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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Grape Tangy Taffy

It used to be simply called Tangy Taffy.  And I ate yards and yards of the stuff when I was a kid.  It was my go to movie treat when we went to the theater as a family. I remember stopping at the 7-11 (because their candy was always on sale) and picking out two pieces of candy with my brother and dad.  The brother would usually go for something chocolate, dad too.  Now there's a guy who likes his chocolate bars.  Personally, I would get something that would last a long time. A slab of tangy taffy would last well over half the length of the movie. I loved its strong flavor and tangy bite.

Winter is approaching and I consider this season my favorite time to go to the movies.  Sure, Hollywood blockbuster season is the summertime, but who wants to go to the movies when it's nice out?  I prefer to hit the theater when it's too cold to stay outside for extended periods of time.  And with my movie season coming, I decided it was about time I tried to recreate my favorite childhood candy.

You know what the secret is?  A jar of grape jelly and a little citric acid.  Do it, you'll fall in love too.

I wound up sharing most of this stuff, since my orthodontist wouldn't appreciate me eating an entire batch of taffy!  What was your favorite childhood candy?  Would you go for something that would last, like me? Or were you more of a chocoholic like my brother and dad?

One Year AgoBrookie Sandwiches
Two Years AgoCherry-coconut Muffins
Three Years AgoSpaghetti & Meatball Cupcakes

Grape Tangy Taffy
Adapted from The Ultimate Candy Cookbook

The original tangy taffy was an other-worldly purple color.  I decided not to add any more food coloring to this batch and the candy wound up a pink color from the grape jelly. If you want to mimic the classic candy, just add in a whole bunch of purple food dye. My candy was pretty tangy, you can vary the amount of citric acid if you want your candy more or less sour.

1 egg white
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon citric acid
1 cup grape jelly

Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, butter parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer) whip egg white to soft peaks. Set aside and prepare the sugar.

Combine sugar, water and cornstarch in a medium stockpot. Stir until all ingredients are moistened. Heat to medium, until boiling. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any sugar crystals from the walls of the pot. Continue heating until the temperature reaches 260 F. 

Add citric acid and grape jam and stir until dissolved (be careful, the solution will boil up). Continue heating until the temperature comes back to 260 F.

Turn on your mixer and slowly add grape syrup to egg white. Once added, continue to mix for another 15 minutes. The taffy should feel warm, but be pourable.

Pour taffy onto your prepared pan. Using a wet spatula, or buttered hands, smooth the taffy to the edges of the pan. Place pan in the freezer to firm up. Remove from the freezer after about 20 minutes. Either break into uneven pieces by shattering the frozen taffy, or allow to warm and cut with cooking shears. Store between sheets of parchment paper.

To clean the mixing bowl, add very, very hot water and allow to sit. Any remaining taffy will slowly dissolve into the hot water.
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