Yesterday I had a moment of “ohhhh crap” when a student asked me about a promise I thought I wouldn’t have to fulfill.
Student: Miss d! Are we making maple syrup candy!!?
In French I’m teaching all about Carnaval de Québec and so I showed them a video of Sugar Shack where, made fresh on the spot you can have maple taffy on snow. I told my students “Now being in this climate I can’t promise it will snow, but if it does I promise we will make maple taffy!”. Being in a warmer climate, I didn’t expect it to actually ever snow enough to make this possible. Lo and behold it did, and so that promise taught me to never make promises you don’t intend to keep.
However, I’m not one to let me students down, so yes, I will keep this promise.
Since I never actually made this before or seen it in person, I decided I needed to test it first. The result? An easy, fun, and delicious treat!!!!
Now I said easy…maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement…
The first time I made these guys they turned out exactly as intended.
The second time however, it took me three tries to get it right.
And here’s #3:
What you’ll need:
– Pure 100% maple syrup (Canadian preferably to be in the true Carnaval spirit!)
– Popsicle sticks
– A baking dish
First: Collect snow (make sure it’s clean) and fill it in a baking dish, packing it down very tightly
Second: Heat maple syrup to a roiling boil. It’s supposed to be 110–127ºC (225-250), which is about 10min of boiling time. Since I’m doing this with kids I don’t have 10min to spare so I boiled it down for about 3min, which does affect the consistency of the taffy (but it’s still amazing).
Third: Pour boiling maple syrup in rows over the snow. Be quick so it doesn’t harden!
Fourth: Quickly use your popsicle sticks to roll the maple syrup up into a ball. If the consistency doesn’t work and you can’t keep the stick inside the maple syrup (like me), roll it up and then shove the stick in the middle of the maple syrup ball
If you want something more than just the plain maple syrup, try rolling it in some toppings like chocolate chips (if you have a massive sweet tooth) or like I did, some crushed walnuts!
There you have it! These delicious treats combine two of the most Canadian things there is – maple syrup and snow. If you can’t make it to carnaval, these certainly will give you a taste of what that Quebecois festival is all about!