Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Candy Corn Buttercream

As a child, I was not allowed to eat candy. My mother served homemade yogurt sweetened with jam (also homemade, obviously) as a treat. With all the love and intention of a woman in a peasant blouse she'd smocked by hand, my mother reasoned that children who didn't grow up eating sweets would never develop a taste for them.


We did go trick-or-treating once, but only accepted coins for UNICEF. No candy. One woman slammed the door on us, and she lived four houses down our block! (I'm over it ... mostly.)

So, I love Halloween candy. The crappier, the better. Save the imported chocolate for New Year's Eve - Halloween is for Candy Corn! And we all know this, even if we don't admit it. Offer an adult candy corn, and you'll get a, "No, thanks." Leave her alone in a room with a bowl of the stuff, she'll empty it.

Don't even pretend you're better than that. Candy corn tastes like the happiest day of childhood. 

Sadly, I cannot just dump a bag of orange sugar blobs in a bowl and call it dessert. I spend quite a lot of time in my Serious Adult costume, you know. So I devised  a recipe for candy corn frosting, which is a completely different thing. Yes, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Happy Halloween!

Candy Corn Buttercream
1/3 cup corn syrup (100g)
1 cup candy corn (170g)
2 egg whites (70g)
pinch of salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (170g)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
orange food coloring

Combine corn syrup and candy corn in a saucepan over low heat. (Corn is a vegetable, right?) Begin whisking the candy corn into the syrup as it heats. Go slowly to avoid scorching the candy; in about eight minutes, you should have a pot of bright orange goop. While you're waiting for syrup to heat up, start beating the egg whites and salt on medium speed in the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

Do I need to tell you that, even if it's not visibly boiling, melted sugar is wicked hot? It's melted candy corn, you know what it tastes like. Leave it alone.

About now, the egg whites should be getting pretty stiff. Turn off the mixture and pour a bit of the hot candy syrup into the whites. Beat it in for ten seconds, then repeat until you have added it all. Crank the mixer to high and let it go until the sides of the bowl return to room temperature.

Add the butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. It will look curdled, but don't panic. Beat in half the powdered sugar, then the vanilla and lemon juice, and finish up with the remaining sugar.

Now's the time you beat in copious amounts of orange dye. If you are a person who is offended by food coloring, feel free to skip this part. But you just melted down candy corn, so I'm guessing you're not all that picky.

This frosting is great on chocolate or vanilla cupcakes.

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