Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I feel a bit guilty posting this on Christmas, but since it was my mother's Christmas gift and she's one of only two people who actually read this blog, I'm afraid there wasn't much of a choice. Besides. You're probably wondering what the heck to do with all those candy canes, you know, the ones people at work passed out, or attached to gift bags, the ones your children brought home from school, the ones hanging on your tree. Best part, if you make it after Christmas, you may not even have to share.

adapted from Bon Appetit

3-6 oz candy canes (gf brands listed here)
8 oz white chocolate
8 oz dark chocolate (I used ghirardelli 60% cacoa)
in theory 3/4 t peppermint extract (I forgot mine and am not particularly sorry)

Chop up the dark chocolate into smallish pieces 1" by 1/2" will do, reserving a few chunks. Use a double boiler, or its bastard cousin (a bowl balanced precariously on top of a pot). Put about 1/2" of water in the bottom and heat on medium high. Fix your candy thermometer and toss in the chocolate chunks. Stir well as the chocolate melts until it reaches around 105 -110 F. Immediately take the top/bowl off the heat, but keep on stirring. Stir, stir, stir. The temperature may rise slightly to start, but should start falling. Toss in the chunks of chocolate that you reserved earlier. Let the temperature fall to around 88 F. Add the peppermint extract. I didn't add it, so I have no idea what effect if will have on the ability of the chocolate to harden. Smear a 9" by 12" section of foil or parchment paper with the chocolate. Pop in the fridge to harden for about 15 to 20 minutes. Clean your bowl/double boiler top and candy thermometer.

Start removing the wrapping from the candy canes. Break them in medium chunks and toss in a ziplock bag. Place the bag on a cutting board and smash up the candy with a rolling pin, getting it all nice and cracked into bitty bits. Set aside.

Chop up your white chocolate (as you did the dark before). Reserve a few bits (again, just like before). Reheat that 1/2" of water on medium high and again, set up your candy thermometer and add the pieces of white chocolate to the top of whatever contraption you're using. Stir and stir until melted and the temp is around 105-110F. Immediately remove from heat. (Still familiar?) Stir, stir and stir some more. As the temp starts to drop, toss in those reserved larger chunks and let them melt in as you stir. Stir and stir until the temp is around 80-82 F. (That's where I messed up. I only went down to 88F). When you get to the magic number, quick as a bunny, grab your dark chocolate hardened rectangle out of the fridge. Smear the top of it with the white chocolate, until completely covered. Then cover the top with the candy cane bits. You can press them a bit, but don't get them coated with white chocolate or anything.

Pop it back in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. Supposedly if you only let it harden for a magic amount of time, it will be easy to cut into beautiful diamond shapes. But if you're like me, you'll end up with random sized pieces of bark no matter what you do, so just go with it. It's delicious, no matter what it looks like.

Even Dexter thinks so.


JMLC said...

Love it! Came out so pretty!! I was wondering what you'd post FOR Christmas. Hope it was fun. xox

mom said...

It is fantastic. Very pretty and very yummy! I think you could start a bakery/candy shop. Slurp.


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