I am not much of a candy eater -chocolate being the only exception- but I do like making candy for Christmas, I find it very relaxing and the taste is better in my opinion than with bought candy.
There is one kind of candy I usually make every year and that is a Swedish toffee called knäck; it is so, so very good and so knäck has stayed with me for many years. It is made with equal amounts of sugar, golden syrup and cream, it usually also has some chopped almonds added to it, some add butter, cocoa powder for chocolate knäck and vanilla extract. I usually use sugar, cream and butter, but I replace the golden syrup with some darker syrup and most importantly I always use salted butter in them. They are easily made dairy-free by replacing the cream with some almond cream for example; the taste does not suffer from it.
The other kind of candy I made this year was some apple flavoured marzipan dipped in dark chocolate; I got this recipe from my father and he said that it is very good, but I was not so sure until I tried them - they are really very delicious. I tweaked the recipe a bit by using apple juice concentrate instead of calvados and the apple flavour ended up being just right. These are free from gluten, soy, dairy and eggs.
Apple Marzipan Candy Recipe
Use dairy-free chocolate for a dairy-free version.
These are very easy and fast to make. You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
-50 grams or 1,7 ounces of dried apples (if you don’t want to count, just throw in approximately 1 1/2 cups)
-2 tbls calvados or apple juice concentrate
-300 grams or 10 ounces of marzipan
-some confectioner’s sugar, one tbls is enough
-250 grams or 8 ounces of dark chocolate
Place the marzipan, apple juice and dried apples into a food processor and make them into a paste.
Place some confectioner’s sugar on some baking paper and place the marzipan paste on top of it. Mold it into a log shape.
Cut it into equal size pieces, it is better to make these rather small.
Roll them into balls between your hands.
Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie or in a microwave oven.
Dip the balls into the chocolate; I used some toothpicks for help.
Leave them in a cool place to firm up. I placed some silver decorations on top of them so that the holes from the toothpicks wouldn’t show.
Enjoy eating them; I sure did.
Use almond cream for a dairy-free version. The butter can be left out completely.
The pinch of salt is only necessary if you are using unsalted butter. Add two tablespoons of cocoa powder to the recipe if you want to make chocolate knäck. Usually almonds are used here, but I like using hazelnuts and pistachios are also great here. You could also add one teaspoon of vanilla extract if you want to.
The less you make and the bigger your saucepan is, the less time this will take.
-3/4 cup or 2dl golden syrup
-3/4 cup or 2 dl sugar
-3/4 cup or 2 dl cream
-half a cup or 1 dl of chopped nuts
-1 heaping tbls butter (optional)
- a pinch of salt (if you are using unsalted butter)
Remember to be careful when making these; the sugar gets very hot.
Take a saucepan and place it on medium heat. Measure the cream, syrup, and sugar into it, let it cook on low heat stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on the knäck.
The time it needs to cook depends on the size of your saucepan, but it usually takes 30-50 minutes. It will start to thicken in the end and you can test it with a glass of cold water to see if it is done; drop some knäck into a glass of cold water, it is done if you can form a ball easily out of it. If you want to use a thermometer the right temperature is 125 C or 260 F. For harder toffee the right temperature is 145 C or 293 F.
Place some paper candy forms on some baking paper while the knäck is cooking.
When you can roll the knäck into a ball after it has been dropped into some cold water, stir in the nuts and the butter.
Work fast and place the knäck into the candy forms with the help of two spoons, if it hardens before you have made this, you can just warm it up again. I pour it straight from the saucepan, but this is a risky way to do it.
Let them cool. You can store them in an airtight container with some baking paper placed between them so that they don’t stick together.
This is my last post this year; I will be spending the rest of the year with my family celebrating Christmas and the New Year. I will be back next year posting recipes and taking some photos.
I hope you all have a great time during the holidays!
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