Hot And Sweet: Candymakers Busy At Work Transforming Louisiana's Bounty Into Decadent Treats

Southern Candymakers, an 18 year-old New Orleans confectionary business specializing in Southern pralines and other candies, has recently unveiled several new Southern treats.

Like all of the confections at Southern Candymakers, including the award-winning pralines, these candies are handmade in small batches with absolutely no preservatives so quantities are very limited.

Head Candymaker, Jill Demeny, swirls artisanal honey from Algiers, Louisiana with culinary-grade lavender to flavor decadent truffles enrobed in milk or dark chocolate. She spends all day steeping a deep brew of Caf´┐Ż du Monde (CDM) coffee with chicory as a base for NOLA Mochacchino Fudge, which features a mind-blowing base of CDM coffee-laced mocha fudge topped with airy marshmallow foam and a dusting of Saigon cinnamon.

Her Yucatan truffle features a hint of the same cinnamon with a lace of Louisiana cayenne suspended in chocolate ganache, dipped in Burgundy semi-sweet chocolate.

A shipment of bananas from South America got Candymaker Sue Scalf-Mankin thinking about her childhood and craving a favorite summertime treat. To honor her mother's banana pudding Scalf-Mankin created Southern Style Banana Puddin' Fudge featuring a thick ribbon of fresh banana puree suspended in vanilla fudge with crushed vanilla wafers and topped with marshmallow foam. The final product is crunchy and creamy and utterly delicious.

"I went berry picking this past weekend," Demeny said just yesterday. The result? Rush-on-over worthy clusters of Louisiana blueberries, strawberries and/or blackberries enrobed in silken chocolate. "The ripe, perfect berries just pop in your mouth against a backdrop of sweet, silken chocolate," Demeny said. There is simply no way to eat just one.

Founded in 1992 by Pete Thompkins and Chuck Williams, Southern Candymakers crafts all delicacies, including pralines, to order. Bon Appetite magazine named Southern Candymakers a "Not to Miss" destination when visiting New Orleans, saying we "Make the Best Pralines." From the very beginning we have been showered with the high praises of our customers' ooh's and aah's followed by comments like "this is the best I have ever tasted," or "these are even better than my mama's!" The judges at the Atlanta Gourmet Show agreed and gave our Creamy Pralines the Best Candy Award