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  1. Hi all. There was recently some discussion about those diffraction grating sheets. I came across this video on YouTube I wanted to share. I think all in all, none of us would go through this process, and I would question the food safety aspect of it, but I still feel like many would find it interesting.
  2. That is true, the Jordan Almonds don't have anything to do with chocolate. When I decided to coat the almonds in chocolate, it was just to prevent it from being a wasted endeavor. I had the pan already set up, so I just went with that. To me the appeal of the Jordan Almond is the very old history it has. Today it's become synonymous with cheap wedding candy, but I think it would show considerable skill if it was replicated on a small scale, thats whats always interested me about confectionery. I've tried and failed, I obviously just need to do some more reading and experimenting.
  3. Hi All, About a month ago I was looking through Wybauws Fine Chocolates Gold. On page 130, theres a sections for sugar coating. I've wanted to do hard sugar panning for so long. I just decided to do it, followed the formula he has (1kg sugar and 300g water, boil to 110c) and it didn't really turn out at all. I needed more time (and a lot more patience), and just decided to coat them in chocolate. Has anyone attempted Jordan Almonds, even with mild success? What gets me is in Wybauws book, he doesn't elaborate too much on sugar panning, he focuses more on chocolate, but theres this picture of these beautiful sugar panned dragees that I'm dying to replicate. Anyways, I didn't see any topics on it, just thought I'd put it out there.
  4. Welcome to the forum! I'm sure others will chime in, but before I had my airbrush, I pretty much applied multiple layers of the same color with a gloves finger, but it can be easy for the cocoa butter to get a little too thick. Quite frankly I eventually just accepted that I wasn't going to be able to replicate the even coverage you get from an airbrush. For a short time I did use a mouth atomizer, it gave a cool finish, like a fine spatter, but definitely not even coverage like from an airbrush, and I didn't like that you have to blow on a mouth piece, just didn't feel sanitary.
  5. minas6907


    I'll keep it in mind, however I don't think I'm going to be making these again any time soon. Perhaps I can team up with my wife to take pictures, I wouldn't be able to do it by myself. I will say to keep in mind that adding the molasses in the hard candy causes the boiling mixture to be quite foamy, so use a pot that is larger then you might be inclined to use, not to mention adding the baking soda at the end. If you (or your friend) have any specific questions, don't hesitate! Thank you! That's correct, I folded in the filling in using trifolds as you would with puff pastry. I have used my oven as a warmer, but found overall that a heat lamp works best. I used to set my oven at 200f, it was suitable enough to keep a batch of sugar warm for hard candy. The reason I stopped using it has to deal with moisture. I noticed that the oven is actually quite humid when it starts to warm up, and it would affect the batch of hard candy, making the finished hard candy pieces quite sticky. I'd say that if you use an oven to warm, preheat it ahead of time so you can minimize the moisture that the sugar takes in. As for the sugar lamps, there are some crazy expensive setups. I use a Winco heat lamp with 2 bulbs (about $70). Previously I purchased a heat lamp with a ceramic housing and bulb, about $20 total from Home Depot, and hung it over the surface I was working on. I'm not sure where you are located at, but I think you should be able to find an affordable option. This is the one I have: http://www.wincous.com/product/electric-heat-lamp/ I do a lot of pulled sugar, so depending on the ambient temperature, I do find it helpful to occasionally unscrew one bulb and just have one heat source.
  6. minas6907


    Hi all. The Butterfinger is something I've been wanting to try for a long time. A while ago I attempted Grewelings Leaf Croquant, and it seriously didnt go well. I dont know exactly what I was doing wrong, but somehow the proportions seemed off. I wouldn't be surprised by this because, while I view Chocolates and Confections as a very reliable book, there are a number of adjustments I've had to make and take note of in order for some formulas to work. Personally, I think the Leaf Croquant is probably one of the least attempted recipes, and almost seems adapted from Friberg's Advanced Professional Pastry Chef. I saw the video linked above when it came out. There are many issues I have with that video, I want to point them out, but its probably pointless. I will say that its embarrassing watching them temper chocolate, mixing the batch on the walk-in floor, especially when there are empty shelves. I would expect better from Bon Appetit and whoever thought in editing that it should be in the final video. One note that is related to the video, she adds feuilletine, which I personally dont think is necessary. Commercially, Butterfinger does have "confectioner's corn flakes" added, but personally, I think the sugar itself does provide enough crunch, and adding a wheat or corn product alienates more people today then in the past, so I just leave it out. Grewelings Peanut Butter Honeycomb is something I've made a number of times, and was pretty sure it could be adapted to make a bar. The molasses in the candy adds a nice flavor and color, having the baking soda makes aerating quicker, and it being a boiled sugar solution, I think its easier to manipulate then caramelized sugar. The first picture posted is the Peanut Butter Honeycomb recipe as is. I pulled the batch of sugar, put in the filling, pulled some more, and flattened out, and scored. I came to realize that the pieces were just too large. While they had that beautiful crumbly texture, they were a bit hard to eat, both to being just large pieces and I think they needed more filling. I compared the formulas to the other laminated candies in the book, and saw that they usually have a larger amount of filling compared to the sugar, so all I did was make the Peanut Butter Honeycomb formula and double the filling. I folded in the filling rather then pulling it, and while warm, I scored more slender bars. @Rajala above asked about using a lamp, and I would say that you absolutely have to. You could use an oven to keep warm, but personally I'd say its ideal to use a heat lamp, have the sugar on a silpat, and work on a granite or marble surface. If anyone have any suggestions or questions, let me know. Overall, I think this was successful, very pleased with the texture. One thing I'd probably do in the future is mark the candies with the 'grain' going the other way. In the first picture, the 'grain' is going horizontal. I felt like it should go lengthwise, but theres a part of me now that thinks that it should in fact be horizontal. Maybe I'm overthinking it, but just a little note. I would also perhaps add a tiny bit more filling, and perhaps fold a tiny bit less. The pictures are as follows: 1. Peanut Butter Honeycomb candy as a bar, first attempt. 2. Same candy with twice the filling, and folded in. Cross section of the bar once scored and cooled. 3. After bottoming with chocolate. 4. Enrobed bars, beautiful swirly marks all over them. 5. Cross section of the finished bar.
  7. Hello All, Here's a cache of photos from things in the last 6 months or so. Theres been a few topics I've been meaning to comment on, but just havent had the time to respond. I should be able to get to that in the near future. 1. Sesame Halva. I've been trying to nail this down for a long time, gave up plenty of times, but I think I got it. Went thorough around 6lb of tahini, but this is the texture I remember as a kid when my grandfather would bring me back halva each year from Greece. 2. If I recall correctly, I had made a blueberry caramel that didnt set up quite as hard as I wanted it to. I was messing around and put it into a small batch of hard candy. The result was ok, but I think I'd like to come back to this in the future. 3. Watermelon lollis 4. Assorted Bonbons, left to right: Anise caramel with cashew, peanut butter, lemon white chocolate, whit chocolate with frangelico, mango pate de fruit. 5. Candied Pineapple 6. Pillow Mints 7. Panned Caramels. This was just another thing I've been meaning to do for a long time. I made the sweetened condensed milk caramel from Grewelings book, only added 1/2 of the glucose, pulled it like a taffy to agitate, and set it in a frame and let crystallize for a few days. That way I was able to cut into even cubes and coat in the pan. I also threw some gold cocoa butter on the outside just to see the effect. Overall, they were ok, they tasted fine, but with a panned dragee you really do need a contrasting texture, like an appealing crunch. The texture of the crystallized caramel was too similar to the white chocolate, there was no contrast. 8. I didnt like the pillow mints too much, so I panned them in chocolate. They actually come out pretty nicely. They had a nice crunch, fun to eat, I'd try these again. One note, these are the pillow mints from Grewelings book. After the mints are cut, you let them crystallize in confectioners sugar. They actually do enlarge considerably in size, so I'd have to plan accordingly to cut the mints smaller then I'm inclined to, let crystallize and enlarge, and coat with chocolate. I think like a pillow mint that is flavored with lemon oil and panned in white chocolate would be nice, something like that. 9. Pineapple pate de fruit 10. Hazelnut Gianduja 11. Candied Kumquats coming up from syrup 12. Candied Kumquats 13 and14. Almond Dragee 15. Best for last - Butterfingers. I'll elaborate more on this one in the butterfinger topic.
  8. Out of curiosity, have you tried the pillow mint formula from Chocolates and Confections? PM me if you'd like it. It doesn't include butter, but it is a similar product, being a crystallized pulled candy. I've always been able to make it through the whole batch no worries. Also, do you mind if I ask for your exact recipe? Your post has me curious now. Does it include any cream of tartar? I'd like to give your recipe a try. Ive always seem with butter mints that they crystallize during storage, having 2 minutes to cut just doesn't seem like enough working time.
  9. It sounds like you agitated the fudge a bit too early, that will generate large crystals. I can't think of too much to be done with it aside from adding cream like you did to make a chocolate sauce or something. Usually at this point I cut my losses before I spend too much time making something I didn't really have a need for in the first place. Also, a large batch can be tricky. How are you cooling the syrup before agitating it? It's easy for it to be just a bit warmer then it should be on a large batch.
  10. My solution is no different then what's mentioned above, I temp the item, wipe as cleanly as I can on a paper towel, and put the thermometer in water. Whatever remains on the probe dissolves pretty quickly. I should mention that most of the boiling I do is for hard candy, so after a while I've gotten into the habit of just temping once to make sure it doesn't go too far, I can tell by the bubble size when I'm nearing the end. I know we all have our preferences, but I was never a fan of clipping a thermometer to the side of the pan. For me, it gets in the way of washing down the sugar crystals for pulled sugar, and impedes stirring for items like taffy or caramel.
  11. Absolutely! The following is the one I use for work (hospital kitchen) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000LDI8PK/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_apa_i_WRE6DbGRPTPEX And this second one is my go to for any sugar projects https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009Z27WIC/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_apa_i_HTE6DbJD68AG3 The latter has a longer probe that I find helpful for a deep pot. I've gone through alot of thermometers, I've settled on these, they are very reliable for everyday use,l and give a quick read. But they are sensitive, that why I say don't touch the bottom of the pot, it'll give you a higher reading. Otherwise, I have a thermoworks type k thermocouple, but I feel like I use that less and less
  12. For what it's worth, in my personal experience, I've never had a IR thermometer give me an accurate reading on a boiling syrup. I've tried on many occasions, but it's just not reliable. Use a probe thermometer for sure when temping a sugar syrup, Cooper Atkins are my personal favorite, very quick reading. Also, when using a probe, be careful not to let it touch the bottom of the pot. And just a side question, would the pan you made the brittle in have been the same as last year? I just ask because there seems to be a pretty dramatic difference in color.
  13. I think you have alot of affordable and practical options when it comes to gloves. Just my personal opinion, I wouldnt get anything that is labeled 'sugar gloves,' its just a way to mark up the price on regular gloves. When I pull sugar, I my first layer is a nitrile coated glove, like these: Ironton Nitrile-coated Gloves, 12 pr And second layer is a pair of 6 mil venom steel, like these: https://www.amazon.com/Venom-Nitrile-Gloves-Resistant-Disposable/dp/B01CO9RKGQ/ref=asc_df_B01CO9RKGQ/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167121456202&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12591415589683233649&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9061195&hvtargid=aud-801381245258:pla-338155820524&psc=1 The first really takes the brunt of the heat, then the second just make handling the sugar easier. I used to use vinyl gloves, but they would tear so often with the heat of the sugar, and I would never want to take chances of a small piece of glove being pulled into a batch of sugar or taffy, thus the 6 mil thick gloves, I've never had those tear on me. Since your not really handling the caramel, I'd recommend the gloves from the first amazon link, after use they wash up real easy, and just hang to dry. Otherwise I dont think theres any reason you couldnt use a pair of those ordinary yellow dish gloves. I used to use those when I first started pulling sugar, they worked well for handling the heat, but they seemed to impart a flavor to the sugar, so I stopped and searched out another solution. Hopefully that helps, I've used many types and combos through the years, the two linked above are what I consider both ideal and affordable.
  14. Does anyone have plans to pick up his book Pralinarium? I love the pictures, not sure how it is on content, but I'm sure there alot in there. Recently they just did another printing of the book, so I was looking into it, shipping to US is 40 euro. I'm kicking myself a little bit right now, his page shows that you can do a free local pick of the book from Warsaw, Poland. I was just there a few weeks ago! Totally missed out!
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