Yesterday, I decided to finish making the last of the fillings that I would need for candy making. I was running low on Strawberry Margarita and Cherries Jubilee, and I needed to rework Midnight Magic and Mango Madness. Two days in the freezer and they still didn't harden up enough!
As I thawed the cherries in some Cherry Pucker, I look in the fridge for the cream.
Out of cream.
Oh, yeah, we used virtually all the milk and the cream to make ice cream on Saturday.
I needed the cream, so I trundle, okay DRIVE, to the grocery store.
I also forgot that Monday mornings were Mom's-day-at-the-store-with-their-little-ones. Now I don't have a problem with the little ones, but I DO have a problem with clueless moms!
--Get off your D#$M cell phone and pay attention to your toddler who is trailing four car lengths behind you in the parking lot.
Look, I don't want to lecture parents on their parenting style, but PLEASE watch your little ones.
Hold their hands when you walk through parking lots. Too many drivers drive too fast through most parking lots. Holding your child's hand will make you more of a visual and united force. Heck, my daughter is almost 13 and we still walk across a parking lot as a united force. Visibility out a rear view mirror is limited and not all cars have backing cameras. I don't know how many times "I" was almost backed into--and I'm a 5'1" adult, not a 3-foot ankle biter!
Anyway, cream bought. No children were injured. And I returned home to work on my fillings.
While the cherries were melting I decided to find a way to thicken the mango and blackberry fillings without adding more white chocolate. If you remember, the white chocolate tends to be cloyingly sweet and overpowering, so I wanted to thicken it without adding too much chocolate.
I pull out the handy-dandy file drawer of useless information in my brainpan and found a tried-and-true way of thickening liquids--cornstarch. . . and lemon juice.
One spoonful of cornstarch and juice from 1/2 lemon, mixed together into a slurry and then added to the heated filling. Heat and stir for a minute or two. Then turn off. I added a little more white chocolate and then poured it into a Ziploc freezer bag. As it cooled, it thickened. And I knew it would work.
Why lemon juice instead of water?
The lemon juice cuts the white chocolate flavor and brightens the fruit flavor. The key is not to use too much. And 1/2 lemon seems to work nicely.
Why do I care about how thick it is?
Have you ever bitten into a chocolate bonbon and had it goo all over your face? So not cool. I want my fillings to be hard enough to hold their shape, but soft enough to be delicious, and tasty enough to differentiate the various flavors of the fillings.
As I've mentioned in the past. I want my candies to be savored, enjoyed, not gobbled down without tasting them.
Now, I have to walk off all the 'tasting' that I've been doing over the last few days!