In the latter part of the 19th century, Charles (Candy) Rogers opened a grocer in Victoria, where he sold many sundry items, but it was his confections that were the most popular. Rogers is responsible for the creation of the chocolate-coated fondant crèmes known as Victoria Creams. The Rogers’ Victoria Creams are iconically wrapped in pink gingham parchment and come in a variety of flavours. I thought it would be fun to play with peaches and ginger in this humble iteration of the B.C. classic.
Peaches proliferate in certain areas of the province, and nowhere are they more beloved than in the city of Peachland. Peaches are part of the rose family, and as such lend a wonderful fragrance and flavour to these candies. The crystallized ginger helps to offset some of the sweetness that is an inherent part of the fondant experience. To bring it all together with vibrant panache, use dark chocolate to give a greater sophistication to the finished product, and serve with a sparkling wine from the region.
GINGER-PEACH VICTORIA CREAMS
Makes about 40 candies
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tbsp corn syrup
3 to 4 cups icing sugar, or as needed
2 tbsp peach purée (from about 1/4 cup fresh or frozen peaches)
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely diced
Peach food colouring (optional)
1 lb finely chopped semisweet chocolate or chocolate candy coating, for dipping
In stand mixer, beat butter, corn syrup and salt until smooth. Add 2 cups of the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well until incorporated.
Add peach purée; mix well, scraping down sides of bowl thoroughly. Mix in almond extract, ginger, and food colouring (if using), adding a little colour at a time until you reach your preferred shade.
Add remaining icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until filling is thick and paste-like. Less sugar will result in a softer filling; more sugar will be easier to dip but also quite a bit sweeter, so use your own preference here to achieve a balance. Press paste onto piece of plastic wrap and shape into 1-inch-thick disc; refrigerate for 3 hours.
Unwrap filling and lightly dust with icing sugar. Sandwich between 2 layers of parchment and roll out to 1/2-inch-thick sheet. Using cookie cutter, cut out 1 1/2-inch rounds; arrange rounds on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets.
Chill shaped filling in refrigerator or freezer for at least 4 hours, or overnight if possible.
Melt your chocolate in double boiler or microwave.
Remove half of the candy centres from fridge or freezer. Using fork or dipping tool,
dip each centre in melted chocolate until fully coated (try not to let candy sit too long
in warm chocolate or it will start to soften). Tap off excess chocolate, then transfer to new parchment-lined baking sheet; repeat with remaining candy centres, keeping centres chilled until you are ready to work with them.
Refrigerate dipped chocolates until set, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drizzle remaining melted chocolate over chilled candies. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.
Chef ILona Daniel is Harrowsmith’s Food Editor and the founder of Tribe Fresh Events and Consulting, a purpose-driven insights consultancy accelerated by modern approaches to the hospitality industry, immersive experiences, and community and culture development. She has worked on projects around the world and is on the Board of Directors for the Tourism Association of PEI. Chef Ilona is a media personality, and a Culinary Instructor at the Culinary Institute of Canada. The episode, “PEI Lobster” of the series, “Untamed Gourmet”, which Chef Ilona hosted was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award.