I love candy corn. O.K. it's very sweet, but I only have it a few times a year. Today, October 30, is National Candy Corn Day! Shouldn't be a surprise since it's an American Halloween tradition, and nothing says Halloween like candy corn! Shaped like real pieces
of corn, candy corn is as fun as it is tasty. In addition to the
original candy corn or yellow, orange and white, there are different
varieties, including Indian candy corn which is brown where the original candy corn is yellow, adding a hint of chocolate (it's only a hint and a bit waxy, and it's not real chocolate, but I don't care at Halloween).
The National Confectioners Association estimates that 20 million
pounds (9,000 tons) of candy corn are sold annually. The top branded
retailer of candy corn, Brach's, sells enough candy corn each year to
circle the earth 4.25 times if the kernels were laid end to end. Too much information?
Candy corn was created in the 1880s by the Philadelphia based Wunderlee Candy Company and, by 1900, was being produced by the Goelitz Candy Company (now Jelly Belly),
which has continuously produced it for more than a century. Candy corn
is shaped like a kernel of corn, a design that made it popular with
farmers when it first came out, but it was the fact that it had three
colors - a really innovative idea at the time - that made it popular.
Originally, candy corn was made of sugar, corn syrup, fondant and
marshmallow, among other things, and the hot mixture was poured into
cornstarch molds, where it set up. The recipe changed slightly over time
and there are probably a few variations in recipes between candy
companies, but the use of a mixture of sugar, corn syrup, gelatin and
vanilla (as well as honey, in some brands) is the standard.
Candy makers use a process called corn starch molding. Corn starch is
used to fill a tray, creating candy corn shaped indentations. Candy
corns are built from the top to the bottom in three waves of color.
First, the indentation is partially filled with white syrup. Next, when
the white is partially set, they add the the orange syrup. The creation
is then finished up by adding the yellow syrup and then cooled. The
candy starts fusing together while it cools. After cooling the candies,
the trays are dumped out, the corn starch is sifted away, and the candy
corn is ready.
I posted aChocolate Candy Corn Brownie recipe the other day. Jumped the gun on the Holiday! You'll want to make that scrumptious recipe if you have time, but if not, try this simple recipe below is from Sunset Magazine for Chocolate Candy Corn Truffles. I've adapted this recipe a bit, but not much. Perfect for Halloween!
CHOCOLATE CANDY CORN TRUFFLES
18 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1/4 cup Scottish or dark orange marmalade
1/4 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
64 candy corns (about 3 oz.)
Line 8- by 8-inch baking pan with 12- by 17-inch sheet of waxed or parchment paper.
In large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of hot water, use
heatproof spatula or wooden spoon to stir together chocolate, cream,
Grand Marnier, and marmalade until chocolate is melted. Scrape chocolate
mixture into prepared pan, smoothing top.
Chill until firm, at least 2 1/2 hours or (covered with plastic wrap) up to 1 week.
Put cocoa powder in shallow bowl. Remove chocolate mixture from
pan. With long, sharp knife, cut chocolate mixture into 64 squares,
each about 3/4 in. wide. Roll squares in cocoa powder to coat; place 1
square in each paper cup.
Gently press candy corn into top of each truffle.
sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for
up to 2 weeks.