Candy Is Magic by Jami Curl is a very thorough book about making candy! It’s quite amazing and goes through equipment, ingredients, and recipes. From lollipops to caramels, ice cream, marshmallows, gum drops, and even chews. The pictures are mouthwatering and I highly recommend you don’t read this while hungry! The recipes are made using real ingredients, including fruit.
The book reviews methods, ingredients, tools and flavors required for candy making. I appreciated the author including such an educational foundational chapter in advance of the recipes. The author breaks down the ingredients for candy making into four main components: sugar, crystal blockers, fat, and salt.
The recipes in the book are divided into six chapters: core ingredients, lollipops, caramels, chewy candies, marshmallows, and gumdrops. Immediately after the Table of Contents is a convenient Recipe List that is categorized by type of recipe so the reader very quickly gets to see the variety of different recipes and flavors that are offered.
The lollipop chapter began with a terrific primer on working with hard candy that broke the process down into simple steps and that described all the required tools. Having this section before the lollipop recipes allowed the recipes to be streamlined with references back to the master instructions for setting up a lollipop station and for pouring the lollipops. The caramel chapter began with a similar primer on caramel technique. The recipes in the Dreams Come Chew chapter referenced the set up, cutting, and wrapping instructions in the caramel chapter. The marshmallow chapter also begins with a review of the ingredients, equipment, and basic steps of marshmallow making. Finally, the gumdrops chapter begins with a discussion of the three basic steps of making gummy candies.
The photography at the beginning of the book is very artistic and doesn’t necessarily depict a particular recipe. It is mostly gorgeous transparent hard candies. In the core recipes chapter, the photographs are still artistic, but have more of a relationship to the recipe. However, there is a particular instance where there is a full-page photograph of luscious peach slices next to a recipe for a roasted peach puree, and the recipe specifically says not to prepare the peaches as in the photograph. All of the fun projects in the book were accompanied by illustrations rather than by photographs.
I received an advanced reader’s copy from Ten Speed Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.