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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 02/25/13

Monday, February 25, 2013

COCONUT AND GRAPEFRUIT GUMDROPS!

Coconut and Grapefruit Gumdrops


   A childhood favorite gets a makeover by infusing the candy with bold flavors and cutting them into sleek squares.






Coconut and Grapefruit Gumdrops






ingredients
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1
    cup sugar
  • 1
    cup light-colored corn syrup
  • 1/2
    cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4
    cup water
  • 1
    1 3/4 ounce package powdered fruit pectin
  • 1/2
    teaspoon baking soda
  • 1
    Coconut Sugar, recipe below
directions
1.Line a 8x4x2-inch loaf pan with foil, extending foil over edges of the pan. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
2.In a 1-1/2-quart heavy saucepan combine the 1 cup sugar and the corn syrup. Cook over medium-high heat to boiling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 3 minutes to dissolve sugar. Avoid splashing mixture on sides of pan (see How to Avoid Gritty Candy, below). Carefully clip candy thermometer to side of pan.
3.Cook over medium heat (mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate over the entire surface), stirring occasionally, until the thermometer registers 280 degree F, (soft-crack stage) about 7 minutes.
4.Meanwhile, in a heavy 2-quart saucepan combine coconut milk, water, pectin, and baking soda. (Mixture will be foamy.) Bring to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. This should take about 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat; set saucepan aside.
5.When sugar mixture in first saucepan has reached soft-crack stage, remove the saucepan from heat; remove candy thermometer. Return pectin mixture to boiling. Gradually pour the hot sugar mixture in a thin stream into the boiling pectin mixture, stirring constantly (this step should take 1 to 2 minutes). Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute more.
6.Remove saucepan from heat. Pour candy mixture into prepared pan. Let stand about 2 hours or until firm.
7.When firm, use foil to lift candy out of pan. Use a wet knife to cut candy into about 3/4-inch squares. Roll squares in Coconut Sugar. Store loosely covered. Makes about 45 pieces.
Pink Grapefruit Gumdrops:
  • Prepare as directed above except omit the coconut milk and the 1/4 cup water. Replace with 3/4 cup ruby red grapefruit juice. After combining both mixtures, stir in 1/2 teaspoon grated grapefruit peel. Tint with one drop of red food coloring. Roll in Coconut Sugar, as directed.

Coconut Sugar

Yield: 1/2 cup
ingredients
  • 1/2
    cup toasted coconut
  • 1/4
    cup granulated sugar
directions
1.Place 1/2 cup toasted coconut in a food processor. Cover and process until very finely ground. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Store in an airtight container. Makes 1/2 cup.








HERE'S A LITTLE HOLIDAY INFOGRAPHIC TO HELP YOU PICK THAT NEXT HOLIDAY MOVIE!!

Holiday movie flowchart

HARBIN INTERNATIONAL ICE AND SNOW FESTIVAL FROM CHINA!!









    The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival has been held since 1963. It had been interrupted for a number of years during the Cultural Revolution, until it was resumed in 1985.
    Harbin, the capital of Heilonjiang province of China, it is one of the main sources of ice and snow culture in the world. Geographically, it is located in Northeast China under the direct influence of the cold winter wind from Siberia. The average temperature in summer is 21.2 degrees Celsius, -16.8 degrees Celsius in the winter. It can be as cold as -38.1 degrees Celsius in the winter.


Niagra falls sculpture


    The festival lasts the whole month. However the exhibits often open earlier and stay longer, weather permitting. Ice sculpture decoration technology ranges from the modern (using lasers) to traditional (with ice lanterns). There are ice lantern park touring activities held in many parks throughout the city. Winter activities in the festival include Yabuli alpine skiing, winter swimming in the Songhua River, and the ice lantern exhibition in Zhaolin Garden.






    The Harbin festival is one of the world's four largest ice and snow festivals, along with Japan's Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada's Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway's Ski Festival.
    The 2007 festival featured a Canadian theme, in memoriam of Canadian doctor Norman Bethune. It was also a Guinness Record of the largest snow sculpture: over 500 feet long and 28 feet high, using over 13,000 cubic meters of snow. The composition consisted of two parts: "Niagara Falls" and "Crossing the Bering Strait" (the latter depicting the migrations of the First Nations).





Construction
    Swing saws are used to carve ice into blocks, taken from the frozen surface of the Songhua River. Chisels, ice picks and various types of saws are then are used by the ice sculptors to carve out large scaled ice sculptures, many of them intricately designed and worked on all day and night prior to the commencement of the festival. Deionized water can also be used, producing ice blocks as transparent as glass to make clear sculptures rather than translucent ones. Multicolored lights are also used to give color to the ice, creating variations on sculptured spectacles when lit up especially at night. Some ice sculptures made in previous years include: buildings and monuments of different architectural types and styles. Figures include animals, people and mythical creatures,there is also some slippery dips, ice slides and lanterns. Apart from winter recreational activities available in Harbin, these exquisitely detailed, mass produced ice sculptures are the main draw in attracting tourists from around the world to the festival.