Tanghulu Candied Grape and Blue Cheese Crostini Recipe

Tanghulu Candied Grape and Blue Cheese Crostini

Serves 4 (3 crostini each)

Tanghulu is a traditional Chinese treat of fruit beautifully coated in a shiny sugar-syrup shell. Served on skewers, like lollipops, it’s a popular item sold by street vendors. In our recipe, the candied grapes are added to crostini with blue cheese for a sweet-and-savory appetizer. You’ll need skewers at least 6-inches long for dipping the fruit. We recommend using a candy thermometer to monitor the syrup temperature; if you don’t have one, see our Cook’s Tip.


  • 1/2 cup creamy blue cheese or Metropolitan Market Goat Cheese
  • 12 Metropolitan Market crostini
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 grapes, depending on size, rinsed and thoroughly dried
  • 12 skewers, at least 6 inches long
  • Optional:
  • chopped, toasted hazelnuts or almonds


  1. Spread cheese on crostini. Place on a serving plate, cover, and set aside.
  2. Line a platter or baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  3. Place 1 to 3 grapes on the end of each skewer. Be sure the grapes are completely dry or the syrup will not stick.
  4. Clip candy thermometer to the inside of a small, heavy-bottom saucepan. Add sugar and water to pan and place over medium heat. Heat, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 300°F, the “hard crack stage” in candy-making, about 10 minutes. Be very careful as hot syrup will burn skin if touched or splashed. Remove from heat.
  5. Work quickly as the syrup will harden as it cools. Dip grapes, one skewer at a time, into hot syrup, tilting saucepan carefully if needed and rotating skewer to coat fruit. Remove, twirl slowly, and let extra syrup drip back into pan. Place on lined platter to cool. A hard shell will form around the fruit. Repeat with remaining skewers.
  6. Remove tanghulu grapes from skewers, cut in half, and place on crostini. Sprinkle nuts on cheese around grapes, if desired. (Tanghulu grapes are best consumed right away as the shell will eventually soften.)
  7. Cook’s Tips:
  8. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, check to see if the syrup is ready by dipping a spoon in ice water and then in the syrup. A hard shell should form immediately.
  9. If you have a crumbly blue cheese, stir in about 1/4 cup cream cheese to make it spreadable.


Amount Per Serving (based on 4 servings)
Calories: 240
Total Fat: 14 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 15 mg
Sodium: 400 mg
Carbohydrates: 26 g
Fiber: 0 g
Total Sugar: 15 g
Added Sugars: 13 g
Protein: 5 g
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