Confessions on Confections

I have to confess that even though I live in Belgium, I think I like confections almost as much as chocolate. Except for chocolate covered almonds, I LOVE those. Although, I haven’t seen/found them in Belgium yet. (If you want to know more about Belgian chocolate, which I also like, you can see this post).

Living in Canada, I always knew about fudge, but now being in Europe, I have discovered some new confections: halva, nougat, marzipan. Ok so I probably knew of these in some form while in Canada, but they were most likely mixed in with a brand-name candy that I didn’t really know about them in their natural glory. So without further a do here are my confessions on confections.

kind of painful to look at his yummy fudge isn't it?

Fudge: a Western confection basically made of sugar, butter, milk and then a flavoring such as chocolate, caramel, maple, etc.

Fudge comes in so many different flavours. For me what makes a good fudge is its softness. I don’t like refridgerated fugde or fudge that at room temperature is hard and dry. It has to be a creamy fudge that melts in your mouth. If times are desperate, I could eat it cold or if it was the solid type. When you look at the ingredients, fudge is basically another form of consuming sugar, but its oooh so good. Actually all confections are basically fancy forms of sugar. Anyways, carrying on.

pistachio halva

pistachio halva

Halva: There are so many different ways to spell halva (halawa,  halvah, helava, aluva...) and it is served in many different parts of the word (Asia, Africa, Balkans, Eastern Europe, Malta, etc). The list goes on so I won’t attempt to list all the spellings and countries here. What I can tell you is that halva is often made two different ways, one with flour and one with a nut-butter base (usually from sesame or sunflower seeds).

Halva also comes in a wide variety of flavours. My favorite, so far, is pistachio halva made from sunflower seeds. The flour-based halva can taste a bit pasty and feels like a more desperate-for-sugar-dessert. But the seed-based halva is amazing. I think halva is one of those desserts that you either love or hate. It can have quite a rough texture to it if made of seeds, but I like it.

nougat

nougat

Nougat: bascially made from some form of sugar, egg whites and nuts. The most common one I’ve seen is the classic white nougat, which apparently originated in Italy. (Those Italians really are masters in cuisine).

Can you tell I’m a fan of nuts and seeds? Like fudge, for me its important for the nougat to be of the soft variety. Its kind of like marshmallows but less plastic-like. I guess my favorite nougat would be the coffee-flavoured one with almonds and maybe a dash of chocolate. Delicious! (But too much gives a girl a stomach ache, especially if its so rich).

As a side note on nougat, there is a shop in Ghent, Belgium that prides itself as having “the best nougat in the world.” I can’t say this is true, but it is yummy.

marzipan fruits

marzipan fruits

Marzipan: is made of sugar and almonds. It can come in a plain white brick or in various shapes and colors. Its also a dessert that I think you either love or hate.

Eve though regardless of the shape or color, marzipan always has essentially the same taste. I like when it is shaped and colored like fruits. I’ve also seen little pink pigs made of marzipan. Its weird because they are so cute and you kind of want to eat them and then if you look at them too long you might think of the taste of pork no?

Marzipan pigs

cute marzipan pigs

I don’t want you to leave this page about sweets thinking about the taste of…not even gonna write it again…so all I have to say is: candy canes, toffee, licorice, chocolate, meringues, truffles, peanut brittle, turkish delight, jelly beans, jujubes, caramels, marshmallows and lemon drops, oh my!

meringue

meringues

What’s your favorite confection? (Please be as specific as possible)

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About Nicole Basaraba

Nicole Basaraba is a Canadian writer focusing on topics of travel (Mondays), writing and literature (Wednesdays), lifestyle (Fridays) and her experiences living in the capital city of Europe: Brussels, Belgium.
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12 Responses to Confessions on Confections

  1. Ellie says:

    Mmmm fudge. My mouth is watering! Chocolate is my face so I very rarely just have neat confection, unless out on a day trip. Currently in my fridge I have cadburys spots and stripes, peanut m&ms, double decker, galaxy and cadburys fruit and nut. If any of this is left by the morning it will be a near on miracle…I am addicted to sugar!

    I will confess if I am in an old sweet shop I also buy a quarter of strawberry Bon bons…the hard ones of course!

  2. My son loves marzipan I get him a box of the fruit ones every Christmas. I adore English toffee- buttery and crunchy, with the chocolate coating -dark is preferred, and a sprinkle of nuts- yum and I don’t share so everyone will need to get their own.

    • Your such a nice mom. Actually in Belgium (where I’m currently living) and in the Netherlands, its traditional to give marzipan fruits at christmas time. 🙂 I love English toffee too and I definitely don’t share. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Ellie says:

    Well the way I see they say little girls are made of sugar and spice…I’m just topping it up!

  4. scribbla says:

    Yummy to all, but particularly nougat!

  5. Marcia says:

    Chocolate anything is my favorite…I broke the rule to be specific, sorry. I also love anything made with sugar. My daughter loves Halva…I haven’t tried it yet. I make marzipan at Christmas as well a ton of other sweet treats. My dad’s favorite was English toffee and I came to love it, too…well, it has chocolate on it, so of course. There are times when I need something different, rarely, but I’ll go for Strawberry Twizzlers, Orange Jellies, or Licorice…Thanks, Nicole, now I have to go raid the cupboard!

  6. Hi Nicole,
    I have also nominated you for the Versatile Bloggers Award, and put a link to your site on my website – see http://joanna77juliet.wordpress.com

  7. My favorite confection would be Cadbury Creme eggs – something about that mix of chocolate and sweet filling is always just right! Too bad they’re only on sale for a limited time each year, but that just makes them seem even tastier when I can get them – and eases the pressure on my diet the rest of the time!

  8. Hi Nicole,

    What a delightful post! The photos are fabulous, too. My favorite confections are: Fudge chocolate with marshmallows and walnut, Lindt truffles, pastry cream puffs, and vanilla meringues from Trader Joe’s. Yum, I have some shopping to do. Bye!

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