Monday, January 31, 2011

Candy Orange in Old San Juan

After enjoying a freshly squeezed orange juice "china", or sweet orange from the stand with the guy driving an electric peeler machine, walk along Paseo de la Princesa promenade to Raices Fountain where you'll see these beautiful metal crests adorning orange gates that open to the fountain.

This area has a great view across the San Juan Bay. The lovers lane path that follows the city walls and the San Juan Bay will eventually take you to the San Juan Gate, where you can head into Old San Juan and, wearing your orange colored glasses, view these orange houses, toes and cats.

Chocolate and other things in Old San Juan

I am in Old San Juan working on a fantastic Chocolate exhibit project. This is a view from my house. The area is known as La Fortaleza, as it is close to The Fortress, or the Governor's mansion, the oldest executive mansion in the New World. My house is located down the street from Hotel El Convento a former Carmelite convent built more than 350 years ago. Now a beautiful luxury hotel, the Spanish Colonial architecture and design of El Convento is amazing.

In New York, days before leaving for Puerto Rico, while getting ready for my trip, I was inspired to try a "Mallorca" from a big chain coffee place. Only one bite told me I was on the wrong track. This version was as if someone twisted a cardboard breadstick, sprinkled it with sugar and let it sit in a coffee shop flavor migration tank before wrapping it in industrial plastic.

Simply put, nothing compares to those served fresh at La Bombonera 259 Calle San Francisco, Old San Juan,
Puerto Rico (787-722-0658).

At this authentic Puerto Rican cafe from 1902, the La Bombonera Mallorcas are really dreamy. They are a fluffier cross between a slightly sour white roll and a perfect donut.

To start, sit at the counter and prepare to get mesmerized by the outstanding and entertaining orange juicer while deciding which Mallorca to try. They are available with cheese (do not let them give you processed American), ham, egg and a variety of other savory innards.

Upon ordering, the buns are cut into two slices, slathered with butter and cooked on a grill. After their hot butter pressing, they are covered in healthy dose of powdered sugar. When paired with a cup of hot Chocolate Cortés, breakfast is truly served.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What type are you?

For an typography assignment at the University Of Arts London, Samuel Mensah designed this colorful font by using molded candy. Modeled on the style of Avant Garde Gothic type, he ate tons of sweets and played around until the candy metamorphosed into a tasty 26 letter set.

He first photographed the individual letters and finally produced this image by using photoshop. Some well done sweetness!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rose Drops

Roses have a glorious and colorful history. They’ve long been symbols of love and beauty. Rose is also an ancient flavor used for foods--especially desserts and for candymaking. I have long used rose flavor in candies for the very subtle and gently aromatic quality it imparts. I recently made rose hard candies I call "Rose Drops" using a late 1800s, hand crank drop roller that I own. It has interchangeable brass rollers with different designs that themselves are beautiful. Below is the recipe ; at home use candy molds.

Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 20 min Makes: About 3 dozen drops


2 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup corn syrup

1 teaspoon rose water flavor (

Gel-paste food coloring, such as Tulip Red or Soft Pink

Special equipment: High temp. candy molds, candy thermometer


1. Bring sugar, water, and corn syrup to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat until syrup registers 300 degrees on a candy thermometer.

2. Remove from heat, and stir in rose flavor and 1 or 2 drops food coloring using a heatproof rubber spatula. (Mixture will steam and bubble when liquid is added, so be careful.)

3. Transfer mixture to a liquid heat proof measuring cup, and slowly pour mixture into candy molds. Let harden and cool completely before removing from molds.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Miss Sweets

Did you know that there was a "Miss Sweets"?

Charlene Beck was showered with candy at the National Confectioners Association convention in Chicago. Shapely Charlene was being christened "Miss Sweets" by the industry association in June, 1954.

Photo Beth Kimmerle collection, "United Press Photo" 6/11/1954