Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Q&A: Confectionery 101

Confections

  • Please log in to reply
197 replies to this topic

#1 eGCI Team

eGCI Team
  • host
  • 239 posts

Posted 31 August 2006 - 12:17 PM

Please post your questions and comments about the Confectionery 101 Course here.

#2 Anna N

Anna N
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,389 posts
  • Location:Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Posted 31 August 2006 - 01:17 PM

Kerry,
I am very excited to see a confectionary course! I will be following along with interest and hope to at least try the nougat and perhaps the caramel.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

"It either works fine or not, but what the heck. This is bread, not birth control." Susan of Wild Yeast blog
Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog
My 2004 eG Blog

#3 apronstrings

apronstrings
  • participating member
  • 183 posts
  • Location:Florida and New York, depending on the weather!

Posted 31 August 2006 - 01:47 PM

:wub: FAN-TAS-TIC!!! I bought all the ingredients for your nougat last month, and somehow got sidetracked from making it. This will be a real treat for me!!

#4 gfron1

gfron1
  • legacy participant
  • 4,057 posts
  • Location:Silver City, NM

Posted 31 August 2006 - 02:11 PM

I can't wait! Thanks Kerry. (Funny, I was on track for making nougat and got off track too.)

#5 maggiethecat

maggiethecat
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,053 posts
  • Location:Chicago Burbs -- West

Posted 31 August 2006 - 05:19 PM

Confectionary always scares my to death, so this course is most welcome! I think I want a taffy hook, but I'm not sure 1)what a taffy hook is or 2) where to find one. I'd appreciate some advice.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."
Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com


#6 Marlene

Marlene
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 8,123 posts
  • Location:Alberta, Canada

Posted 31 August 2006 - 05:25 PM

And what's a caramel ruler or pastry frame?
Marlene
cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

#7 John DePaula

John DePaula
  • participating member
  • 1,495 posts
  • Location:Portland, OR

Posted 31 August 2006 - 05:45 PM

And what's a caramel ruler or pastry frame?

View Post

Caramel Rulers and Confectionary Frames are used by confectioners to obtain an end product of uniform thickness.
Used for the production of Caramel, Chocolate Ganache, etc.
John DePaula
DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

#8 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 8,874 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 31 August 2006 - 05:47 PM

Confectionary always scares my to death, so this course is most welcome! I think I want a taffy hook, but I'm not sure 1)what a taffy hook is or 2) where to find one.  I'd appreciate some advice.

View Post


Maggie,

Here are a couple of pictures of taffy hooks. The first is similar to the kind that you would have found on the back of a door in my grandmother's kitchen. The second is the one that my husband put together for me and brought up from his workshop about a week after I'd completed all the pictures of pull taffy for the confectionary course. So you won't get to see it in action. Basically you take the mass of boiled sugar between both hands, hook it over the oiled hook and pull down (or towards you for the one hubby built). You then pick the mass back up, bring the ends together, hook it over the hook again and again and pull until it can't be pulled any more.

So do you need a taffy hook? Not really, cause you can just pull the taffy between your hands. A hook will allow you to handle bigger batches, and is easier on arthritic hands.

Just google 'taffy hook' to find mail order sources. This first picture is from the Sugarcraft catalogue. The hooks for the homemade version came from Lee Valley.


Posted Image


Posted Image


Edited to add sources for taffy hooks, as I never read the whole question before answering.

Edited by Kerry Beal, 01 September 2006 - 04:43 AM.


#9 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 8,874 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 31 August 2006 - 05:54 PM

And what's a caramel ruler or pastry frame?

View Post

Caramel Rulers and Confectionary Frames are used by confectioners to obtain an end product of uniform thickness.
Used for the production of Caramel, Chocolate Ganache, etc.

View Post

I have some stainless bars that I use as caramel rulers. I went to the Metal Supermarket on Speers Road in Oakville and asked them to cut them for me. The last set I bought were 3/8 inch by 1 inch bar and I had them cut 2-12 inch pieces and 2-8 inch pieces. Hubby polished off the burrs. They cost me around $24. A lot cheaper than the ones you get at stores.

Marlene - there are several Metal Supermarkets in the GTA if you are interested. Just google them.

#10 In2Pastry

In2Pastry
  • participating member
  • 74 posts
  • Location:Montana

Posted 03 September 2006 - 02:23 PM

What a great course! I look forward to it with great anticipation! :biggrin:

#11 eGCI Team

eGCI Team
  • host
  • 239 posts

Posted 03 September 2006 - 02:32 PM

Please note that a food scale will be necessary for the recipes in these classes. We apologize for the omission from the list of equipment in the course introduction.

#12 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 8,874 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 03 September 2006 - 02:43 PM

Please note that a food scale will be necessary for the recipes in these classes. We apologize for the omission from the list of equipment in the course introduction.

View Post

oop's, my bad.

Kerry

#13 Eden

Eden
  • participating member
  • 959 posts

Posted 05 September 2006 - 04:46 PM

A good friend uses dark corn syrup for her caramels (which are so good we refer to them as Crack!) how would this change the result as compared with the light corn syrup/glucose?

on a side note, I am wondering how chewy caramels were made prior to the availability of corn syrup?


Really interesting course - I make toffee at the holidays, but haven't strayed outside that much, and I keep meaning to, so hopefully this will be my push...
Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

#14 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 8,874 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 05 September 2006 - 04:55 PM

A good  friend uses dark corn syrup for her caramels (which are so good we refer to them as Crack!)  how would this change the result as compared with the light corn syrup/glucose?

on a side note, I am wondering how chewy caramels were made prior to the availability of corn syrup? 


Really interesting course - I make toffee at the holidays, but haven't strayed outside that much, and I keep meaning to, so hopefully this will be my push...

View Post

Dark corn syrup is also glucose syrup with a small amount of molasses, caramel flavour and caramel colour added. It would likely behave very similarly to white corn syrup in the caramels, but might add a slightly different flavour of it's own, which would be very complimentary to the other flavours in caramel.

#15 In2Pastry

In2Pastry
  • participating member
  • 74 posts
  • Location:Montana

Posted 06 September 2006 - 02:17 PM

Hi Kerry,
I would like to use carmel to dip marshmallows. Can you offer any suggestions about preparing carmel for dipping?
Thanks for any help!

#16 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 8,874 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 06 September 2006 - 03:22 PM

Hi Kerry,
I would like to use carmel to dip marshmallows. Can you offer any suggestions about preparing carmel for dipping?
Thanks for any help!

View Post

I haven't yet done this. I figured the first thing I would try would be a thin piece of room temperature or slightly warm caramel wrapped around a piece of marshmallow. I suspect that if you dipped them in hot caramel that the marshmallow would melt.

When I dip apples or pretzels in caramel I do it when it cools down to about 90 degrees C.

#17 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 8,874 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 06 September 2006 - 07:36 PM

Hi Kerry,
I would like to use carmel to dip marshmallows. Can you offer any suggestions about preparing carmel for dipping?
Thanks for any help!

View Post


I decided to try a couple of methods this evening to see how it would work.

First, I stabbed a marshmallow with a skewer and dipped it. Not recommended.

Working much better, was just putting a glob of caramel at about 50 degrees on top of the marshmallow, then when cool just stretching it around the marshmallow. That's the first two pictures.

Posted Image

Posted Image


Here, I poured out a thin layer of caramel on silpat. When cool, took squares of caramel and wrapped them around the marshmallows. The thing to be aware of is that the caramel will flow, so they will need to be wrapped in cello or dipped in chocolate as soon as cool.
Posted Image

Posted Image

So, I've never before eaten caramel wrapped around a marshmallow, but even with these cheap, no name marshmallows, this is a rather sweet, but amazing combination of textures and flavours.

A chocolate flavoured homemade marshmallow, wrapped in caramel, dipped in bittersweet chocolate - who's going to make it first? Consider it a challange!!

#18 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 06 September 2006 - 08:48 PM

Question about humidity and caramel (and nougat, too!).

What is the ideal humidity of a room for making confections? I'd like to try making caramels and nougat, but it's about 75% humidity where I am right now. Would it be a bad move to try it now? Or should I wait for a bit. Would 50% humidity be OK? 25%?

#19 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 8,874 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 07 September 2006 - 04:11 AM

Question about humidity and caramel (and nougat, too!).

What is the ideal humidity of a room for making confections?  I'd like to try making caramels and nougat, but it's about 75% humidity where I am right now.  Would it be a bad move to try it now?  Or should I wait for a bit.  Would 50% humidity be OK?  25%?

View Post

I think it's fair to say that high humidity interferes with confectionary. Right now the humidity in my house is 61% and things are turning out OK. I believe the 'recommended' ideal humidity is 55% or less.

If you have air conditioning it really sucks the moisture out of the air and helps a lot when making candy or chocolate.

#20 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 07 September 2006 - 04:43 AM

I think it's fair to say that high humidity interferes with confectionary.  Right now the humidity in my house is 61% and things are turning out OK.  I believe the 'recommended' ideal humidity is 55% or less. 

If you have air conditioning it really sucks the moisture out of the air and helps a lot when making candy or chocolate.

View Post


I do have an air conditioner that has a dehumidifier setting. The only problem is, as with many Japanese appliances made for the Japanese market, it doesn't work very well. It's also typhoon season here. But I'm going to purchase a humidty gauge and as soon as it hits below 60, I'm making the good stuff!!

Soft buttery caramels...mmmmmmmm :wub:

#21 apronstrings

apronstrings
  • participating member
  • 183 posts
  • Location:Florida and New York, depending on the weather!

Posted 07 September 2006 - 09:54 AM

I think it's fair to say that high humidity interferes with confectionary.  Right now the humidity in my house is 61% and things are turning out OK.  I believe the 'recommended' ideal humidity is 55% or less. 

If you have air conditioning it really sucks the moisture out of the air and helps a lot when making candy or chocolate.

View Post


I do have an air conditioner that has a dehumidifier setting. The only problem is, as with many Japanese appliances made for the Japanese market, it doesn't work very well. It's also typhoon season here. But I'm going to purchase a humidty gauge and as soon as it hits below 60, I'm making the good stuff!!

Soft buttery caramels...mmmmmmmm :wub:

View Post

Kerry, Thanks so much! I have 2 questions: I have found a website that makes self sticking cellophane squares for enclosing candy. Would you recommend them? Secondly, if I make fleur de sel caramels, at what point would I add the salt topping? Is there extra salt in the basic recipe? (OK that was 3 questions!). Can't wait for nougat.

#22 laurenkusa

laurenkusa
  • participating member
  • 28 posts
  • Location:SF Bay Area

Posted 07 September 2006 - 02:28 PM

How do you convert from grams to ounces for confectionary? any special tips to use? My scale only does ounces.
Lauren

#23 mrose

mrose
  • participating member
  • 410 posts
  • Location:Franklin, WI

Posted 07 September 2006 - 03:41 PM

Try this conversion site.

Edited by mrose, 07 September 2006 - 03:41 PM.

Mark
www.roseconfections.com

#24 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 8,874 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 07 September 2006 - 04:34 PM

Kerry, Thanks so much! I have 2 questions: I have found a website that makes self sticking cellophane squares for enclosing candy. Would you recommend them? Secondly, if I make fleur de sel caramels, at what point would I add the salt topping? Is there extra salt in the basic recipe? (OK that was 3 questions!). Can't wait for nougat.

View Post

Tell me more about these self sticking cello squares. That would make life so simple. I assume they are they food grade and if so I would highly recommend them (and would love to get some myself).

The fleur de sel is usually sprinkled on after you pour the caramel into the frame, or you can sprinkle a pinch on the top of each finished caramel. Some people add extra salt in the recipe, I don't find it is any better that way. Try with some smoked salt too.

#25 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 8,874 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 07 September 2006 - 04:37 PM

How do you convert from grams to ounces for confectionary? any special tips to use?  My scale only does ounces.

View Post



Try this conversion site.

View Post

Thanks for posting that site Mike.

I'm on a newer Mac iBook and I just click on the dashboard and the widget comes up for conversion.

#26 apronstrings

apronstrings
  • participating member
  • 183 posts
  • Location:Florida and New York, depending on the weather!

Posted 07 September 2006 - 06:50 PM


Kerry, Thanks so much! I have 2 questions: I have found a website that makes self sticking cellophane squares for enclosing candy. Would you recommend them? Secondly, if I make fleur de sel caramels, at what point would I add the salt topping? Is there extra salt in the basic recipe? (OK that was 3 questions!). Can't wait for nougat.

View Post

Tell me more about these self sticking cello squares. That would make life so simple. I assume they are they food grade and if so I would highly recommend them (and would love to get some myself).

The fleur de sel is usually sprinkled on after you pour the caramel into the frame, or you can sprinkle a pinch on the top of each finished caramel. Some people add extra salt in the recipe, I don't find it is any better that way. Try with some smoked salt too.

View Post

"Confectionery Twisting Paper and Cellophane Sheets". The website is CANDYLANDCRAFTS.COM Please let me know what you think.

#27 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 8,874 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 07 September 2006 - 07:00 PM


Kerry, Thanks so much! I have 2 questions: I have found a website that makes self sticking cellophane squares for enclosing candy. Would you recommend them? Secondly, if I make fleur de sel caramels, at what point would I add the salt topping? Is there extra salt in the basic recipe? (OK that was 3 questions!). Can't wait for nougat.

View Post

Tell me more about these self sticking cello squares. That would make life so simple. I assume they are they food grade and if so I would highly recommend them (and would love to get some myself).

The fleur de sel is usually sprinkled on after you pour the caramel into the frame, or you can sprinkle a pinch on the top of each finished caramel. Some people add extra salt in the recipe, I don't find it is any better that way. Try with some smoked salt too.

View Post

"Confectionery Twisting Paper and Cellophane Sheets". The website is CANDYLANDCRAFTS.COM Please let me know what you think.

View Post

Ah yes. These would be the demented cello I have been looking for. A caramel maker who was demonstrating her product at the gift show a few weeks back told me to find cello with 'no memory'. ie cello that once twisted doesn't want to go back to it's original state. I haven't had a chance to visit my cello bag manufacturer and ask if they make rolls of demented cello.

So these won't stick to themselves, but they will work beautifully for twisting.

#28 In2Pastry

In2Pastry
  • participating member
  • 74 posts
  • Location:Montana

Posted 07 September 2006 - 07:15 PM

Hi Kerry,
I would like to use carmel to dip marshmallows. Can you offer any suggestions about preparing carmel for dipping?
Thanks for any help!

View Post

I haven't yet done this. I figured the first thing I would try would be a thin piece of room temperature or slightly warm caramel wrapped around a piece of marshmallow. I suspect that if you dipped them in hot caramel that the marshmallow would melt.

When I dip apples or pretzels in caramel I do it when it cools down to about 90 degrees C.

View Post



Thanks Kerry. I will work on this more and see if I can come up with a way to dip. the wrap around method is too time consuming for me. I will post if I have success! :smile:

#29 mrose

mrose
  • participating member
  • 410 posts
  • Location:Franklin, WI

Posted 08 September 2006 - 06:57 PM

How do you convert from grams to ounces for confectionary? any special tips to use?  My scale only does ounces.

View Post



Try this conversion site.

View Post

Thanks for posting that site Mike.

I'm on a newer Mac iBook and I just click on the dashboard and the widget comes up for conversion.

View Post


The conversion site also can do weight (cups to metric), and distance on other pages.
Mark
www.roseconfections.com

#30 Gabriel Lewis

Gabriel Lewis
  • participating member
  • 306 posts
  • Location:Montreal, Quebec

Posted 10 September 2006 - 03:52 PM

Hey Kerry,

I am planning on making your caramel soon and am very much looking forward to it. However, I would like to try making with some raw sugar I have, as well as perhaps piloncillo, palm sugar, and maybe even maple syrup if possible. All three of the sugars have considerably more moisture than regular white sugar. Would I have to adjust for the moisture content or any other factors if I were to switch the sugar? The raw sugar is similar to turbinado, but probably a little more moisture, the piloncillo and palm sugar are close to brown sugar.

Would it even be possible to do it with maple syrup?





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Confections