I’m a fan of red wine in desserts (you know this, right?), and I’ve seen lots of boozy lollipop recipes, but none containing red wine. I did a good bit of searching online, and even in my personal stash of candy cookbooks -nada. I became obsessed with the idea of a red wine pop, and my mission soon became clear: get in the SB test kitchen and fill this terrible void in the confectionery world!
It took a few tries. First, I used the liquid/sugar ratio for a standard pop, but the flavor was lacking. I increased the red wine, only to find the candy wouldn’t set properly. I knew better, but I did it anyway.
A while later the correct synapse fired in my brain, and the answer was simple: make a red wine reduction. This gave the lollipops big-time flavor and a beautiful color.
I dressed up the lollies with gold luster dust, and the technique could not be easier! Brush luster dust over the dry lollipop surface and dip it in a glass of room temperature water; shake off the excess then lay it flat on a piece of parchment paper. The gold dust will separate a little while the lollies lay flat. Leave them to dry overnight.
See? Easy! And perfect to hand out for Valentine’s day.
- After much deliberation, it looks like I will be attending Blissdom this year! I can’t wait to meet some of my favorite people!
- Last week while making Chicken Marsala, I accidentally coated our chicken in powdered sugar instead of flour. I blame my husband and his efforts to organize my pantry with unlabeled containers. (We both choked down about two bites. Perhaps I should just stick to making dessert.)
- I am still loving my special purpose camera, but my poor dogs may go blind from the flash. I can’t help that they are so photogenic.
NOTE! This recipe has proved to be difficult for some. Please read all the comments before attempting this recipe.
Port Wine Lollipops
Yield: About 12 lollipops [click for printable recipe]
Note: You will need hard candy lollipop molds or a silicone mat. If those are not readily available, parchment-lined cookie sheets will also work.
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp Port wine
3 tablespoons corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
12 Lollipop sticks
Gold luster dust *optional
- Bring red wine to a simmer in a small saucepan. Simmer wine until reduced to 1/3 cup, this should take about 20-25 minutes. Remove from stove-top and let cool completely.
- In a medium saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, salt and wine reduction. Stir until combined. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir occasionally with a heat-proof spatula until all sugar granules have dissolved. Boil until candy temperature registers 298-310 degrees on a candy thermometer.
- Remove from heat and fill greased lollipop molds with the hot candy. Place lollipop sticks in the stick crevices and rotate until the stick is coated in the hot candy. Alternatively, you may also drop the hot candy from a spoon onto a silicone mat or parchment paper, making two to three-inch disks and leaving room to place -and rotate- the lollipop sticks.
- Allow the lollipops to harden completely. These are best if you wait a day to consume them, as this gives the red wine flavor plenty of time to develop.
- Embellish with luster dust if desired and store between sheets of parchment in an airtight container
Edit 2/7/12, TIPS: Many of you are having trouble with the candy burning. I just made these again to make sure I didn’t make a mistake or leave something important out. Mine came out perfectly, again. I suggest boiling the candy to 298 degrees instead of 310 degrees (the candy will keep cooking a little after it is removed from the heat source). The candy will caramelize just slightly, but it should not be – or taste– burnt. I use a digital thermometer, as it is easier to read. Also, don’t use a large pan in which to boil the candy, or it will certainly burn. If candy continues to burn, it could be your pan – you may try adding a couple of tablespoons of water or wine from the bottle to the reduction/sugar/corn syrup/salt mixture.