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Q&A: Confectionery 101

Confections

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#31 Kerry Beal

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 04:04 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?

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Try the original recipe first so you know the texture you are after.

I think the sugars will give reasonable results, extra moisture will boil off, texture may differ somewhat from traditional caramel. Do small batches to experiment. Maple syrup will be more of a challenge. You might want to try with maple sugar instead, or add the maple syrup in place of some of the water and glucose. Again small batches to test your recipes. Failures can be diluted with cream and used as caramel sauce.

Edited by Kerry Beal, 10 September 2006 - 04:05 PM.


#32 adegiulio

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 10:28 AM

Is it possible to make future recipes as their own post, without pictures or other commentary. It would make it a world easier to print just recipe to bring to the kitchen. Mmmm, caramel...

Thanks!
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#33 Kerry Beal

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 03:54 PM

Is it possible to make future recipes as their own post, without pictures or other commentary. It would make it  a world easier to print just recipe to bring to the kitchen. Mmmm, caramel...

Thanks!

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I can put the recipes into recipeGullet. That should make it easier to print out. I'll do it later tonight.

#34 Kerry Beal

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 08:20 PM

Is it possible to make future recipes as their own post, without pictures or other commentary. It would make it  a world easier to print just recipe to bring to the kitchen. Mmmm, caramel...

Thanks!

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Here is a link to the caramel recipe in recipe gullet.

#35 Darcie B

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 10:28 AM

This is a wonderful course, Kerry. I have a couple of questions. First, I have a jar labeled "glucose" that I got at a cake decorating store. Is this somehow more "pure" or otherwise different than light corn syrup? I want to know if it's worth buying as it is more expensive than corn syrup.

Second, on the caramel frame, do you think it would be possible to use polycarbonate bars? I can get them much cheaper than the metal ones (i.e. free from a friend), they are foodsafe and they are safe to at least 115 degrees C.

Thanks.

Edited by Darcie B, 12 September 2006 - 10:29 AM.

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#36 apronstrings

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 04:24 PM

Yowza! I just read your SNICKERS thread. It is definitely on my TO- DO list for Thanksgiving. I'll wrap them in that sticky twisty wrapping paper I received today.
I don't recall if you noted how long they keep. Must they be refrigerated?
I have a question about the nougat recipe-- can you give me an idea of the texture of the peanut butter nougat when it is placed in the pan? You say not crumbly. Should it look like home made fudge when THAT is placed in a pan? Thanks so much!

#37 Kerry Beal

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 05:12 PM

This is a wonderful course, Kerry. I have a couple of questions. First, I have a jar labeled "glucose" that I got at a cake decorating store. Is this somehow more "pure" or otherwise different than light corn syrup? I want to know if it's worth buying as it is more expensive than corn syrup.

Second, on the caramel frame, do you think it would be possible to use polycarbonate bars? I can get them much cheaper than the metal ones (i.e. free from a friend), they are foodsafe and they are safe to at least 115 degrees C.

Thanks.

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The difference between glucose and white corn syrup is a some vanilla and more water in the white corn syrup, so technically I guess the glucose would be a bit more pure. I would use what ever costs less. You might find that you can get glucose less expensively at a bulk food store. I buy mine in 20 lb pails from my chocolate supplier or from a bakery supplier. It's quite inexpensive that way.

The polycarbonate bars should be fine as long as they are heavy enough that the flowing caramel doesn't push them. Just wait until the temperature is 115 or less before you put it in. Do you think your friend might want to share further afield?

#38 Kerry Beal

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 05:22 PM

Yowza!  I just read your SNICKERS  thread. It is definitely on my TO- DO list for Thanksgiving. I'll wrap them in that sticky twisty wrapping paper I received today.
I don't recall if you noted how long they keep. Must they be refrigerated?
I have a question about the nougat recipe-- can you give me an idea of the texture of the peanut  butter nougat when it is placed in the pan? You say not crumbly. Should it look like home made fudge when THAT is placed in a pan? Thanks so much!

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I think they have lasted as long as a month around my place, but they do tend to get eaten before we have a chance to test their lifespan. After dipping in tempered chocolate I keep them at room temperature.

The texture of the nougat is stiff, but ideally not crumbly. You can see in the picture that this one was a bit crumbly. The texture is quite different from fudge, but the change in stiffness as you stir fudge and it becomes ready to pour out would be somewhat similar. (I don't know if that explains it well).

#39 apronstrings

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 06:16 PM

Yowza!  I just read your SNICKERS  thread. It is definitely on my TO- DO list for Thanksgiving. I'll wrap them in that sticky twisty wrapping paper I received today.
I don't recall if you noted how long they keep. Must they be refrigerated?
I have a question about the nougat recipe-- can you give me an idea of the texture of the peanut  butter nougat when it is placed in the pan? You say not crumbly. Should it look like home made fudge when THAT is placed in a pan? Thanks so much!

View Post

I think they have lasted as long as a month around my place, but they do tend to get eaten before we have a chance to test their lifespan. After dipping in tempered chocolate I keep them at room temperature.

The texture of the nougat is stiff, but ideally not crumbly. You can see in the picture that this one was a bit crumbly. The texture is quite different from fudge, but the change in stiffness as you stir fudge and it becomes ready to pour out would be somewhat similar. (I don't know if that explains it well).

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Yes. I understand. Thanks.



#40 Anna N

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 04:07 AM

Kerry,

For the caramels - it looks as if you are using creamed honey. Will liquid honey work?

Thanks.
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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#41 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 04:12 AM

Kerry,

For the caramels - it looks as if you are using creamed honey.  Will liquid honey work?

Thanks.

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Yup! The only reason that honey is solid is that I brought it back from Manitoulin last year. It was liquid when I bought it.

As an aside, if your honey solidifies and you like it liquid, just heat it and put it back in a clean container. It will remain liquid until it gets around to crystallizing again.

#42 Anna N

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 04:30 AM

Kerry,

For the caramels - it looks as if you are using creamed honey.  Will liquid honey work?

Thanks.

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Yup! The only reason that honey is solid is that I brought it back from Manitoulin last year. It was liquid when I bought it.

As an aside, if your honey solidifies and you like it liquid, just heat it and put it back in a clean container. It will remain liquid until it gets around to crystallizing again.

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Whew! I have everything weighed out and then came back to the course to make sure I understood the procedure and then noticed the honey! Will be reporting back on my caramels!
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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My 2004 eG Blog

#43 browniebaker

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 06:55 AM

Kerry,

Inspired by the nougat lesson, yesterday I tried making divinity using a recipe virtually identical to your nougat recipe except that the syrup is cooked to 160 degrees F and the mixture is dropped by rounded teaspooonfuls onto a lined cookie-sheet. Problem is, my divinity never set up hard enough to spoon out into fluffy balls. I suspect it was the legendary mugginess of the Washington, D.C., summer. I had thought it was a cool and dry day (compared to what we usually get around here!) and I had the windows open.

Query: I there anything I could have done (can do in future) to offset the humidity? Would boiling to a higher temperature work?

Another query: What can I do with failed divinity besides pour it down the drain?

Thanks ever so much for these terrific confectionery lessons!

#44 Anna N

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 07:12 AM

The caramel is made and is cooling. The process went (almost) flawlessly. It took much longer than it should have due to my wimpy electric range and my wimpy approach to hot sugar! (I will deep-fry with the best of them even in an open pot but hot sugar is not something I choose to dabble in.) The recipe and method were very easy to follow and I will be much more confident in my next attempt. The only minor glitch, as you can see in the photo, is some leakage under my frame.

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Many thanks, Kerry, for clear and precise instructions.
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

#45 John DePaula

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 08:23 AM

The caramel is made and is cooling.  The process went (almost) flawlessly.  It took much longer than it should have due to my wimpy electric range and my wimpy approach to hot sugar!  (I will deep-fry with the best of them even in an open pot but hot sugar is not something I choose to dabble in.)  The recipe and method were very easy to follow and I will be much more confident in my next attempt.  The only minor glitch, as you can see in the photo, is some leakage under my frame. 

Many thanks, Kerry, for clear and precise instructions.

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Taking a longer time isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The first time I made caramel, I cooked it to the proper temperature but it was very blond and too soft. After doing a bit of research, I found the book ‘Candymaking’ by Kendrick & Atkinson. They pointed out that if you cook it too fast, the sugars don’t have a chance to properly caramelize. You also increase the chance of scorching.

The next time I made it, I turned the temp down a bit and voila! the caramel came out just right. Took longer but the flavor / texture was much improved.
John DePaula
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#46 Anna N

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 09:25 AM

. . .

The next time I made it, I turned the temp down a bit and voila! the caramel came out just right.  Took longer but the flavor / texture was much improved.

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Thanks, John. The proof will be in the tasting - I might rush that a bit so my SIL can offer his opinion this evening. (I did "lick" the pan - OK - used the spatula as it was too hot, and that was very, very tasty.)
Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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My 2004 eG Blog

#47 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 10:05 AM

Kerry,

Inspired by the nougat lesson, yesterday I tried making divinity using a recipe virtually identical to your nougat recipe except that the syrup is cooked to 160 degrees F and the mixture is dropped by rounded teaspooonfuls onto a lined cookie-sheet. Problem is, my divinity never set up hard enough to spoon out into fluffy balls. I suspect it was the legendary mugginess of the Washington, D.C., summer. I had thought it was a cool and dry day (compared to what we usually get around here!) and I had the windows open.

Query: I there anything I could have done (can do in future) to offset the humidity? Would boiling to a higher temperature work?

Another query: What can I do with failed divinity besides pour it down the drain?

Thanks ever so much for these terrific confectionery lessons!

View Post

For divinity I would suggest a day that is less muggy, or have the air conditioning on to decrease the humdity. Also you have to keep beating it until it thickens. Keep doing little test drops to see if it is ready to set up.

I don't think a higher temperature will work any better.

Try using it like you would marshmallow fluff, ie fluffernutter sandwiches, on ice cream etc.

#48 browniebaker

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 10:29 AM

Kerry,

Inspired by the nougat lesson, yesterday I tried making divinity using a recipe virtually identical to your nougat recipe except that the syrup is cooked to 160 degrees F and the mixture is dropped by rounded teaspooonfuls onto a lined cookie-sheet. Problem is, my divinity never set up hard enough to spoon out into fluffy balls. I suspect it was the legendary mugginess of the Washington, D.C., summer. I had thought it was a cool and dry day (compared to what we usually get around here!) and I had the windows open.

Query: I there anything I could have done (can do in future) to offset the humidity? Would boiling to a higher temperature work?

Another query: What can I do with failed divinity besides pour it down the drain?

Thanks ever so much for these terrific confectionery lessons!

View Post

For divinity I would suggest a day that is less muggy, or have the air conditioning on to decrease the humdity. Also you have to keep beating it until it thickens. Keep doing little test drops to see if it is ready to set up.

I don't think a higher temperature will work any better.

Try using it like you would marshmallow fluff, ie fluffernutter sandwiches, on ice cream etc.

View Post


Marshmallow Fluff! That's what I have! Thanks for this great idea. I've just learned from the website for Marshmallow Fluff and Fluffernutter that I can make Rice-Krispies Treats with marshmallow fluff. So glad my kitchen can keep its no-food-wasted status!

#49 EllenC

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 11:54 AM

Kerry,

I love this course and I really want to try making nougat. Is it possible to make it without the peanut butter? What adjustments would I make?

Thank you,

Ellen

#50 Kerry Beal

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 03:23 PM

Kerry,

I love this course and I really want to try making nougat.  Is it possible to make it without the peanut butter?  What adjustments would I make?

Thank you,

Ellen

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Check out the link to the recipe at the bottom of the nougat class. It links you to the french nougat with nuts that I did in another thread.

You could also just make the recipe without the peanut butter, beat a little longer so it's nice and stiff and use it for a chocolate bar center just the way it is. Or you could use a different nut butter.

#51 reenicake

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 04:35 PM

Thank you for the nougat lesson! I'll be trying it sometime this week if there is no rain (fat chance, this has been the driest day for weeks. if only I didn't have so much to do this evening.)
I noticed in the photo that you have bottled water, is it preferrable for making nougat/confections in general?
And to make a light chocolate nougat (like a 3 musketeers bar), I was thinking to fold in some bittersweet (72%) chocolate instead of the peanut butter... do you think that will make it fall?

#52 Kerry Beal

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 05:30 PM

Thank you for the nougat lesson! I'll be trying it sometime this week if there is no rain (fat chance, this has been the driest day for weeks. if only I didn't have so much to do this evening.)
I noticed in the photo that you have bottled water, is it preferrable for making nougat/confections in general?
And to make a light chocolate nougat (like a 3 musketeers bar), I was thinking to fold in some bittersweet (72%) chocolate instead of the peanut butter... do you think that will make it fall?

View Post

I used the bottled water in the photo just to show it was water. Around my house it's water out of the tap for just about everything.

Try with the chocolate, I think it might make a very interesting addition. Make sure it is fairly cool when you add it and just kind of fold it in, rather than doing a lot of beating.

Let us know how it goes.

#53 browniebaker

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 12:10 PM

Kerry,

Hi. I like to make fudge and caramel that cut up into thick 1" cubes, and I want to use my 8" square Magic Line pans with the removable bottoms, so I want to double the recipes. Would you please tell me how large a pan I would need for the caramel and the fudge, respectively, in order to avoid boil-overs? I'd rather not find out by trial and error! Much thanks!

#54 Kerry Beal

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 12:44 PM

Kerry,

Hi. I like to make fudge and caramel that cut up into thick 1" cubes, and I want to use my 8" square Magic Line pans with the removable bottoms, so I want to double the recipes. Would you please tell me how large a pan I would need for the caramel and the fudge, respectively, in order to avoid boil-overs? I'd rather not find out by trial and error! Much thanks!

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I think you could easily get a double batch of caramel in the 8 quart pot. I suspect a 6 quart pot would accomodate the fudge, but if you have an 8 quart, then even better.

#55 miladyinsanity

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 02:22 PM

Any ideas for candy that can be made in humid weather? I live in tropical Singapore, and it's humid all year round.

I'm pretty sure marshmallows are okay. I made them once from Nightscotsman's recipe, but I didn't beat them long enough as I was afraid I'd not be able to scrape it out.

I made caramels twice, and even letting it set up for 24 hours didn't make it easier to cut. I mostly ended up tearing chunks off rather than cutting, in fact.
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#56 Kerry Beal

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 02:36 PM

Any ideas for candy that can be made in humid weather? I live in tropical Singapore, and it's humid all year round.

I'm pretty sure marshmallows are okay. I made them once from Nightscotsman's recipe, but I didn't beat them long enough as I was afraid I'd not be able to scrape it out.

I made caramels twice, and even letting it set up for 24 hours didn't make it easier to cut. I mostly ended up tearing chunks off rather than cutting, in fact.

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Marzipan would work, fruit jellies or candied fruit rinds. Is there any way you can dehumidify at least your kitchen?

#57 Desiderio

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 06:22 PM

Ahh kerry , what to say ,Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and to take the time on doing so.I almost miss the classes because I always goo directly to the baking forum and I forget to look on the main page :rolleyes: Oh well .
Vanessa

#58 miladyinsanity

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 05:02 AM

Any ideas for candy that can be made in humid weather? I live in tropical Singapore, and it's humid all year round.

I'm pretty sure marshmallows are okay. I made them once from Nightscotsman's recipe, but I didn't beat them long enough as I was afraid I'd not be able to scrape it out.

I made caramels twice, and even letting it set up for 24 hours didn't make it easier to cut. I mostly ended up tearing chunks off rather than cutting, in fact.

View Post

Marzipan would work, fruit jellies or candied fruit rinds. Is there any way you can dehumidify at least your kitchen?

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I plan to try candying fruit rinds.

Not without a dehumidifier, I don't think. I'm moving overseas to study next year, so I'm not willing to spend too much on equipment.

Fruit jellies would make great Christmas gifts, so I'll bump them up my to do list. Thanks Kerry!
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#59 reenicake

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 05:40 AM

Any ideas for candy that can be made in humid weather? I live in tropical Singapore, and it's humid all year round.

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You can make fudge and peanut brittle, I used to make it a lot when I lived in the Philippines growing up. Just make sure your thermometer is accurate so the correct amount of moisture evaporates; and it will not last as long without being stored airtight.

Thanks Kerry for the fudge recipe! I was looking for a non-chocolate alternative for variety and this will be perfect! A few questions as always.
About how big is your glass loaf pan on the bottom (just because they vary a lot in how much the sides slope in from the top dimension)?
How many grams/oz in a cup of brown sugar, since everyone measures a bit differently by volume? I go by 240 g but just wanted to check.

#60 John DePaula

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 08:54 AM

Hi Kerry,

Your recipe for Pecan Fudge is very similar to one my mom used to make during the holidays: Panocha – Brown Sugar Fudge. Actually, she’d make about 8 or 9 different varieties, in addition to 9 or 10 types of Italian Christmas cookies and other treats. I was NOT a thin child… But Happy!

Thanks for sharing your talents.
John DePaula
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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.”





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