Make your own 'Salt-Water' Taffy
What springs to mind when you think of October? Winter? Darker nights? Halloween?
Halloween has become hugely popular over here in the U.K, no more are we just adding a pair of cat ears to our head and calling it an outfit. We are full on embracing this holiday with its costumes, parties and of course the sweets.
We’ve all been trick or treating before. From a young age, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on as many sweets as possible. Even if you’re a little older, we secretly can’t wait for our younger siblings to come through the door and pour onto the floor EVERY SINGLE piece of candy to ever exist.
In the office, we’ve been talking about all things sugar and decided that our favourite just had to be Salt Water Taffy (get it?).
Salt Water Taffy was originally made and sold in New Jersey in the 1880’s and quickly became a seaside staple on the east coast of the United States. No one quite knows where ‘Salt Water taffy’ got its name, but one story suggests it came from a sweet shop owner called David Bradley whose shop and entire stock of taffy was flooded with seawater from the Atlantic Ocean, during a major storm in 1883. When customers came back to a very soggy sweet shop, he jokingly said that all he could only offer was Salt Water Taffy and the joke stuck! In fact – people loved the added edition of a salty edge to their sweets.
(We think he should have worn a pair of our Salt-Water sandals, as they are 100% waterproof leather, think of all that splashing around he would have done without the worry!).
It’s similar to toffee with its sticky texture but comes in a variety of flavours such as mint, strawberry and vanilla. In order to achieve it’s famously soft and chewy texture, the taffy must be pulled after it has been cooked in order to ‘aerate’ it (a process of incorporating air bubbles into the taffy). As you keep pulling, the taffy becomes lighter in weight but much harder to pull – think rubber exercise bands.
In the countdown to Halloween, we thought it would be a great idea to try and make our own ‘Salt-Water’ Taffy!
Here’s the recipe to make around 50 pieces of ‘Salt-Water’ taffy:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter + extra for buttering a baking dish
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 tablespoon vanilla plus the seeds from a vanilla bean)
Additionally, you can add extra flavours and colours to your own mix. Once you have all of the above, it’s time to get creative!
- Thoroughly butter a small baking dish and set to one side.
- Place sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, butter, water and salt in a medium-sized saucepan on a medium-high heat and mix thoroughly.
- Heat until the mixture reaches 123C on a candy thermometer and immediately remove from the heat.
- Mix the vanilla bean paste into the hot taffy and pour onto the buttered baking dish.
- When the taffy is cool enough, butter your hands and form a big taffy ball. Then (the fun part) begin to stretch and pull for about 15 minutes.
- On the last pull, make the taffy into a long rope with the thickness that you’d like it to be.
- Butter a pair of scissors and cut the taffy into bite-sized pieces, then finally wrap the taffy in wax paper.
(Recipe from cupcakeproject.com)
Let us know how you get on and don’t forget to have fun!
Be sure to tag us in all your taffy-tastic pics on instagram @saltwatersandals_europe