Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ma Cabane À Sucre

Maple season is upon us and the best way I could think of to honour those hard working maple trees out there was to make maple taffy, “tire d’érable”. Maple taffy is, for me, the best part of going to a sugar shack, a “cabane à sucre”.

The rest, I can live without. The food is usually too salty and too fatty for my taste, there are usually too many people and with three kids (one of which is 9 months old), it’s really more of a work out than a fun activity. So this year instead of telling ourselves that we should make an effort, try to find a place where we could take the kids, not too far out of the way, etc, etc, I decided to bring the sugar shack to my backyard.

We took some nice clean snow and made a nice little block on the back porch. Then, following Ricardo’s instructions, I boiled some maple syrup until the temperature reached 238F. I took it outside and we poured it onto the snow. Using some spoons, though I wish we’d had some Popsicle sticks, we scooped up the taffy and headed for the best sugar rush ever. I mean EVER. Maple syrup is good, but maple taffy is maple syrup times 10. For a caramel addict such as me, it is the perfect dessert.

The only thing I would do differently is to boil the syrup to just shy of the 238F required as the syrup keeps cooking when you take it from the stove to the snow. The taffy got just a bit harder than I would have liked but still, for a first try, it was better than I could have hoped. So if the snow is getting to you, as it is beginning to get to me, make yourself some maple taffy and reconcile with Winter for a little while longer; Spring is coming, I can feel it.

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19 comments:

Ginny said...

Delicious! I have never heard/seen of anything like that but I would definitely be up for it! Of course to dump boiled maple syrup on snow...I would actually have to see snow :)

charcuterista said...

I have wanted to do this since I read about it in Laura Ingalls Wilder as a kid! I didn't realize you could do it without being in sugar maple territory. Now I just need one more good snow...

joey said...

Oh wow! This is an unbelievably divine treat! As someone who doesn't have a winter this is like something out of some sugar plum fairy fantasy! :)

Lyra said...

Gah! I live in Canada and I don't get enough snow for that. :P Wish I could - that's totally something I would do! :D

linda said...

That's so much fun to do! ANd delicious too! Love maple syrup!
Too bad we rarely have (serious) snow here...

Stef said...

Any good way to make this without snow?

Zoe Francois said...

Hi. This brings me right back to my childhood in the North East Kingdom of Vermont. Every year we would do this in the fresh snow. Now I live in the city and haven't done this in decades!

I will have to recreate this for my kids who have never had this special treat!

Thanks for the memories.

Zoë

kickpleat said...

my mom would always talk about doing this growing up as a kid in quebec! i've always wanted to try it and now especially after seeing your gorgeous photos! lovely.

ryles said...

Wow.. what a neat idea!

This would be so much fun to do with kids.. just watch out for that yellow snow!!!

And I'm sure my dog would love to eat the left over bits of maple snow! :)

LyB said...

Ginny - One thing we have plenty over here is snow!

Charcuterista - I'd wanted to try this for a while too, we'll definitely do it again!

Joey - I can't even imagine not having Winter, though it might be nice once in a while ;)

Lyra - It's so much fun to do, at least that's one good thing about having lots of snow!

Linda - Maple syrup rules!

Stef - Crushed ice maybe? But you'd have to be quick about it and use small quantities of syrup, I think.

Zoe - You're welcome, I hope you do get to make this with your kids.

Kickpleat - Thank you so much, it is a fun thing to do.

Ryles - Don't worry, we used only white snow! :)

Amy said...

My mom used to do this for my brother and I when we were young -- it's so delicious! Thanks for bringing back the memories!

Also, I tagged you for a meme!

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Haha that looks really cool.

Aimée said...

OK, I need some of this now!
BTW, I've also tagged you for a meme. Check out my blog for details and to read 7 random things about me...

Cookie baker Lynn said...

That's awesome! I've read of doing that but have never been in maple sugar country to try it. This is definitely a way to make the most of a snowy day.

Fanfan said...

Thank you very much to share with us this delicious"recipe".
Fanfan
http://www.chezlesdieguez.canalblog.com
http://www.canicoimport.com

Evelin said...

There's snow falling outside. And although I kind of already wished inside (although we haven't even has a proper winter here in Estonia this year!) that spring would come AT LAST, you're making me long for snow yet again.

That would be the best dessert once I've won the fight with my flu!

nicisme said...

Actually, I think you are really mean to post this!
It's really not fair on those of us who only get a whiff of the white stuff once in a blue moon, and then by the time I've boiled up the maple syrup.... yep, it's turned to slush!

LyB said...

Amy - That meme thing is hard! ;)

Jesse - Thanks!

Aimée - It's so tough to talk about myself! :)

Lynn - Yes, it's such a good way to learn to love Winter, or at least accept it!

FanFan - You're welcome!

Evelin - Hope you feel better, thanks for stopping by!

Nic - LOL! Sorry, perhaps you'll make it to Quebec once in another blue moon and we'll make some together!

Lauren said...

I am assuming using a good quality "real" maple syrup is in order here????

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