Book Review – Candy Is Magic: Real Ingredients, Modern Recipes by Jami Curl.

Candy is magic

4 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Ten Speed Press for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an open and honest review.

Holy Cow! Now I am a dyed in the wool sweet tooth and chocoholic – despite my whole foods and healthy foods life. And so I simply had to get a chance to read and review ‘Candy is Magic’ – and the book lived up to its title!

What an amazingly thorough and comprehensive book on how to not just make candy in its various sorts and sizes, but it covered all the essential basics about how to prep and create the flavour backgrounds and other ingredients needed to make the divine looking titbits shown within its pages.

Now did any of that make sense? I hope so, but I do almost feel like I’ve gotten a sugar rush just from reading ‘Candy is Magic’ and seriously have no regrets! There was a lot of moaning and groaning and “oh my god I can make that?!” exclamations made as I worked my way through.

I also feel that this book has given me an even greater respect for our chocolate and confectionary artisans. I honestly feel they don’t get enough credit for the time, dedication and creativity that goes into making proper, from scratch confectionary delights. I mean, I am not someone who will never buy cheap sweets over quality sweets… but there are some out there who go a bit silly when being asked to pay a couple of bucks for one item. If they bothered to read such books as ‘Candy is Magic’ I would like to hope they would realise why that one piece costs so much and that they savour every delicious mouthful! I know I do when I get to visit my favourite artisan chocolatiers and confectioners. 😉

Though saying all that, I do wonder if I am cut out for this level of confectionary making as, quite honestly, there is a lot of dedication and creativity needed and I do wonder if my skills are ready to be stretched that far. Heck, I’m still mastering a toffee glaze compote and raw chocolate… I might not be ready for the hard core candy making as shown in this amazing book.

Okay, as it’s a non-fiction book, time for my formatting feedback… It’s a Ten Speed Press book so, yeah, nothing to fault! Their images, their page layouts, their overall formatting – easy on the eye, easy to follow, sublime. Can you tell this is something I have come to expect from anything produced by Ten Speed Press? 😉

Would I recommend this book to others?

Well, I would… though I really don’t know anyone at the skill or dedication level who would want to take this sort of confectionary work on. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it is an amazing book and the recipes are something people of various skill levels could do… I just don’t know if I know anyone this dedicated to candy. Fruit leather, raw chocolate and refined sugar free treats is more the sort of thing my peers are into and so it is a book I would recommend as it teaches you how to make your own natural and yummy treats… but I honestly don’t know how many of my friends would then race out and buy it.

Would I buy this book for myself?

I would… but I would then feel guilty as I don’t know when I would have the time and space in my chunky old avocado green 1980’s kitchen to have a go at making some of the things. I mean, if I am going to serve candy/confectionary to friends and family I would honestly much rather serve things like the recipes within ‘Candy is Magic’… but whether I would actually use it often enough to justify owning it? That I can’t answer.

Maybe if it was an e-Book I could hide it on my tablet for those rainy days when I want to melt sugar and have some fun. 😉

In summary: An amazing, comprehensive and totally inspiring cook book that truly lives up to its title.

Until next time,



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