Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Building the Cinnamon Bomb
Nello Ferrara of the Ferrara Pan Candy family invented the Atomic FireBall in 1954, inspired by the postwar optimistic embrace of all things atomic. (Think of those George Nelson clocks.) A red hot candy that could blow your head off, great idea!
In True Confections, Little Sammies are panned for their thin hard-shell chocolate coating ("just a little more brittle than a Raisinet's, that gave them their signature sheen"), but a panned candy like the Atomic FireBall begins life as a grain of sugar to which liquid sugar is added gradually in the rotating drum (the "pan" in case you have never quite understood what the Ferrara Pan thing means and had visions of frying pans) in which the candies tumble for an astonishing two weeks as the microscopically thin layers of sugar build up on the original core grain. I wish I had devoted more attention to this peculiar process in True Confections.