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There’s Christmas also for “bad kids”…

carbon dulce

When I was a little girl the weeks before Christmas were full of anxiousness and deep thoughts.
Fearing that my “little tricks” could deprive me from the so much desired presents, I acted as if Santa Claus was behind me all the time and I judged myself to make sure that nothing could keep the big red bag away from me.
That’s why this year I’ve decided to open the Christmas season with a present for the “tricky kids”…

Here Christmas is for everybody…

Carbón dulce (sweet coal) is a spanish typical Christmas present.
Tradition says that the kids with “bad behaviour” should get carbon instead of presents.
Anyway carbon is sweet to make sure kids know that they’re good and could improve their behaviour.

In past times carbon was darkened with smoke but now it’s forbidden for health reasons and food coloring is used for the same effect.

Carbón dulce

70 g egg white icing
Black food coloring
700 g sugar
230 g water

Egg white icing:
1 egg white (35 g)
5 drops of lemon juice
200 g icing sugar

Black food coloring.

In a large bowl combine all ingredients until smooth and thick.
A good test is when a knife blade drawn through the icing leave a clean cut.
Add more sugar if necessary.
Add the food coloring.

Prepare a rectangular pan lined with greased parchment paper.
Combine water and sugar in a deep saucepan until 1/3 of the height.
Bring to boil until 126ºC.
Remove from heat and add the egg white icing.
Stir in circles until foam forms.
Keep stirring until foam surfaces again.
Pour the mixture into the lined pan.
Break the carbon in pieces.


11 Responses to “There’s Christmas also for “bad kids”…”

  1. Deedrie em 4 December, 2009

    I have been looking for something unusual to put in my friends holiday treat bags. This is just the thing! I can’t wait make it.

  2. deana@lostpastremembered em 4 December, 2009

    The picture is amazing… it looks like an extra-terrestrial rock!
    Great job and interesting post!

  3. fen em 5 December, 2009

    Hard to believe that a cake, but this does it taste good?

  4. veggie wedgie em 5 December, 2009

    That looks so cool!!

  5. dawn em 6 December, 2009

    I love this!

  6. Susan em 7 December, 2009

    So cool looking. Is it candy? What does it taste like?

  7. genie em 9 December, 2009

    Wow – this will be perfect for holiday parties – especially at environmental group holiday parties! Gotta love the coal power plant sub-joke!

  8. Alessandra em 9 December, 2009

    Wow!always amazing!
    In Italy there’s exactly the same treat for naughty kids named “carbone” (which means coal) but it is given on the Epiphany day. I’ve always wondered if there was a recipe somewhere for baking it at home!

  9. Jo em 12 December, 2009

    Greetings! I’ve JUST made this. My kids are getting concrete rather than coal ;o) I THINK I stirred the mixture a bit to long… How long should one stir the icing into the syrup? Also, what is the purpose of the lemon juice?

    For Susan, it taste like sweet. Something for children definitely! You would not want them to have a lot either. This makes enough for my kids and several others depending on how naughty they’ve all been of course. Mine have been pretty naughty.

  10. Deedrie em 18 December, 2009

    Hi again, I made this and everyone loved it! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. Your blog is filled with so many wonderful unique recipes.

  11. Catherine em 27 November, 2010


    Such a gorgeous blog! Thanks for sharing the recipes, I made this carbon dulce this evening. Mine turned out a bit more blue than black hahaha. :)

    I was wondering, How can I change the flavor of the carbon dulce? I thought it tasted really strongly of Royal Icing. :P

    I posted picks on my web site and left a link to your site! Thanks :)

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