October 1, 2009

Ham candy

Fallout from the Ham Cake/Cake Ham/Ham-shaped-like-a-cake:

Candied ham.

I had a chunk of ham left over from trimming all the rectangles to go on Reverse Ham Cake, so I diced the lean portion of it and decided to candy it, because that seemed more exciting than just eating cold leftover ham.

In the pot, in no particular order: grade B maple syrup, brown sugar, salt (to balance the sugar and bring back the "ham" ness), fennel seed, garlic powder, cinnamon, coriander, clove, dijon mustard, orange juice.

I couldn't find my candy thermometer and the volume of the solution was too low besides, so I used the original drop-in-cold-water trick to determine the stages of the sugar solution. By the time it reached soft ball bordering on hard crack, the ham was starting to get a little toasty, so I stopped it at that point and used chopsticks to pick out the individual pieces and cool them on parchment paper.

End result is tasty! And somewhat confusing. It reminds me of the sweet-spicy moist Chinese beef jerky I grew up with.

Of note: this is the second time I've attempted to combine pork products and candymaking technique, the first being bacon toffee.

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