Vegan Butterfinger Candy
Firstly, wow, it's been such a long time since I've posted anything here. We moved to a new apartment during December, so that's most of the reason. Ironically, even one of this blog's driest spell, I've seen my blog traffic increase dramatically since about November. I thought it might be holiday traffic, with people cooking more but it's kept up, so far, through January. I can't put my finger on a source for the increased traffic but "welcome" to any new visitors and "welcome back" to everyone else!
Secondly - candy! I've been thinking about making a vegan butterfinger for a while. I found this recipe and it sounded easy enough - I just needed to find time to try it out. Finally made the time this weekend. The insides were a great success. The chocolate tempering ... I'd say it was a success - it's definitely set up much more than any I've melted, thoroughly, in the microwave and I can hold a piece of candy in my hand without it showing any signs of melting. But it's not quite a shiny as I'd like. Then again, the chocolate chips weren't to start with. Oh, and by the way, a lot of sites go on about "don't bother to temper chocolate chips" ... I used "Enjoy Life" brand vegan chips - their ingredients were chocolate liqueur, cocoa butter and sugar. Whole Foods vegan chips are similar though they do have lecithin. I'll try tempering those next time. I think some cheaper (likely non-vegan) chips will have palm kernel oil and that's why people say don't bother tempering chips. Check your ingredients - if there's no cocoa butter, then they aren't going to temper.
A few notes about preparation. I thought the peanut butter would mix easily into the hot sugar syrup. I was wrong. Next time, maybe I'll heat the peanut butter first - I think it was cooling my sugar too fast. For my jelly roll pan setup, I had a large heating pad, set on low and covered with a towel. I placed my greased pan on top of the towel, to keep the pan warm. Next time, I'll have the heating pad on high, to give me a little more working time to finish mixing and maybe continue to work the mix as suggested in the comments of the original recipe.
We used our sous vede set up for a temperature controlled water bath, to temper the chocolate. Having only tried tempering once, I'm not prepared to give any advice (except the above about chocolate chips) ... the internets can help you out with lots of information on tempering. Good luck.Ingredients:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup natural peanut butter (I'm sure other nut butters would work well, too)
- 1/2 to 1 pound tempered chocolate
- Clip candy thermometer onto heavy 2 quart pot. (If you have candy pot size phobias like I do, rest assured that 2 quarts is plenty of room for this recipe.)
- Place sugar, corn syrup and water in pot. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and all the usually jazz about sugar crystals on the sides of the pot, blah, blah, blah.
- After sugar melts, cook mixture to 310 degrees without stirring.
- While mixture cooks - ready workspace: grease a 12 x 17 inch jelly roll pan. Devise method to keep pan warm as described earlier. Have a butter knife and some oil on hand, for scoring your candy.
- When sugar reaches 310 degrees, remove from heat and stir in nut butter. Be prepared to work quickly. Turn mixture out into pan and continue to mix and fold nut butter into sugar. The heated pan should give you some extra time to mix.
- Flatten the candy to about 1/4 inch thick - not as thin as possible ... think about how much candy you'd want, when it's coated in chocolate. If you press it too thin, you're going to end up with mostly chocolate. This amount of candy in no way, will cover your entire jelly pan. Try to spread it out in the center of the pan, though - it'll be easier to dislodge with a spatula later.
- After spreading candy, score into rectangular pieces with an oiled butter knife.
- Cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours before coating in chocolate.
- Original recipe called for 1 pound of chocolate to coat this amount of candy. I had quite a few pieces to lose corners and fall victim to sampling and such. So I found 1/2 pound of chocolate to be sufficient for all but about 4 pieces. The candy's quite tasty without chocolate, too.