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Candy & Sweets

 
There are an incredible number of dances with candy and sweet themes.   A whole program could be created just for chocolate!  A jig, reel, or strathspey for every sweet tooth.
 
 

Selected Dances

(click for more food history and folkore and background information)

Butterscotch and Honey

Butterscotch Pudding Day

Do you know difference between butterscotch, caramel, toffee, and dulce de leche? Caramel is made with white sugar, heavy cream, butter and vanilla; while butterscotch substitutes brown sugar for white. Toffee can be considered butterscotch cooked to the hard crack stage, and dulce de leche is a caramel-colored sauce made from slow cooking of white sugar and cow or goat's milk. Interestingly, the term "butterscotch" does not refer to the addition of whisky but to the original harder candy version which would be "scotched" or "scored" in a criss-cross pattern to make cutting into pieces easier. The butterscotch aromas and flavours named in whiskies derives from the compound diacetyl, a natural product of yeast fermentation. Of course, you can always improve your butterscotch recipe by adding a little whisky! 🥃 🧈 🍯

Butterscotch and Honey

Double Fudge

Fudge and Tablet Day

Fudge is a type of sugar candy (often chocolately) made by mixing sugar, butter and milk, heating it to the soft-ball stage, then beating the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency. Tablet is fudge's Scottish cousin with a more brittle and grainy texture. American style fudge became popular in the United States as a shared recipe enjoyed by the ladies at Vassar College during the late 1880s. However, the slang term "fudge" (which as a noun means lies or nonsense) predates the candy and even appears in Sir Walter Scott's St. Ronan's Well (1823) as "'He lies,' answered Lord Etherington, 'so far as he pretends I know of such papers. I consider the whole story as froth - foam, fudge, or whatever is most unsubstantial.'"

Double Fudge

Mint Truffles

Chocolate Mint Day

Double, double, truffle, truffle! If one chocolate truffle is fine, two are doubly delicious! And why not make one of those a mint chocolate! Chocolate truffles were invented in France in the late 19th century, and named for their resemblance to the dark and rumpled prized mushrooms which often grow at the roots of oaks and hazel trees! Created from balls of chocolate ganache and often flavored with liqueurs, fruits, nuts, or spices, a classic truffles is then dusted with cocoa to make a perfect bite. Today's truffles vary with region and country for signature tastes. Besides the classic and elegant French truffle, Swiss truffles often use milk chocolate, while Italian truffles often emphasize hazelnut paste or crushed hazelnuts. Belgian Truffles are known for their smooth and velvety ganaches, while American Truffles are styled with peanut butter, caramel, fruit flavors, and are coated in a thicker layer of chocolate with special toppings. But the pairing of bittersweet of chocolate with cooling mint is a chocolatier's favourite! Though it is not known whether this smooth strathspey was inspired by the making or eating of mint truffles (perhaps both), the reels and promenades should lead you right to the refreshment table, where a delicious truffle may await! 🍫 🌱

Mint Truffles

Sugar Candie

Gumdrop Day

Goody Goody Gumdrops! No, we are not referring to those pink chewing gum recycling drop off points which emerged in London and elsewhere, but the sugary chewy sweets known as Gumdrops, Jelly Babies, or Wine Gums, depending on which side of the pond you are indulging your sweet tooth! In 1915 a candy manufacturer named Percy Truesdell started producing a chewy candy gumdrop with an enhanced texture, using a formula he developed at Ohio State University. With just the right amount of chewiness, the "gumdrop" became wildly popular, making its way into candy history in the classic children's board game, Candy Land, as "Gumdrop Mountain"! And although today's gumdrops tend to be all fruit-flavoured, originally, gumdrops were flavored with spices: orange (clove), yellow (allspice), red (cinnamon), green (spearmint), purple (anise), white (wintergreen or peppermint), and black (licorice)! This deliciously-named strathspey evokes the figures of swirls and mixing of the candy maker. How sweet!❤️ 🍭 🧡 🍭 💛 🍭 💗

Sugar Candie

The Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka Day

The recipe quoted might also well be what it takes to devise a new Scottish Country Dance! If you're fond of chocolate, February is the month to indulge in one of the many chocolatey dances available to those with a dancing sweet tooth! The first of February is also a special day in chocolate literature as it marks the day in which the five lucky golden ticket holders in Roald Dahl's well-loved children's story, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, gathered to tour the mysterious Willy Wonka's chocolate factory! Although Wonka's chocolate factory is credited with marvelous and magical candies and chocolates, there have been new innovations in the real chocolate world too! Besides dark, milk, and white chocolates, the newest member of the chocolate clan is "ruby chocolate", a variety made from "ruby cocoa beans" and notable for its natural pink colour and sweet flavour (described as a combination of white chocolate and raspberries)! Perhaps If Willy Wonka had opened a factory in Scotland, he might have used his candy genius to compose tartan chocolates and used the setts as "chocolate mapping", the encoding of drips and decorations to identify flavours! Just think what flavours could be inspired by Royal Stewart:

Red: Strawberry or Raspberry for a classic fruity flavor.
Blue: Blueberry, offering a sweet yet slightly tart contrast.
Green: Green Apple, to add a crisp, tart element.
Yellow: Lemon or Honey, for a citrusy or sweet touch.
White: Vanilla or White Chocolate, to mellow and balance the flavors.

Wouldn't that be "Scrumdiddlyumptious"?! Indulge any chocolate cravings with this chocolately jig, which incorporates figures that suggest mixing the chocolate, folding in the flavours, and final swirls and angles for decorating! 🍫 🍭 🍬 🍫

The Chocolate Factory

Candy Floss

Cotton Candy Day

Candy Floss

Maple Sugar Jig

Maple Syrup Day

Get out the syrup! It's time for some "sweet and saccharin substance" on your pancakes, French toast, and waffles! Or even some maple sugar candy! Maple syrup was first collected and used by the indigenous peoples of North America, who reduced the sugary water by freezing it and discarding the ice or boiling off the water to make maple sugar. Alternating freeze and thaw temperatures are necessary to create the pressure which causes the sap to
flow when the tree is tapped - which in North America is usually between February and April. Maple syrup contains a wide variety of polyphenols and volatile organic compounds which give it its distinctive flavour including: maple furanone, strawberry furanone, and maltol (with an odour of cotton candy), along with a newly discovered compound named "quebecol," created when the sap is boiled. Holiday baking is a good time to use the year's harvest, particularly for seasonal treats such as the Sugar Maple Pie, traditionally enjoyed in the largest syrup producing areas in Canada, Quebec, and the Northeastern United States, Vermont, the biggest producers of maple syrup in their respective countries. Recipe included! 🥞 🍁 🥧 🍁 🧇

Maple Sugar Jig

Peter Hastings' Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse Day

Alexandre Viard, chef to Louis XVI and Napoleon, first described this dessert, later referred to as "mousse au chocolat" in the 1820 edition of his culinary encyclopedia, Le Cuisinier Royal. But the popularity of this tasty chocolate dessert really began to surge when the French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), who was also known for his culinary skills, came up with a recipe he first named “mayonnaise au chocolat.” Peter Hastings' actual recipe included!

Peter Hastings' Chocolate Mousse

Swiss Chocolate

World Chocolate Day

Switzerland is particularly renowned for its chocolate, especially its milk chocolate. In 1875, a Swiss confectioner, Daniel Peter, developed the first solid milk chocolate using condensed milk, which had been invented by Henri Nestlé, who was Peter's neighbour in Vevey. A few years after in 1879, Rodolphe Lindt perfected the conching machine (a special chocolate polisher, mixer and agitator which improves the quality, texture, and flavor) after a happy accident which left one of his mixing machine on overnight, yielding a flavorful smooth mixture which ultimately allowed chocolate to be utilized in confectionery, rather than just as a gritty hot beverage flavouring. Prior to that, the gritty solid chocolate was not popular!

Swiss Chocolate

The Honeycomb

Honey Day

The hexagonal comb of the honey bee has been admired and wondered about from ancient times. The geometry of a honeycomb minimizes the amount of used material and allows the storage of the maximum amount of honey. Honeycomb candy, also known as cinder coffee, is a popular, easy-to-make treat which mimics the airy texture of real honeycomb - sugar, honey, cornstarch, and baking soda!

The Honeycomb

Cotton Candy

Cotton Candy Day

What Americans call cotton candy is called “candyfloss” in the UK and India, “fairy floss” in Australia and Finland, “papa’s beard” (barbe à papa) in France, and “old ladies’ hair” in Greece!

Cotton Candy

Milk Chocolate with Allemandes

M & M's Day

Milk Chocolate with Allemandes

Ribbon Candy

Christmas Candy Day

Although one of the most distinctive and recognized of holiday candies, ribbon candy has the dubious honour of being one of the most disliked of Christmas candies (perhaps for its unwieldy shape for eating and for its incongruously disappointing flavor). In fact, some people are surprised to learn that it is even edible! Regardless, whichever confectionery vision dances in your head - be it marzipan, maple sugar candy, chocolate Santas, candy canes, or even hard ribbon candy, there is much to delight the eye and plenty of selections for decorating gingerbread or candy houses! Although first made by confectioners by modeling the wavy form around the candy maker’s thumb, by the 1800s weaving and twisting mechanical crimpers were invented to shape the ribbons of ribbon candy that we recognize today. 🎄 🍭 🍬

Ribbon Candy

The Candy Cane Reel

St. Nicholas' Day

Happy St. Nicholas' Day! If you've escaped the Krampus and left out your shoes last night, you may have received a treat from St. Nicholas! On the eve of St. Nicholas, many children set out shoes filled with carrots and hay on the for St. Nick’s horse (or donkey) hoping to receive small gifts such as fruits, nuts, chocolate, candies, cookies, coins, or poems and riddles! One such small gift of candy might be a candy cane! The candy cane allegedly owes its distinctive shape to a 17th century German choirmaster, who bent the a hard candy into the form of a shepherd’s staff and gave it to children to symbolize the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. As shepherd of his people and patron saint of children, images of St. Nicholas often include a hook-shaped staff called a crozier. Besides candy canes, other traditional treats for the feast of St. Nicholas include St. Nicholas cookies, a popular holiday spiced cookie with similar flavors to gingerbread and can include cloves, anise, pepper, cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, but without the molasses! 🎅🏻 🍬

The Candy Cane Reel

Walnut Cake with Chocolate Spread

Chocolate Cake Day

Aw. Go ahead and have a slice. You can dance it off with any Scottish Country Dance, especially a high caloric jig with pas de basques such as this dance! Making chocolate cakes (and eating them) are easier than ever since powdered chocolate was made available to cooks by 1828. Originally used mostly for beverages, by 1886, cooks began adding chocolate to the cake batter, to make the first chocolate cakes! Molasses manufacturer, The Duff Company of Pittsburgh, introduced Devil's Food chocolate cake mixes in the mid-1930s, which became massively popular post war-time and figured in many classic recipe books. Additionally, the availability of "cake mixes" from manufacturers such Pillsbury and Duncan Hines added to the popularity of cake baking. Do you remember these chocolate cake trends? 1960s "Tunnel of Fudge" Bundt cakes; 1980s Chocolate Decadence cakes; 1990s Chocolate Lava cakes; 2000s artisan Chocolate Cupcakes; and 2010s Flourless Chocolate cakes and tortes. Recents trends include innovative flavour combinations (chocolate and lavender, matcha or chili) but traditional cakes never fail to please. And although the recipe which inspired this dance is unknown, see the comments for a tasty equivalent! 🍫🍰

Walnut Cake with Chocolate Spread

Chocolate Dance Index

(click for dance description or cribs)

Jan    Feb    Mar    Apr    May    Jun    Jul    Aug    Sep    Oct    Nov    Dec

WELCOME TO An Entertainment Site for Scottish Country Dancers - Enjoy the curated selection of theme-related dances for celebrations and holidays, or find a dance associated with a special calendar day, or EVEN your own birthday!  

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