Starch-cast, crystallized, chocolate-covered liqueur centers



B

Bob (this one)

Guest
Starch-cast, crystallized, chocolate-covered liqueur centers

I made a bunch of these yesterday. Accidentally ate a few. They’re a
pain to make, but dazzling when people bite into them and they burst and
fill nose and mouth with the flavor and bouquet of the booze used.

This measurement is critical: 1/3 cup liqueur, brandy, bourbon, or
whatever alcohol, to every 2 cups sugar used to make the syrup.
Otherwise, no sugar crystal shell.

The starch needs to be very dry and slightly warm. Sift the corn starch
and leave in a warm place (e.g. a gas oven with a pilot light, on top of
a radiator with a cloth draped over, or whatever you have) for a day or two.

Starch molds (the shape of the finished candy) can be any smallish shape
you’d like as long as it can be pushed down into the starch and leave a
good impression. I don’t get fussy with this, I use 1/2-inch dowels
about one inch long that I’ve glued to a 1 x 4 board. I spaced them an
inch apart in two rows. Some people use individual, unconnected shapes
rather than the way I’ve set mine up as a mass mold. My advice is to
press them into the corn starch further apart than an inch so
already-formed mold-shapes pressed into the starch don’t distort or
collapse.

The traditional way to pour the boozy syrup into the holes in the starch
was to block the hole in a funnel with the handle of a wooden spoon and
let it drip from the bottom, a drop at a time. Too tedious. Now, I use a
plastic squeeze bottle and drip it a tad faster. <http://tinyurl.com/95gmp>

My starch trays are plastic containers that are 1 1/2 inches deep and 12
inches square. To invert the candies as mentioned in the recipe, I put a
13 x 13 piece of foamcore down on top of the tray, Wrap tightly with
plastic wrap, and invert the whole thing. It can get very messy if you
aren’t careful. Starch all over the place.

8 - 10 pounds of corn starch.
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup brandy
dipping chocolate
Boil sugar and water to the thread stage (227°F). When temperature is
reached, place pan in cold water to stop boiling. Let cool for 5
minutes, add booze and cover with a damp cloth and a lid. Continue to
cool until tepid (about 120°F). Use a box, cake pan, plastic container
or whatever not more than 1 1/2 inches deep for a starch tray. Sift
enough starch into the tray to fill it level across the top. Keep the
rest of the corn starch warm. Press molds into the starch tray, spacing
impressions far enough apart to not distort any push straight down and
pull straight up to keep impressions sharp. Fill each impression with
syrup very slowly almost to the top. Sift corn starch over the filled
impressions about 1/4 inch deep. Leave the tray undisturbed for at least
6 hours, better for 12 hours. A crystal shell will have formed at the
bottom and up the sides of each impression. Candies must be turned so
the hard shell forms evenly. Once turned, they must rest another 6 or
more hours. Remove each center individually, dust with a soft pastry
brush and dip into chocolate of your choice.

N.B. Be very careful not to break the shells when dipping - it will ruin
the remaining chocolate.
 
R

Reg

Guest
Bob (this one) wrote:

> Starch-cast, crystallized, chocolate-covered liqueur centers
>


This is downright fascinating. I'm going to give it a try this
weekend. Thanks.

--
Reg email: RegForte (at) (that free MS email service) (dot) com
 
B

Bronwyn

Guest
I'm with Reg on this - they sound amazing, not to mention the method.
You wouldn't, couldn't, post a pix of your finished candies??? Did you
use a very fine skewer to dip the centres into the chocolate? Did you
decorate the top of the candies - I'm thinking a little crsystallised
violet or similar.
I wonder if it would be too hot here to make them - summer here in Down
Under, 80'sF.... what do you think?

Cheers
Bronwyn
 
B

Bronwyn

Guest
More Q.s :
How many candies did the above qty make, using your 1/2in dowell stamp?
Maybe a skewer would break the shell, perhaps you used two small forks
to just place it in chocolate and gently lift it out. Or.....place
shells on rack and pour choc, over. Set, then dip bottoms in choc. to
cover....?

Thanks Bob!

Bronwyn.
 
B

Bob (this one)

Guest
Bronwyn wrote:
> I'm with Reg on this - they sound amazing, not to mention the method.
> You wouldn't, couldn't, post a pix of your finished candies???


Didn't think to take pictures. They're all boxed now.

> Did you
> use a very fine skewer to dip the centres into the chocolate?


Hand dipped. Hold gently between thumb and forefinger, dip into
chocolate and put onto wax paper to set. Chocolate flows into places
where fingers touched it.

> Did you
> decorate the top of the candies - I'm thinking a little crsystallised
> violet or similar.


Nothing.

> I wonder if it would be too hot here to make them - summer here in Down
> Under, 80'sF.... what do you think?


Probably so if you don't have air conditioning.

Pastorio
 
B

Bob (this one)

Guest
Bronwyn wrote:
> More Q.s :
> How many candies did the above qty make, using your 1/2in dowell stamp?


60 (broke a few and ate some)

> Maybe a skewer would break the shell, perhaps you used two small forks
> to just place it in chocolate and gently lift it out.


They don't sink easily. That's why I use fingers.

> Or.....place
> shells on rack and pour choc, over. Set, then dip bottoms in choc. to
> cover....?


That could work, I think.

Pastorio
 
B

Bronwyn

Guest
Thanks Bob/Pastorio
Sorry for being a pest with all these Q.s....appreciate your responses.
Could put the air/con to do this<g>. We don't have it on much - we
are on a ridge and get lovely breezes in four directions.

Thanks again. Maybe I'll make these when the weather cools down. I
think I would stress out trying to do it before next Wednesday when we
go away....

Cheers
Bronwyn