I was enjoying a beautiful Seattle day, which means wandering around farmers markets, going into little shops, etc., when we decided to make our first visit to a store called Book Larder. What’s great about them is that they only carry food books! I was in heaven browsing the books. One of the first ones I saw was “SprinkleBakes” and I was excited. You see, I had just started following her on Twitter and through her blog, so I had remembered her saying there was a book, but didn’t really think much about it at the time. At the store, I was able to look through it and I saw so many things I wanted to try. I am not a very good “let’s make things pretty” baker, but this book inspired me to try. Plus, she gave lots of hints and clear steps that made it easier to see how to do it. My husband got it for me and I was happily reading it the whole way home.
After looking through it several times, I decided that the first “creation” I wanted to make was the Chihuly-inspired “glass” bowls. They seemed relatively simple with the ingredients and steps, so a good place to start. I learned quite a bit as I went through it. I don’t think I would follow her directions exactly the next time, but would make something a little different. It’s probably mostly my error, but I found it really challenging to pour the hot syrup and mix in food coloring before it hardened. It was also a pain cleaning everything after!! Next time I think I will make just one big bowl, or do each bowl one at a time. (Time-consuming, but less likely to make the same mistakes.)
So below, I will include her steps and my observations/mistakes.
Directions for Candy Nesting Bowls
Have all of the supplies ready first. If you follow her method, you will want 3 bowls of different sizes (a condiment cup like this one), a medium one about 5 inches across, and a 7-inch one. You will also want 2 glass measuring cups, parchment paper (3 sheets), food coloring (3 colors), and flavoring oils (she said butter rum, but I used peppermint, lemon, and rose water).
To make the candy, stir together
- 2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat, using a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. Once the mixture reaches 302 degrees, the hard-crach stage, remove from heat.
It took mine a long time to reach the temperature–about 25-30 minutes.
This is where it got problematic for me. You are supposed to pour some of the candy mixture into a measuring cup, add the food coloring/flavor, then pour onto a sheet of parchment. After it cools slightly, you use the parchment to bend it into a bowl. When I used the amounts she said, I did not have enough to make a bowl because a good bit of the candy hardened once it touched the glass measuring cup.
The last bowl worked the best because you mix in the saucepan. I think that instead of using glass measuring cups, you could have hot saucepans ready to pour into instead, or something like that.
If you follow her directions, you pour roughly 1/3 cup for the first bowl, more than 1/3 for the next bowl, and the rest is for the big bowl. She also said to let them cool for a few minutes on the parchment, but mine started to harden almost immediately, so I would say work quickly! You can use the end of a spoon to help push the candy into the bowls.
Once they harden fully (about 15 minutes for mine), peel off the parchment and display them! Be warned, the food coloring does come off on your hands, so don’t place on some nice white tablecloth.
The lemon and peppermint tasted amazing!