knäck - the 5 days of candies - xmas 2013

A few months ago I bought a digital thermometer and I’ve been dying to use it ever since. Whilst browsing the web I saw a recipe for Swedish Christmas candies, which required a sugar thermometer and it set the wheels in motion. 

For Christmas this year rather than cookies, I decided I was going to make candies. I was a little nonplussed when the December Donna Hay magazine arrived featuring; you guessed it, Christmas candies. Great minds think alike. So here begins Christmas candy week. Australia doesn’t have much of a Christmas candy tradition so most of the candies I’m featuring come from other countries. None of these recipes are of my own making so I’ll be including links to the original source. 

Let’s begin the week with Knäck, the candy that started the whole process. I think the literal translation for Knäck is crack which is kind of funny because they are so addictive, it’s not funny. So much so, that these candies never made it out of my flat. I have 2 left but I've eaten every single one myself! 

It’s easy to see why they’re so addictive though because who can pass up candies made from butter, sugar, vanilla, golden syrup and cream. 

I made the toffees in the microwave so they hardly took any time to make. In fact, toasting the almonds took far longer than making the candies.

Here’s the recipe for you.
 This recipe made about 18 small candies.
Swedish Knäck
⅔ cup sugar
⅔ cup golden syrup
⅔ cup cream
2 teaspoons butter
3 20 ml tablespoons chopped toasted blanched almonds
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Mix sugar, golden syrup, and cream in a large heatproof jug.
2. Microwave the mixture on full power for 6 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes to dissolve the sugar. Check the temperature at 4 minutes and 6 minutes. I took the toffee out when the temperature reached between 125 and 130°C. If you don’t have a sugar thermometer, pour a little of the hot mixture into a cup of cold water. If the mixture forms a hard ball, then it is ready, otherwise cook for another minute and check again.
3. Take the jug out of the microwave and stir in the butter, vanilla and almonds. Quickly pour the toffee mixture into 2 cm diameter cupcake liners. If the mixture hardens too much, put the jug back into the microwave for 20 seconds or so to melt the mixture.
4. Allow the mixture to set completely before storing in an airtight tin. The tops are a little sticky so place a layer of baking paper between the toffees if you’re storing them in layers. They do soften a little over time.

I’ll be back tomorrow with day 2 of Christmas week so see you all again tomorrow,


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