Sunday, September 28, 2008

Holiday Candy Shop - Classes at Shermay's Cooking School

I'll be teaching Holiday Candy Shop, a demo class, at Shermay's Cooking School on 18 October 2008 (Saturday) and 19 October 2008 (Sunday) - the October schedule has all the necessary details. For all inquiries, please call the school at +65 6479 8442 or email

I think the awesome thing about candy and confections is that they really lend themselves well to gifting. Many recipes keep nicely and can be prepared in advance, giving one ample time to have a little think about packaging, making them a joy both to present and to receive. The other awesome thing, of course, is their old-time charm - it is likely many recipients of your handcrafted candies will be utterly amazed; it's simply not something most folks think of as do-able at home!

But the truth is, candy recipes can be beautifully simple. One road leads to many; mastering one particular technique or recipe very often opens up other possibilities. It was with this in mind that the following line-up was designed. In addition to a comprehensive recipe pack detailing the key recipes demonstrated at class, I've included a bonus section with extra recipes, ideas and serving suggestions.

Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Marshmallows are not only delicious, but are terrific in everything from a luxurious cup of hot chocolate to S'mores to Rocky Road fudge. Because the mixture is set in a large sheet, there's nothing to stop you from cutting out stars or any other shape instead of standard cubes.

My favourite variations flavour-wise are Peppermint Marshmallows, and Rosewater Strawberry Marshmallows. The latter, in particular, are stunning presented as laniards, inspired by the guimauve that's a ubiquitous fixture on the candy trolley of many a chic Parisian fine dining establishment and purveyed by the very best confiseries, lifted out of heavy apothecary jars with silver tongs and cut to order with a flourish.

Adore the crunchy centres of a certain famous candy bar? Here’s how you can make Honeycomb Crunch. Apart from enjoying alone, these candies can also be dipped in a dark chocolate glaze, or treated like nougatine and crushed over scoops of ice cream or sorbet. I especially adore it with darkly seductive chocolate sorbet, brought over the top with rich butterscotch sauce.
Conventional recipes for fudge tend to be complex operations – a candy thermometer is a must so that the mixture does not overcook. Unless a certain amount of care is taken, the mixture can turn out overly grainy – not a desirable trait. And after cooking, the mixture needs to be beaten very well. This Mocha Walnut Fudge with Valrhona Jivara Lactée 40% Milk Chocolate is an unconventional “instant fudge” recipe that's extremely simple and fast to prepare yet turns out exquisitely creamy fudge – no need for a candy thermometer, and certainly no need for elbow grease! It's also a great template for experimenting with different milk or dark chocolates, extracts, nuts and dried fruits; a wonderful variation on the theme is Rocky Road fudge.

Spiced Fig, Pistachio & Valrhona Manjari 64% Dark Chocolate Logs are loosely based on an Italian number known as lonza di fichi. It tickles me to no end to think of these as “fig salami” – the fruit, nut and chocolate mixture is shaped into logs before being sliced, and the slices really do look like salami! Subtly spiced, intriguingly fruity and studded with pistachios, this not-too-sweet little bite is an elegant accompaniment to a postprandial digestif or espresso.

I'll have more details up in a separate post on the bonus section. Recipes, ideas and serving suggestions include:

S’mores – Toasted Homemade Graham Crackers topped with Valrhona Equatoriale Noire 55% Dark Chocolate and Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

Rocky Road Fudge – Valrhona Equatoriale Noire 55% Dark Chocolate Fudge studded with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Marshmallows & Pecans

Hot Chocolate – The ultimate hot chocolate with Valrhona Araguani 72% Dark Chocolate, topped with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

Honeycomb Crunch Sundaes – Valrhona Araguani 72% Dark Chocolate Sorbet topped with Honeycomb Crunch & Butterscotch Sauce

Chocolate Honeycomb Crunch – Honeycomb Crunch dipped in Valrhona Equatoriale Noire 55% Dark Chocolate Glaze

Chocolate Graham Crackers - Homemade Graham Crackers dipped in Valrhona Equatoriale Noire 55% Dark Chocolate Glaze


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to make those marshmallows!

11:55 pm, September 28, 2008  
Blogger Michelle Ramsay said...

I am waiting for your honeycombe recipe - this is something I used to make with a friend when I was a teenager and have been looking for the recipe for ages - can't believe that you have it.

I have just stumbled upon your blog and it is awesome - such divine things you make.
South Africa

1:43 am, September 29, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Joycelyn - I normally just get stressed out when Christmas approaches, but your utterly irresistible creations make me feel that we should simply enjoy the festive season. They are so beautiful and lovingly described as always, I wish I could taste all of them!

6:28 pm, September 29, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I could attend all your classes BUT I live in the US-- is there a book you recommend for your flavored marshmallow and your decorated christmas cookies? Better yet... do you sell a book of instructions from your classes?

10:03 pm, September 29, 2008  
Blogger My Sweet & Saucy said...

Oh how I wish I could taste all of your treats!

3:30 am, September 30, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second anonymous's query. If only I lived in Singapore! I'd love your recipes, and have been a long-standing fan of your blog. I'd definitely not only buy your cookbook for myself, but as a gift for all of my culinary-inclined friends!

5:02 pm, September 30, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi J,

Greetings from Jakarta!

I stumbled across your incredible blog through another incredible blog, Chubby Hubby, and couldn't believe I didn't come across it earlier.

For the past few days of this one week holiday of mine (it's Eid al-Fitr holiday here in Indonesia), I've spent hours each day reading every single post that you made (I believe I'm almost done with all), and always managed to be blown away by your beautiful creations and photographs, not to mention your impeccable writing skill.

You're officially an object of admiration and jealousy to me. ;)

Looking forward for more mind boggling and palate pleasing posts.


4:59 am, October 03, 2008  
Blogger Claudia said...

They are so, so pretty, the way candies must be. With those fantastic ingredients they must be delicious.

I wish I was able to make those marshmallows, but my hands just won't follow....

4:13 am, October 04, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

I wish you would put together a book or sale - I don't live in Singapore or I'd be at your classes in a heartbeat! Please please with the photos already done - and the recipes already tested - wouldn't it be easy to put together something to sell???

6:41 pm, October 13, 2008  
Blogger Mar said...

Manos de hada, que maravillas haces, felicitaciones!!!

3:02 am, October 18, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic site !
I realy love it and think it`s realy useful !
I think I will be visiting it often in future !

6:39 pm, November 06, 2008  

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