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

#61 jsmeeker

jsmeeker
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,505 posts
  • Location:Dallas, TX

Posted 22 September 2006 - 09:01 AM

wow.. This is great!! Just in time for Halloween.

Questions..

#1 For the caramel, it says "Now add the warm cream in 3 or 4 aliquots". What the heck is an "aliquot"?? My best guess says it means "add the warm cream in 3 or 4 additions" (as oppose to dumping it all in at once)

#2 Another question on size of pans. (for the chewy caramel) Would this work OK in a quarter sheet pan?? (I don't have the exact dimensions handy). What about a 8" square glass Pyrex dish?

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org


#62 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 9,233 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 22 September 2006 - 10:27 AM

wow.. This is great!!  Just in time for Halloween.

Questions..

#1  For the caramel, it says "Now add the warm cream in 3 or 4 aliquots". What the heck is an "aliquot"??  My best guess says it means "add the warm cream in 3 or 4 additions"  (as oppose to dumping it all in at once)

#2  Another question on size of pans. (for the chewy caramel)  Would this work OK in a quarter sheet pan?? (I don't have the exact dimensions handy).  What about a 8" square glass Pyrex dish?

View Post

Yes indeed an aliquot is an addition. Sorry I should stick to non laboratory english.

I think an 8 inch square pan would be ok, might be a bit hard to get out of the pyrex, but give it a little oiling first. I think a quarter sheet pan might be a bit big, but I too am not sure of the dimensions.

#63 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 9,233 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 22 September 2006 - 10:30 AM

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

View Post


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.

View Post

I'm not at home so I can't measure the pan, but it is just a standard pyrex bread loaf pan. Any average sized bread loaf pan would work, doesn't have to be pyrex.

I actually weighed the brown sugar for this recipe. So I'm not sure how you would convert.

#64 tammylc

tammylc
  • participating member
  • 2,155 posts
  • Location:Ann Arbor, MI

Posted 22 September 2006 - 04:22 PM

#2  Another question on size of pans. (for the chewy caramel)  Would this work OK in a quarter sheet pan?? (I don't have the exact dimensions handy).  What about a 8" square glass Pyrex dish?

View Post


I've used an 8 inch pyrex before. I line it with two pieces of parchment paper (one in each dimension with excess spilling out over the sides) and oil that - then I can easily lift the entire slab out of the pan for cutting.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40


#65 jsmeeker

jsmeeker
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,505 posts
  • Location:Dallas, TX

Posted 25 September 2006 - 07:32 PM

#2   Another question on size of pans. (for the chewy caramel)  Would this work OK in a quarter sheet pan?? (I don't have the exact dimensions handy).  What about a 8" square glass Pyrex dish?

View Post


I've used an 8 inch pyrex before. I line it with two pieces of parchment paper (one in each dimension with excess spilling out over the sides) and oil that - then I can easily lift the entire slab out of the pan for cutting.

View Post


That sounds like a good idea. I'll give that a try when I do the caramels. (I really want to do those)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org


#66 alanamoana

alanamoana
  • participating member
  • 2,738 posts
  • Location:California

Posted 04 October 2006 - 12:45 PM

Kerry,

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this course! After reading your food blog, we all know what a busy life you have already...so this is much appreciated.

I do have a question regarding brown sugar. You seem to use demerara (or "sugar in the raw" which is a brand name, I think). The usual brown sugar we have available is the moist stuff in boxes. Is there a specific reason you're using the loose demerara? Are the sugars interchangeable?

Sorry if this was already answered.

Thanks again,
Alana

#67 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 9,233 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 04 October 2006 - 01:16 PM

Kerry,

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this course!  After reading your food blog, we all know what a busy life you have already...so this is much appreciated.

I do have a question regarding brown sugar.  You seem to use demerara (or "sugar in the raw" which is a brand name, I think).  The usual brown sugar we have available is the moist stuff in boxes.  Is there a specific reason you're using the loose demerara?  Are the sugars interchangeable?

Sorry if this was already answered.

Thanks again,
Alana

View Post

Even though they are calling this demerara on the package it is really just dark brown sugar, the really moist molassey stuff. Sugar in the raw to me is the dry crystalline, but darkish sugar that you get in packages at coffee shops.

So just look for dark brown sugar, if you can't find it use light brown and add a little extra molasses for flavour.

#68 In2Pastry

In2Pastry
  • participating member
  • 74 posts
  • Location:Montana

Posted 10 October 2006 - 06:29 AM

Kerry, I just wanted to add my thanks to you for doing these segments! I have already learned a great deal. Now I can't wait to order your chocolate series!
Thanks again! :wub:

#69 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 9,233 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 10 October 2006 - 06:38 AM

Kerry, I just wanted to add my thanks to you for doing these segments! I have already learned a great deal. Now I can't wait to order your chocolate series!
Thanks again!  :wub:

View Post

You are too kind.

Any thoughts on what other confections we should offer in the course?

#70 In2Pastry

In2Pastry
  • participating member
  • 74 posts
  • Location:Montana

Posted 11 October 2006 - 08:12 AM

Kerry, I just wanted to add my thanks to you for doing these segments! I have already learned a great deal. Now I can't wait to order your chocolate series!
Thanks again!   :wub:

View Post

You are too kind.

Any thoughts on what other confections we should offer in the course?

View Post




What about toffee? :rolleyes:

#71 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 9,233 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 11 October 2006 - 09:25 AM

Kerry, I just wanted to add my thanks to you for doing these segments! I have already learned a great deal. Now I can't wait to order your chocolate series!
Thanks again!   :wub:

View Post

You are too kind.

Any thoughts on what other confections we should offer in the course?

View Post




What about toffee? :rolleyes:

View Post

Do you mean like almond roca/skor bar hard toffee?

#72 In2Pastry

In2Pastry
  • participating member
  • 74 posts
  • Location:Montana

Posted 12 October 2006 - 07:42 AM

Yes, hard toffee. I would like to make some really wonderful toffee then dip it in chocolate....... yummm

#73 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 9,233 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 12 October 2006 - 08:37 PM

Yes,  hard toffee. I would like to make some really wonderful toffee then dip it in chocolate....... yummm

View Post

It could be done, another interesting version might be sponge toffee, it's really good with chocolate too.

I'll PM Jaz and see about doing it.

#74 miladyinsanity

miladyinsanity
  • participating member
  • 1,363 posts
  • Location:Manchester, UK

Posted 13 October 2006 - 08:30 AM

Oh I love sponge toffee!

I actually tried once, a few years ago. It was a disaster involving me boiling water in the pan to dissolve all the sugar that hardened in the bottom. LOL.
May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

#75 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 9,233 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 13 October 2006 - 07:16 PM

I'm going to work on a new demo for almond butter crunch and sponge toffee over the next week or two.

#76 browniebaker

browniebaker
  • participating member
  • 713 posts
  • Location:Chevy Chase, MD

Posted 13 October 2006 - 09:07 PM

I'm going to work on a new demo for almond butter crunch and sponge toffee over the next week or two.

View Post



I can't wait for this demo, Kerry. You have no idea how much I have learned from the demos you've done thus far. Thank you so much.

English toffee I have successfully made twice recently, but one detail bothers me: I sprinkled Nestle semisweet chocolate chips oon top the of the still-hot toffee, let the chocolate melt, spread the chocolate evenly, pressed in toasted chopped pecans, and left the toffee and chocolate to set, BUT the chocolate never hardened except in the fridge and would not stay hard out of the fridge. A call to Nestle's consumer line got me the explanation that their chocolate chips, once melted, may never harden again at warmer room temperatures. I asked whether to use some other type of chocolate but probably because Nestle doesn't sell some other type for coating candy, the answer was unresponsive. Kerry, I'll be interested to see what type of chocolate you recommend for coating the toffee.

#77 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 9,233 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 14 October 2006 - 03:29 AM

I'm going to work on a new demo for almond butter crunch and sponge toffee over the next week or two.

View Post



I can't wait for this demo, Kerry. You have no idea how much I have learned from the demos you've done thus far. Thank you so much.

English toffee I have successfully made twice recently, but one detail bothers me: I sprinkled Nestle semisweet chocolate chips oon top the of the still-hot toffee, let the chocolate melt, spread the chocolate evenly, pressed in toasted chopped pecans, and left the toffee and chocolate to set, BUT the chocolate never hardened except in the fridge and would not stay hard out of the fridge. A call to Nestle's consumer line got me the explanation that their chocolate chips, once melted, may never harden again at warmer room temperatures. I asked whether to use some other type of chocolate but probably because Nestle doesn't sell some other type for coating candy, the answer was unresponsive. Kerry, I'll be interested to see what type of chocolate you recommend for coating the toffee.

View Post

Actually when I make things that require the chocolate on top of the candy, I temper the chocolate in order to insure that it hardens at room temperature and doesn't get cloudy or streaky. My demo of tempering milk chocolate is here. That is tempering in a bowl, for these recipes you only need to temper a small amount of chocolate, so you could do that in a small measuring cup, or on a marble slab.

Using confectionary coating (those discs they sell in the bulk food store) means you don't have to temper, because they replace the cocoa butter with other fats that have a stable crystalline structure at room temperature. Trouble with those is the taste in my view. I like the real chocolate, and for the almond butter crunch, the more bittersweet the better.

#78 In2Pastry

In2Pastry
  • participating member
  • 74 posts
  • Location:Montana

Posted 15 October 2006 - 10:03 AM

I'm going to work on a new demo for almond butter crunch and sponge toffee over the next week or two.

View Post



Oh, Kerry, thank you! I look forward to this with great anticipation. I have to admit I have never tried sponge toffee, so this will be wonderful.

#79 browniebaker

browniebaker
  • participating member
  • 713 posts
  • Location:Chevy Chase, MD

Posted 15 October 2006 - 12:22 PM

I'm going to work on a new demo for almond butter crunch and sponge toffee over the next week or two.

View Post



I can't wait for this demo, Kerry. You have no idea how much I have learned from the demos you've done thus far. Thank you so much.

English toffee I have successfully made twice recently, but one detail bothers me: I sprinkled Nestle semisweet chocolate chips oon top the of the still-hot toffee, let the chocolate melt, spread the chocolate evenly, pressed in toasted chopped pecans, and left the toffee and chocolate to set, BUT the chocolate never hardened except in the fridge and would not stay hard out of the fridge. A call to Nestle's consumer line got me the explanation that their chocolate chips, once melted, may never harden again at warmer room temperatures. I asked whether to use some other type of chocolate but probably because Nestle doesn't sell some other type for coating candy, the answer was unresponsive. Kerry, I'll be interested to see what type of chocolate you recommend for coating the toffee.

View Post

Actually when I make things that require the chocolate on top of the candy, I temper the chocolate in order to insure that it hardens at room temperature and doesn't get cloudy or streaky. My demo of tempering milk chocolate is here. That is tempering in a bowl, for these recipes you only need to temper a small amount of chocolate, so you could do that in a small measuring cup, or on a marble slab.

Using confectionary coating (those discs they sell in the bulk food store) means you don't have to temper, because they replace the cocoa butter with other fats that have a stable crystalline structure at room temperature. Trouble with those is the taste in my view. I like the real chocolate, and for the almond butter crunch, the more bittersweet the better.

View Post


Thank you, Kerry. I am going to try tempering chocolate so my English toffee can be given as gifts instead of being fridge-bound. Tempering chocolate is one of those mysterious things I had read about but never thought I would have to do!

Your demos are terrific, Kerry. Thank you so much!

#80 Anna N

Anna N
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,896 posts
  • Location:Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Posted 19 October 2006 - 04:57 PM

WOW! More candy! I am awfully glad my family don't read this board or they would be all over me to try the sponge toffee. I have not eaten it or even seen it in years but my memory tells me that the stuff I used to know was in uneven large hunks rather than a slab. Would it still work if you poured it into a high frame or maybe a parchment-lined loaf pan? Or is my memory all wrong and it should be a thin slab?
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

#81 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 9,233 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 19 October 2006 - 05:09 PM

WOW!  More candy!  I am awfully glad my family don't read this board or they would be all over me to try the sponge toffee.  I have not eaten it or even seen it in years but my memory tells me that the stuff I used to know was in uneven large hunks rather than a slab.  Would it still work if you poured it into a high frame or maybe a parchment-lined loaf pan?  Or is my memory all wrong and it should be a thin slab?

View Post

I've never tried pouring it into a frame, but there is no reason you couldn't put it on oiled caramel rulers or a frame.

Now to get it into nice rectangles (ie for homemade Cadbury Crunchie bar) might prove a bit more of a challenge. I wonder if cutting with an electric carving knife might work (or perhaps I could try my husband's band saw).

#82 In2Pastry

In2Pastry
  • participating member
  • 74 posts
  • Location:Montana

Posted 23 October 2006 - 06:25 AM

Kerry thank you for doing this new demo. I am ashamed to say that I haven't tried your recipe yet, but was curious about something. A friend of mine just uses butter and sugar for the toffee part. Would you know what the difference between that and your recipe would be in texture and mouth feel?

#83 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 9,233 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 23 October 2006 - 07:45 AM

Kerry thank you for doing this new demo. I am ashamed to say that I haven't tried your recipe yet, but was curious about something. A friend of mine just uses butter and sugar for the toffee part. Would you know what the difference between that and your recipe would be in texture and mouth feel?

View Post

I have that recipe too, the texture probably isn't too different. You have to boil off all the additonal water that the glucose and water add before it reaches temperature. The glucose and water just make it easier to avoid clumps and burning when melting the sugar initally.

#84 jsmeeker

jsmeeker
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,505 posts
  • Location:Dallas, TX

Posted 23 October 2006 - 09:28 AM

Im going to make the soft caramels tonight. But I have a silly question about using the metric measures.

For the liquids, your recipe calls for weights for the water and cream. I know one gram of water == 1 ml of water. I can measure that out easily in a liquid measure (all the ones I have include metric markings). But what about the cream? Is pouring out 500 ml the same as weighing 500 grams? I DO have a digital scale that can easily be switched to metric, so weighing is a non-issue if that's what I ought to do. I'm just mostly curious if it would make a difference. (weigh on scale vs. using liquid measure)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org


#85 In2Pastry

In2Pastry
  • participating member
  • 74 posts
  • Location:Montana

Posted 23 October 2006 - 10:30 AM

:rolleyes:

Kerry thank you for doing this new demo. I am ashamed to say that I haven't tried your recipe yet, but was curious about something. A friend of mine just uses butter and sugar for the toffee part. Would you know what the difference between that and your recipe would be in texture and mouth feel?

View Post

I have that recipe too, the texture probably isn't too different. You have to boil off all the additonal water that the glucose and water add before it reaches temperature. The glucose and water just make it easier to avoid clumps and burning when melting the sugar initally.

View Post


Thanks Kerry! :rolleyes:

#86 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 9,233 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 23 October 2006 - 11:00 AM

Im going to make the soft caramels tonight.    But I have a silly question about using the metric measures.

For the liquids, your recipe calls for weights for the water and cream.  I know one gram of water == 1 ml of water.  I can measure that out easily in a liquid measure (all the ones I have include metric markings).  But what about the cream?  Is pouring out 500 ml the same as weighing 500 grams?  I DO have a digital scale that can easily be switched to metric, so weighing is a non-issue if that's what I ought to do.  I'm just mostly curious if it would make a difference. (weigh on scale vs. using liquid measure)

View Post

I actually do weigh the cream but it usually works out that 500 ml weighs about 500 grams. I think the recipe would be forgiving enough if you used either.

#87 jsmeeker

jsmeeker
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,505 posts
  • Location:Dallas, TX

Posted 23 October 2006 - 01:01 PM

OK... Thanks. I'll let you know how it goes.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org


#88 jsmeeker

jsmeeker
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,505 posts
  • Location:Dallas, TX

Posted 25 October 2006 - 08:01 AM

I made the soft, chewy caramels Monday night. It went pretty well. I was out of vanilla. Didn't realize that until I went to get it out of the cupboard and it was all gone.

When I work with sugar (or pretty much any sort of liquid on my stove top), everything seems to always take longer than what recipes say. I guess I'm never use enough heat. Anyway, I eventually hit the temperature for the sugar, corn syrup and water, then added the butter, honey and then cream. That mixture eventually got to the right temp. It wasn't as dark as I was expecting. I did stir it every now and then, but I either did it to much or had poor technique. I wound up scraping up some of the darker bits on the bottom of the pot. The caramel is sort of flecked with little brown bits.

I poured it out into a metal 8x8 (inches) pan. let it sit over night, then removed it from the pan (a real PITA. I should have lined it with parchment. I can see how the bars ontop of a Silpat would be much, much easier). Then I cut it up into little squares and wrapped them. I wasn't able to find cellophane sheets at the hobby store, but they had sheets of foil. So, that's what I used.

I'm glad this class was posted. Will you do more? I'm interested in making some hard candies, lolipops, etc.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org


#89 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 9,233 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 25 October 2006 - 09:12 AM

I made the soft, chewy caramels Monday night.  It went pretty well.    I was out of vanilla.  Didn't realize that until I went to get it out of the cupboard and it was all gone.

When I work with sugar (or pretty much any sort of liquid on my stove top), everything seems to always take longer than what recipes say.  I guess I'm never use enough heat.  Anyway, I eventually hit the temperature for the sugar, corn syrup and water, then added the  butter, honey and then cream. That mixture eventually got to the right temp.  It wasn't as dark as I was expecting.  I did stir it every now and then, but I either did it to much or had poor technique.  I wound up scraping up some of the darker bits on the bottom of the pot.  The caramel is sort of flecked with little brown bits.

I poured it out into a metal 8x8 (inches) pan.  let it sit over night, then removed it from the pan (a real PITA. I should have lined it with parchment.  I can see how the bars ontop of a Silpat would be much, much easier).  Then I cut it up into little squares and wrapped them.  I wasn't able to find cellophane sheets at the hobby store, but they had sheets of foil.  So, that's what I used.

I'm glad this class was posted.  Will you do more? I'm interested in making some hard candies, lolipops, etc.

View Post

I hope you can get the caramel off the foil. It might just stick. I'd probably use parchment if I had no cello. Wrapping caramels is a royal pain.

How heavy is your pot. I often find that the dark stuck bits are more likely if your pot is not really heavy. In this case you might want to stir more to prevent any sticking.

Other classes may be possible in the future. I'll talk to the boss. Hard candy would be interesting.

#90 jsmeeker

jsmeeker
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,505 posts
  • Location:Dallas, TX

Posted 26 October 2006 - 03:42 PM

I made the soft, chewy caramels Monday night.  It went pretty well.    I was out of vanilla.  Didn't realize that until I went to get it out of the cupboard and it was all gone.

When I work with sugar (or pretty much any sort of liquid on my stove top), everything seems to always take longer than what recipes say.   I guess I'm never use enough heat.   Anyway, I eventually hit the temperature for the sugar, corn syrup and water, then added the  butter, honey and then cream. That mixture eventually got to the right temp.  It wasn't as dark as I was expecting.   I did stir it every now and then, but I either did it to much or had poor technique.  I wound up scraping up some of the darker bits on the bottom of the pot.  The caramel is sort of flecked with little brown bits.

I poured it out into a metal 8x8 (inches) pan.  let it sit over night, then removed it from the pan (a real PITA. I should have lined it with parchment.  I can see how the bars ontop of a Silpat would be much, much easier).  Then I cut it up into little squares and wrapped them.  I wasn't able to find cellophane sheets at the hobby store, but they had sheets of foil.  So, that's what I used.

I'm glad this class was posted.  Will you do more? I'm interested in making some hard candies, lolipops, etc.

View Post

I hope you can get the caramel off the foil. It might just stick. I'd probably use parchment if I had no cello. Wrapping caramels is a royal pain.

How heavy is your pot. I often find that the dark stuck bits are more likely if your pot is not really heavy. In this case you might want to stir more to prevent any sticking.

Other classes may be possible in the future. I'll talk to the boss. Hard candy would be interesting.

View Post



Eeeek! I hope so too. I didn't even think of that. The only cellophane the store had were bags of various sizes.

The pot I used was a 7 qt. Le Creuset. Maybe I did go too high on the heat. It was just taking so long to get the temp up, I slowly started to crank it up a bit.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Confections