September 4, 2017

Chinese Preserved Plum Caramel Lollipops 話梅棒棒糖

Chinese Preserved Plum Caramel Lollipops 話梅棒棒糖

candy, caramel, chinese, dried plum, dried sour plum, lollipop, preserved plum, recipe, Sugar, traditional, 棒棒糖, 糖, 話梅, 酸梅, 黑糖
By Published: 2017-09-04
Oooh! I'm quite pleased with these lollipops, they'll do...  What a fun and easy thing to make at home and pass out to all the crazy lollipop lovers in your path!  But wait, first I have to warn the uninitiated, the secret of these lollipops is that they have a heart of Chinese preserved dried plums which are cheek puckeringly sour and yet sweet at the same time.  Each of these fun and lovely to look at traditional Chinese Preserved Plum Caramel Lollipops, or 話梅棒棒糖, have a licorice flavored dried plum encased lovingly in hardened caramel, sooo good to lick and suck slowly, sweet and sour coming together in your mouth to satisfy and sooth your candy soul to yummilicious perfection.  

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The heart of the matter are these wee wrinkled little plums.  These rather ugly little dried plums, or 話梅 or 酸梅, are preserved with sugar, salt and herbs like liquorice.  For the Chinese these are considered a candy and also a restorative for persons feeling topsy turvy (stomach ache or nausea) and the like.  These Chinese Preserved Plums are sold at all asian grocery stores, probably somewhere near the candy, or dried chinese fruits section.  Do note that the stone is still inside the plum and should not be eaten!

candy, caramel, chinese, dried plum, dried sour plum, lollipop, preserved plum, recipe, Sugar, traditional, 棒棒糖, 糖, 話梅, 酸梅, 黑糖,

The learning curve for making this lollipop is the caramel.  The most famous of these kind of lollipops come from Taiwan, called Brown Sugar Lollipops 黑糖棒棒糖 and are made with brown or black sugar.  But making caramel is a wee bit difficult and making caramel with brown or black sugar is even harder.  So for the meanwhile I stick to caramel made with white sugar.

Now as my dear readers will know already, the key to a caramel is a good food thermometer!  As I have discovered, finally, having a good thermometer is essential to sugar work cause you have to be able to get to the right temperature in order to achieve the end result you desire.  Start your caramel with plain white sugar in a pot that is not non-stick coated as I've heard that non-stick coating is known for causing the sugar to seize up while making caramel. (A seized up sugar basically crystallizes completely.)  I use a regular heavy bottomed small stainless steel pot and have never ever had my sugar seize up on me.

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With your thermometer you have to patiently monitor your sugar as it turns into caramel.  For this lollipop we need to make caramel that reaches the 'hard crack' stage, which means that your caramel will set hard and just right for a lollipop.  It's really pivotal that you reach the right temperature!  Over and under temperature and your caramel will be something else entirely.  When I started I sucked at making caramel and had so many disasters of the very burnt kind!  One very helpful thing I eventually figured out (after burning multiple batches), and which is almost never mentioned in caramel making instructions, is to have a ice cold basin of water waiting for your caramel.  The moment your caramel reached the temperature you want, have that basin to plunge your pot of caramel in to stop the cooking.

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Have your lollipop sticks and preserved plums positioned on a piece of parchment paper.  You just need to have the sticks just tucked up cozily to the plum so that when the caramel hardens it will hold everything together.  Working quickly pour your golden caramel carefully all over the plum and a bit of the lolly stick (you can also use lollipop mold to create a more rounded lollipop shape but we liked them organic and free form!) and leave to harden.  Once hardened you can start handing these lovely and cheek puckering lollies out to all and sundry!


Hope that you have as much fun as we did making and eating these Chinese style Preserved Plum Caramel Lollipops!  


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Chinese Preserved Plum Caramel Lollipops Recipe   話梅棒棒糖
(makes 20 lollipops)  Prep time:    Cook time:

food thermometer

Ingredients:

20 Chinese preserved plum, 話梅 or 酸梅
20 lollipop sticks, 6" or 8" length
4 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup water
1/3 cup corn syrup or golden syrup (or see our homemade golden syrup recipe here)

Directions:

Prepare with some sheets of parchment paper laid out on table.  Arrange preserved plums about 5-6 inches apart on paper and place a lollipop stick tucked up against each plum.

Prepare a basin of ice cold water large enough to plunge your pot bottom into.  In a small saucepan heat the sugar and water.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Add corn syrup.  Do not stir anymore,  just swirl the pot occasionally,  and bring to a gentle boil.  Using your food thermometer keep a close watch on your sugar until it reaches 340°F (171°C) and a golden amber color, about 15-20 mins.

Remove immediately from heat, plunge into ice cold basin of water to stop the cooking, being careful not to get any water in your caramel.  Working quickly, take your pot and pour caramel over each plum and lollipop stick assembly, covering the plum entirely and being sure to also cover a bit of the lollipop stick where it tucks up to the plum.  Be careful not to touch the caramel as it will be very, very hot.  Leave to cool completely.  When cooled you can just pluck the lollies off the parchment.  Eat, lick and suck immediately or wrap each lollipop in a bit of parchment paper and store in air tight glass or tin container for up to two weeks.  Remember to spit out the plum seeds inside and enjoy!




More Chinese Candy Treats at The Hong Kong Cookery:

Candied Walnuts, candy walnut, caramel walnut, chinese, chinese new year, dessert, recipe, snack, sugar walnut, 琥珀核桃Chinese Candied Walnuts 琥珀核桃

Bing Tanghulu, candied fruit, Candied Hawthorns, caramel fruit, chinese, chinese new year, dessert, recipe, skewer, snack, stick, street, traditional, 冰糖葫蘆Bing Tanghulu Candied Hawthorn Stick 冰糖葫蘆


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2 comments:

  1. Yum! My mouth is salivating just reading this post. I can't wait to try it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Julia - glad we could tickle your tastebuds! Let me know how it goes ~ellen

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