An incredible treat by many names with one ingredient. Maple syrup. Known as maple taffy, maple toffee, tire d'érable, or sugar on snow, it is delicious and easy no matter where in the maple-producing north american region you are!
No snow? Tell me about it, I live in San Francisco. Our last snow was in 1976. If you don't live in a winter wonderland, You can use Ice Cream(!), ice, or a frozen skillet. The snow adds texture, romance, intrigue, and all the particulate matter that lives in the atmosphere above you. A bit of googleing tells me this includes dust from the sahara and radioactive bits from your local power plant. Anyway, it tastes great!
This fantastic video lays out the simple process.
Step 1: Ingredients + Supplies
- Maple Syrup
Any grade, any sort. Grade B will have a stronger flavor, but whatever you have will work. I doubt it would work with fake syrups, but it might be worth a try.
- A pot
- A candy/fry thermometer
- Any thermometer that goes up to 250°F (121°C) will work, but candy thermometers have a clip and a guide for candy.
- A mitt to grab the pot
- Sticks to wrap the taffy in
- Some sort of heat source.
- I used a camp stove, but a house stove would be fine too. You could even use a camp fire if you are careful about regulating heat!
- I used old snow from the ground, but others prefer fresh snow
- Ice Cream! Same effect, better taste, available everywhere in the world.
Step 2: Heat It!
It will burn you much more easily than water or oil of the same temperature. Luckily, there is snow nearby to treat your burns. :-)
- Pour the syrup into the pot.
- Insert thermometer.
- Apply heat.
- Wait, as long as 10 minutes. It takes a lot to heat sugar!
- When temperature reaches Hard Ball stage ~250°F (~120°C) it is ready to be candy!
- Turn off heat.
- Allow bubbles to die down.
Step 3: Treat It! Eat It!
- Pour onto snow or ice cream!
- Allow to cool.
- Shape with your hands! (This is dangerous)
- You can make shapes in the snow before you pour,and it will roughly flow into the molds. Once it is sorta cool, you can mold it with your hands.
- Eat it!
Expect to be sticky for at least a few hours.
Traditionally, this is served with pickles and donuts, but I haven't tried this pairing.