Friday, 28 November 2014

Single Ingredient Lollies

As promised, here is how to make #freefrom lollies, from the lovely Emma Cawood who is part of our Facebook Group. 

Emma describes so emotively the reality of catering for a child with few safe foods, and the lengths we mothers go to to ensure they don't miss out more than they have to.

Over to Emma:-

With the Christmas holidays fast approaching I could feel that feeling off doom overwhelming me once again. The dreaded season of parties and family get togethers, where every event seems to focus around food. If I'm being truthful I think T deals with it all much better than I do. He just takes it on the chin and accepts it for what it is. I'm the one that carries the burden and constantly questions whether this is having an impact on his childhood. Are his Christmas memories going to be ruined in someway because he never had a Candy Cane or Mince Pie? Because his selection boxes didn't contain chocolate will he somehow grow up unhinged? Ridiculous I know but it's the kind of thing that goes through my head on a regular basis.

So the day arrived that I thought I owed it to T to try and make a sweet of some sort out of his 6 safe foods. If I tried and failed at I would be able to hold my hands up and say at least I had given it my best shot. The good news is after a week of trawling books, the web and dismissing so many things due to too many ingredients I came upon a simple Sugar Lolly. The original recipe had more ingredients in it than T could tolerate so I omitted them all and went with pure sugar. Not the best option I know when you think of those little teeth and with my biggest boy I would have been hyperventilating at the sheer thought of it but these wouldn't be given more than once a week and as T gets no other sugar in his diet I took the bulls by the horns and went for it.

The first day I tried to make them I boiled the sugar in a solid bottomed pan on a low heat. It went through the various stages. Melted, grainy, back to powder again and then finally just as I was giving up hope it turned to a lovely golden caramel colour. I quickly poured over plastic cake pop sticks that I had laid out lovingly on plastic sheeting. However it soon turned into disaster. Without a mould the sugar didn't stay in neat round lollypop shapes, it ran everywhere. The pan began to boil and burn so when trying to remove the sugar from the pan I flicked it into my eye and nearly blinded myself. My husband arrived home to smoke, screams and chaos. Ok I thought! This isn't going to be as easy as it seems.

Day 2, I was prepared with goggles, a new bag of sugar and a positive attitude. I had ordered a chocolate lolly mould online and set my stall out properly. The sugar started to melt and go through its various stages again but this time I was ready for it. As soon as it turned a lovely amber colour I took it straight off the heat and poured into the moulds. Yay!!!! I had lollies. Safe, gorgeous lollies for my beautiful boy. Ok, not the easiest thing to make but if they bring a teeny bit of joy to his life then worth every ounce of effort, after all when you're 7 years old to be able to eat something similar to other children means everything and even more so at Christmas.

Emma has inspired me - we are supremely fortunate that corn syrup is not an issue so I might manage to make some without the moulds, all being well!

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