Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tootsie Rolls

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The Tootsie Rolls always intrigued me as a kid.  I always pondered whether it was a chocolate that was somehow made into a taffy-like chew or whether it was a taffy-like chew that had chocolate flavoring.  Also, I could never quite put my finger on what it was that gave it that classic Tootsie Roll zing in the flavor.

Now I enjoy chocolate as much as the next person, but sometimes I really hate having that chocolatey bitterness linger on my palate for a long time.  If I were to be captured by terrorists, one of the worst forms of torture they could put me through would be to feed me a bunch of dark chocolate and not allow me to drink a glass of milk after.  It’s not quite as bad as feeding me raw celery, though.

But this is where Tootsie Rolls appeal to me so well.  The chocolate flavor isn’t very intense at all and the zinginess helps balance things out, which explains why at times I thought it was a taffy-like chew that had chocolate flavoring.

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Well recently I got the answer to both what a Tootsie Roll is and what gives it its zing.  Turns out a Tootsie Roll is indeed chocolate but mixed with corn syrup.  That zing?  Orange extract.  The process of making them was relatively easy: melt chocolate, mix in corn syrup and orange extract, spread out to harden (by the way, parchment paper is my new secret crush), cut, and roll.  One peculiar note about the recipe I found was that it called for the chocolate to be cooled overnight at room temperature.  I’m not sure if speeding up the cooling process by putting the chocolate in the fridge would have altered the final product.

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Rolling the chocolate was a tad annoying.  The chocolate had stiffened up pretty good overnight, and squishing the blocks I cut length-wise to get the roll started proved to be harder than I thought.  Sometimes it felt like trying to fold a piece of paper in half more than seven times.  Not to mention that the heat of my hands would make the chocolate slippery while folding the block or shaping the roll and the roll would fly out of my hands from time to time.

I did have some lemons laying around, and I thought it might be nice to incorporate some fresh zest into a batch of the rolls to compliment the orange extract and make it extra zingy.  Unfortunately time was not on my side as I rolled the rolls in the morning on a weekday and I didn’t want to miss my train to work.  The next time I make Tootsie Rolls, I definitely want to incorporate some fresh ingredients.

1 comment:

  1. I too love the parchment paper. It means I never have to clean up after.