even more perfect for homemade candy because they make the perfect gift. We’re ready to finish our Christmas shopping list by making candy from Nina’s new book. It’s going to be the perfect treat when everyone else is making Christmas cookies.
This Sweet Confections book also shares valuable techniques on tempering chocolate, working with sugar and other valuable techniques on basic candy making. Included are photographs of step by step techniques so that you won’t feel so lost when making your first batch of handmade candies!
It was such a pleasure to photograph with Nina Wanat and the rest of the creative team at Lark Books. We feel so lucky that we are doing what we do, and photographing this Beautiful Candy Making book was a highlight for us in 2011.
We’re sharing one of our favorite candy recipes from the book: Pina Colada Truffles. These are perfect for the holidays and make absolutely fantastic gifts. Their festive look and great flavor is sure to be a favorite. And for more cool recipes like this, don’t forget to order the book!
Pina Colada Truffles Recipe:
Yield: 64 truffles
From the Sweet Confections candy cookbook written by amazing Nina Wanat.
- 12 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 ounces cream
- 1 ounce coconut milk
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- 1/4 cup finely chopped candied pineapple, about 1 ring
- 2 pounds white chocolate, tempered.
- 1/2 cup finely shredded dried coconut, unsweetened
- 8 candied cherries, each cut into 8 slices
- Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with plastic wrap
- Use a food processor for to finely chop the coarsely chopped white chocolate. Bring the cream, coconut milk, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat in a 1 quart saucepan. Add the rum and immediately pour the cream mixture over the chocolate. Process for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl with a heatproof spatula. Process for 1 minute more, or until completely smooth. Add the candied pineapple, and process for 15 seconds more. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a offset spatula. Cover the plastic wrap and let set overnight in a cool room.
- Remove the wrapped slab from the baking pan, and place it on a cutting board. Use an offset spatula to spread a thin layer of the tempered white chocolate on the slab. Let set, and then flip over onto a piece of parchment paper and spread a thin layer of white chocolate on the second side.
- Score the slab into 1-inch-square pieces with a ruler or straightedge and a pizza wheel before the chocolate sets. Cut a row at a time onto squares and dip surrounding to the instructions below. Garnish with coconut and a candied cherry sliver.
Dipping Rectangular candies:
- For rectangular candies, it is best to use two dipping forks, with one in each gloved hand. Place the candy in the bowl of chocolate, and submerge it with dipping fork.
- Slide the dipping fork just halfway underneath the candy, and lift it out of the chocolate.
- Move the candy up and down so that it's bottom just touches the top surface of the chocolate. This will help remove excess chocolate from around the piece. Finish the job by scraping the bottom of the candy with the second dipping fork. Place the candy on the prepared baking sheet by setting down the edge that overhangs the first fork, then lowering the fork, and sliding it out from under the piece.
- Remember to keep a close eye on the temperature of your chocolate to be sure it remains tempered and at ideal working temperature.
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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.