To embrace my stance on coal not being a bad present, this year all my friends and family got coal for Christmas... candy coal that is :). Last year I bookmarked a post for it because I thought it looked so cool. Carbón dulce (sweet coal) is a Spanish candy that's often made during the holiday season. It tastes sort of like rock candy, sweet and crunchy, with a pleasant almond flavor from some added almond extract. And it does indeed look very much like coal. Pretty awesome!
Carbón Dulceadapted from Fragrante Delicia
1 egg white
200 g powdered sugar, plus more if needed
5 drops lemon juice
black food coloring
2 1/2 tsp almond extract
700 g sugar
230 g water
Mix the egg white with the 200 g powdered sugar. The mixture should be thick enough that when cut with a knife, a visible cut remains, so add more powdered sugar if necessary. Then add the lemon juice, almond extract, and black food coloring (enough so the mixture is black).
Measure out 70 g of this egg white mixture and set aside for later; discard the rest of the mixture. Spray a baking pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside for now. Place the 700 g sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and let it boil to 126ºC, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat.
Add the 70 g egg white mixture to the pan and stir until it begins to foam. Then keep on stirring until it becomes thick and grainy (like in the picture above with the pink spatula). At this point, pour the mixture into the parchment lined pan. Let it harden and dry. Then break the candy apart (I broke it into big pieces and placed them in a plastic bag wrapped in paper towels and used a hammer it break it into even smaller pieces).