Yield: About 36 small acorns
- 2 cups real maple syrup
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup water
- Pinch cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 oz dark chocolate
- 1/3 cup finely chopped salted nuts
1. Prepare a 9x13 pan by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray and set it aside for now.
2. Place the maple syrup, corn syrup, cream, water, cream of tartar, and salt in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir them all together. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat.
3. Wipe down the sides of the saucepan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, and insert a candy thermometer.
4. Continue to cook the candy, stirring frequently, until it reaches 240 degrees F (115 C) on the candy thermometer. Once at 240 F, remove the pan from the heat and pour the candy into the prepared 9x13 pan.
5. Let the fondant cool for about 10 minutes, until it is still warm but not longer hot to the touch. Begin to stir everything together with a wooden spoon. This is called “creaming” the fondant and it works best if you move in a figure-8 pattern, scraping the fondant together, working it into an 8 shape, then scraping it back into the center.
6. As you cream the fondant, it will go from shiny and translucent to shiny and opaque and start to get thicker. Continue to work it, and it will eventually lose its shine and become more opaque and have a fudge-like texture and dull finish. This creaming process takes awhile, perhaps 20 minutes, so prepare yourself and alternate arms if necessary.
7. The fondant will reach the point where it is thick, stiff, and almost impossible to stir further. Test it out by rolling a piece into a ball. If it holds its shape and doesn’t collapse, the fondant is ready. If it doesn’t, continue working it with the spoon until it is stiff enough. You can either wrap it in cling wrap and store it at room temperature, or roll it into acorn shapes right away.
8. To make the acorn shapes, take a small teaspoon of fondant and roll it into a slight oblong shape between your palms, then gently pinch one end so that it tapers into a point. Once all of the acorns are formed, refrigerate the tray while you melt the chocolate.
9. Place the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating.
10. Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, dip the top third of an acorn into the chocolate, and hold it over the bowl to let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Now dip the chocolate-coated acorn into the crushed nuts, rolling it around until the chocolate is completely covered with crushed nuts. If it starts to look misshapen, simply press it back into an acorn shape with your fingers. Repeat until all of the fondant acorns are dipped in chocolate and nuts.
11. Refrigerate the Maple Fondant Acorns to set the chocolate, for about 10 minutes. Serve them at room temperature, and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.