I wish to taste the sweetness of life; I wish to have the sugar speak for me…
No historical recipe interests and challenges me more than Cream Candy.
In a previous post I alluded to its lure: provocative in texture with a fineness of interior. What went unsaid is the utter madness I feel in trying to perfect it… hell, in just trying to execute it… without failure.
Not every failed recipe attempt is my fault, though it feels like it’s my fault. The cream candy recipe I first came in contact with was completely non-standardized. Three ingredients cooked to some nameless temperature, the successful texture of which could only be vaguely described as a blob sinking or swimming in a cup of cold water with some sort of visual appropriateness. No blame on my shoulders here; old recipes had no standardization, and I knew that going in.
It gets so much worse. When I then have the courage to pour the nameless, formless, colorless mass out onto a marble slab or a frozen sheet pan (did I mention without touching or stirring), I stare at it in guarded horror as if it might either take wing or eat a hole through the table. That’s because I know what’s next.
The candy-in-waiting must be pulled and pulled until one moment before my arms fall off. Preferably in cold weather. With zero humidity in the atmosphere. In Portland. There is definitely a Candy Goddess, and she’s laughing her ass off.
At this stage, one of two things happens. Either the pulled candy mixture seizes without the slightest warning which is my most common outcome, or it doesn’t which means I still have at least one more chance to ruin it. In the confectioner’s playbook, I’m supposed to pull it into strings of similar circumference, then cut it into bite-sized pieces to “cream” overnight. Only once have I gotten that far. It was the time I had first degree burns on my fingertips from picking the hot mixture up too soon, so I was salving my fingers as I congratulated myself.
If the end product weren’t so damned good, so exceptional, so unlike anything else in the marketplace, I’d have long ago dropped it like a prom dress.
Anyway, simplicity does not equal success. Effort does not equal success. I’ve also noticed that whining and swearing have not yet equaled success.
So, this is a great little recipe to chronicle. I can promise you (and myself) a roller coaster ride, but I’m determined to be crowned Cream Candy Lady. I guess aloe vera can be considered a business expense.
I wish to have the sugar speak for me…