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Found 429 results

  1. [Host's note: to ease the load on our servers this topic has been split. The discussion continues from here.] Chocolate nails... And a "How it's made!" video...
  2. {The content of various "what is your favorite candy bar" and confection threads--at least ones not devoted to specific products--have been merged into one unified topic. In a few cases, if someone simply gives a one word answer they might simply be answering the question about what their favorite candy bar is... -- Nov 11 2003} While at my local convenience store I spotted the following completely useless, but interesting item: Mint Skittles... It made me think about the fact that I've never outgrown a certain... let's say fascination... with the infinite stream of novelty confections which seem to show up regularly at these stores. I'm very glad I'm not a parent, because I can't comprehend saying "no" to a child when I can't even deny myself buying something as dumb as this at least once. Other recent "acquisitions" include: Reese's "Fast Break"... Listerine CoolMint PocketPacks... Am I sick? That last one isn't even necessarily candy... Any one else with this "problem"?
  3. My supplier decided that cocoa butter is now special order so I had to buy a case. And now I have an excessive amount of cocoa butter, anyone need any? Cacao Barry cocoa butter pistoles with a best by date of April 2021 $66 for the 3 kg tub or $22 per kg plus shipping.
  4. Has anyone used Valrhona Absolut Crystal neutral glaze particularly to thicken a coulis or to glaze a tart? If so, how did you like it and is there another glaze you think worked as well but is less expensive or can be purchased in smaller quantities?
  5. Hey all, I got a question for you who make pate de fruit on a regular basis. I know it's quite simple to pour the finished pate de fruit into a frame, but does anyone here use a confectionery funnel to deposit them into forms? I'm asking because in Notters 'Art of the Chocolatier' it seems his primary way of making the jellies is to deposit the mixture into a flexipan, and his alternate method is to pour it into a frame. I'm wondering simply if anyone does/has done this before. The jellies seem to set quite quickly, and I'm not sure if you just need to be super fast with this or not. I want to try it, but shy away (I need to get appropriate forms first) because I keep feeling like I'll end up with half the mixture deposited and the other half solidified in the funnel. I assume warming the stainless funnel will aid the process, but I also assume that you have one attempt at this, and you cant rewarm the mixture as you would with fondant or gummies. Anyways, just a question I wanted to put out there. Thanks! Host's note: this is the second part of an extended topic that has been split in order to reduce load on our servers. The first part is here: Pâte de Fruits (Fruit Paste/Fruit Jellies) (Part 1)
  6. As a lot of you already know, Kerry Beal has been working on a device to help the artisan chocolate maker – the EZtemper. I got a chance to see the EZtemper in action this weekend at the eGullet Chocolate and Confection 2015 workshop and it was nothing short of amazing. Dead simple to operate, you basically just load a container with cocoa butter and turn it on. Allow it to work overnight (about 12 hours, I think) and the EZtemper will produce cocoa butter silk i.e. Form V Beta crystals. The cocoa butter is transformed into a mayonnaise-like consistency which can then be used to instantly temper any melted chocolate or ganache. Like Mycryo, you add 1% by weight to melted chocolate at the proper temperature; however, the chocolate silk produced by the EZtemper is superior, in my opinion, because you don’t have to worry about melting out the Mycryo cocoa butter crystals and incorporating it into the melted chocolate. You just have to stir the silk in – much more easy. Not only that, but you can use it to temper your ganaches which we all know produces a product with longer shelf life and better mouthfeel. As if that weren’t enough, it also causes your ganache to set up much much faster. So you can pour out a slab of tempered ganache and move to cutting and enrobing a short while later. I think this device is going to revolutionize the chocolate industry. You should consider it for your confectionery business if you want to save a lot of time and produce a superior product. Take a look at the web site here: http://www.eztemper.com
  7. Hi everyone, Melbourne (AUS) is having a bit of a warm spell at the moment that's looking to continue - 30+ celcius for about 2 weeks straight. I want to play around with a bit of chocolate making but it seems... foolish! In the mornings, the ambient temperature in my house is maybe 23, and i'm wondering if this would be ok for dipping (perhaps a quick trip to the fridge to help them set up for a few minutes?). With moulded pralines, it seems the brief fridge steps that some people recommend make sense since the whole tray is done at once, but it seems impractical for hand dipping, since i'd have to either wait till a whole tray was done (and perhaps moot the point) or otherwise do tiny batches! I guess a related question is that if i made a ganache to slab, would it even set up properly overnight? I was thinking that the crystals would still form as it cooled, but I don't know. Any tips for working in warmer weather (where climate control isn't possible)? Am I best to just write it off over summer and pick it back up when things cool down a bit? The one positive I can think of is that it'll take longer for my tempered chocolate to cool down, so less reheating! Cheers, Stuart.
  8. So, what is everyone doing for the pastry & baking side of Easter? I'm working on the following chocolates: fruit & nut eggs, hollow bunnies, Jelly Belly filled bunnies, coconut bunnies, dragons (filled with rice krispies & chocolate), peanut butter hedgehogs, and malted milk hens. Hoping to finish my dark chocolate production today and get started on all my milk chocolate items. My father-in-law will be baking the traditional family Easter bread a day or two before Easter. Its an enriched bread and he makes two versions -- one with raisins and one without (I prefer the one with raisins). And I was lucky enough to spot this couple in the sale moulds stock at last year's eGullet chocolate & confections workshop in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. These love bunnies help so very much with Easter chocolate production! ;-)
  9. Hello, folks, thanks for reading. My husband thinks, I should start selling my popcorn seasonings (which I make for my family), it’s a good product. But I'm not sure if it’s interesting to other people... So, what do you think, guys? Our story: We’ve bought an air popper machine, but popcorn came out pretty tasteless. Then, we’ve bought different “popcorn seasoning” mixes... But it always ends with all the seasoning at the bottom of the bowl. Then, we've added butter, oil and so on before seasoning... we got soggy, chewy popcorn. Lot’s of disappointments… When we almost gave up… the magic happened! I figured out the way to make seasonings that: Stick to popcorn, but not sticky to fingers (or T-shirt , Easy to apply, May be pre cooked in bulk and stored… And popcorn appears crunchy, tasty, thoroughly covered with seasoning. Sounds good, yep? Now, when I want to treat myself - I only need 2 mins to turn tasteless popped popcorn to a real treat. The only moment - it request 1 extra effort: after you toss it over popcorn, you need to microwave it for 1 min, and stir after. So, I was wondering, if you like popcorn like myself - would this seasoning be interesting for you to purchase? Are you ready for a little extra work (microwave & stir) in the goal to flavor popcorn, or it feels too much effort? As I have no experience in manufacturing and retail, your answers would help me to make a very important decision - to dive in or not... Thanks in advance for your answers, it means the world to me.
  10. This looks interesting - I know some of us have lamented the lack of flavor or off flavors of additives to colored cocoa butter - anyone seen or tried these? Looks like they can be used either to mix into chocolate as a fat-based flavor or to decorate molds as usual with colored CB ... More expensive than Valrhona Inspiration or regular colored CB, I wonder how they compare in flavor intensity, the Valrhonas I've tried were fairly intense. I also wonder what flavors brown, black, and amber are ... https://www.pcb-creation.com/pure-emotion-colour-by-pcb-creation/?lang=en Edited to add: the black/ brown flavors are chocolate, of course! 🙃
  11. I have an opportunity to obtain (without a trip to NYC, where everything appears available) some hard-to-find liqueurs or brandies for my chocolate work, primarily in ganaches. I already have a poire Williams eau-de-vie and a framboise one as well. I have German kirschwasser but am getting low on that, so am thinking of getting more while I have this chance. For new ones, I'm thinking primarily of apricot. I have heard there are some wonderful European apricot brandies/liqueurs, but don't know which really taste of apricots and are worth purchasing. And the other flavor I would like is a strawberry brandy or liqueur. Online I've found Dolceterra Marcati wild strawberries liqueur and Drillaut strawberry liqueur but know nothing about either. I lean more toward a liqueur/cordial than eau-de-vie because sometimes I think the latter does not always taste specifically of the fruit. Any guidance would be much appreciated, including ideas for fruits I haven't mentioned.
  12. I've read of people on here making their own transfer sheets and was wondering if someone could explain how to do so. Thanks
  13. I've recently started making caramels and been experimenting with lots of flavors and having a blast. One thing that I am having a hard time finding information about is the role of the different ingredients and how different ratios affect the firmness of a caramel. In particular, I have an espresso caramel recipe that I can't seem to get to the soft, no-effort-while-chewing texture that I've achieved with other flavors, yet I've stuck to the same temperatures as other recipes. This leads me to believe that the ratio of ingredients is key. I was hoping I'd be able to get some insight into how to alter ingredient ratios to produce a softer caramel. Any help would be appreciated.
  14. Has anyone made the Meltaways from the Greweling book? What is the purpose of tabling the mixture? You can't temper peanut butter, and they're covered in powdered sugar for handling so you can't tell if they're perfectly shiny. I was wondering if it's just a question of agitating the mixture while the fat molecules are doing their thing in the cooling process, why can't you just put it in a mixer with the paddle on low speed? Wouldn't that essentially do the same thing? I was wondering the same thing about a small batch of cream centers, instead of using the giant ball mixer which takes 30 minutes to clean, could you add the whipping agent and cool them while they thicken in the Hobart? Thanks, Reb
  15. i just came back from my trip to the salon du chocolat. on our second and third day we visited all the good places in paris. we went also to jacques genin marvelous shop, where we had the chance to talk to the master himself. of course we tried his caramels of which i heard a lot beforehand. before i tasted them i thought they were just caramels, like i tasted many before. so we left the place with a 30,- euro box of chocolats and a 14 euro bag of caramels. as soon as we left the shop i poped one of the suckers into my mouth, it was just HEAVEN they we soo soft an unctuos, with a deeeep creamy buttery caramel flavour, so i turn on the foot and spend another 34 euros on a box of caramels, on top we bought a bag of mango-caramels he kept in the cooling for freshness he said. soon i knew i HAVE to make these caramels for my customers, so i spent the better part of this beuatiful sunday in the pastry shop, trying to get anywhere near his recipe. the first attempt was the greweling soft caramel recipe with fresh cream. bsides beeing chewy beyond good belief it lacked 90% of the deep flavour. second attempt a recipe from a french patissier schoolbook called "caramel mou" which uses 700 sugar, 900 glucose, 1l cream 35%, and 200 butter. since in this recipe sugars and cream are cooked together it too lacked any deep caramel flavour, and was besides beeing sticky a miraculous substance which could be pulled into long ribbons even when cold :-( my next attempt is a recipe from morato which i pimped a little bit it consisted of 750 35% cream, 700 sugar, 150 gluco, 200 butter, 2 sod. bicarb. - i added another 200g butter, dry caramelized the sugar, boiled cream, gluco and bicarb, and turned the butter into a beurre noisette before mixing into the 114c caramel. the result was a bit darker than genins, and since i brought it to 118 a bit tougher, but flavourrichnesswise it was already quite close. next thing would be to cook the dry caramel a bit lighter, put a little bit more salt and cook to 116. any suggestioins are very welcome. cheers torsten s.
  16. I am searching for a natural source of food colorings, to tint buttercream, & use in chocolate work. I don't like commercial FC, it is synthetic and toxic to boot. Has anyone found a good source/vendor who has naturally derived colorings
  17. Does anyone have a chewy chocolate caramel recipe they love? One that holds its shape but can be cut on a guitar? The recipes I’ve tried have either been not very chocolate-y or suuuuuuuper stiff. Like, I bruised the palm of my hand cutting them stiff :(. Or or even if you can just point me in the direction of some theory, that would be great!
  18. A mistake was made with my Albert Uster order this week and I received it twice. Since it's shipped from CA, doesn't go bad, and I'll use it eventually, I'm not going to mess with trying to return the second delivery. But now I have a huge amount of inventory so I thought I'd see if anyone here was looking for Felchlin by the bag. Each bag is 2kg (4# 7oz) in the following varieties and prices: Maracaibo Creole 49%, $48 Sao Palme 60%, $30 Arriba 72%, $46 As for shipping, I can fit 2 bags in a medium flat rate box for $14 or 3 bags in a large box for $19 to go anywhere in the USA. If you'd like some, PM me with your selection, email, and shipping address. I'll invoice you via Square and you can pay securely online with a credit card. Thanks for reading!
  19. This topic is being started to allow for continued discussion of French macarons (not the coconut cookies). Please utilize the index of the original topic HERE prior to posting in this new topic. Enjoy! And remember, you should always send samples of your macarons to your hosts
  20. Hello, My question is this... Is there a company that manufactures an automated machine capable of wrapping cube-shaped caramels and chocolates??? And would such a machine also be capable of wrapping large (3-4 oz.) rectangular chocolate bars or would such a product require a flow wrapping machine? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
  21. I have been up in Manitoulin Island for the last few weeks working and I always like to bring along a new project to work on that I can't find time for at home. You might recall that last year it was making a silicone mold for chocolate (that would be the groundhog that everyone found quite amusing). This year, prompted by Lloydchoc's suggestions in this thread I purchased a copy of American Cake Decorator magazine of May/June 2003 to help me get started and worked my way from there. So follow along and see what we have accomplished so far. I started by obtaining the emulsion. This is the stuff that is applied to the screen. The American Cake Decorating magazine said to get Ulano TZ/CL (CL for clear) as it is food grade. In speaking with Ulano directly, they told me that while this is the one everyone uses for chocolate transfers, they have never gone to the expense of having it declared so by the FDA. Essentially it is a mixture of poly vinyl alcohol (PVA) and diazo dye. Diazo dye is light sensitive and causes the PVA to harden when it is exposed to light. The first problem I ran into was that no one in Canada carried that particular emulsion so they would have to order it from the US. By the time all was said and done I was forced to purchase 4 - 4 litre containers of the stuff. Once you have mixed it up you need to use it within several months, so I poured off 1 litre, weighed out 1/4 of the diazo dye and mixed that. I couldn't help but notice that the base - the PVA - smelled and looked just like white glue. A little research online has convinced me that it really is just white glue, so right now experiments are underway to test this hypothesis. These are pictures of my screen. It is an 80 mesh which means it has big holes compared to the usual silk screen. It means that your print won't be quite as crisp, but lots of coloured cocoa butter should get through. The two sides of my 80 mesh 'silk' screen. Polyester actually. I purchased the screen at Screentek, the same place I got the emulsion. Andria there gave me a quick lesson. Originally I had planned to expose the screen using a 150 watt light bulb as shown in the cake decorating magazine, but Andria convinced me that she had a great customer who lived on Manitoulin Island and she had already told her what I wanted to do, so I should go and visit her to expose my screens in the most professional way. I stopped in at Bebamikawe Studios the first day I worked at the clinic in Wikwemikong. There I met Georgina, the proprietor. She is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and runs a very sucessful business making signs, screen printing on fabric and other items, and embroidering traditional native designs on clothing, moccasins and various other items. She was rather intrigued with this whole chocolate idea, but was rather unclear about what a chocolate transfer was. The following pictures are to illustrate applying the emulsion to the screen, this is Georgina at work. Note the even, smooth strokes. Nothing like my application. But like she said, she does have over 20 years experience doing it. This is actuallly the experimental emulsion that I made with white glue on one of her reclaimed screens. The emulsion is poured into the applicator. The emulsion is applied to the screen with the applicator in a thin layer. You do the flat side of the screen first then the raised side. In this way you end up with a thicker layer of emulsion on the side that will be down when you are printing. The emulsion then needs to dry overnight protected from light. A couple of days before I went down to Wiki, Beth (Beth Wilson on eG) from the Manitoulin Chocolate Works and I spent the afternoon in her brother in law's print shop getting our images prepared. It is important that the image be crisp and clear and that the lines are thick enough to show up when printed. For example a flowing script that has a loop in a letter may not actually end up with a loop when you are done. I had Keith take the script from my label and rearrange it in a way that should print well. Beth had him take an image of Manitoulin Island and add the initials MCW for the chocolate works under the island. Two transparency copies are made of the desired image and taped together to make the image as black as possible. The image is placed on a table that contains some extremely strong lights. The frame is placed on top of the image. The screen is placed over the image. Care must be taken in determining which way is up, you want to end up with a backward transfer so that when you apply it to your chocolate it is the right way around. A vacuum is applied to the frame with it's attached transparency. This holds everything in place and minimizes extraneous light. After about 8 minutes under the strong lights, the emulsion has hardened and you are ready to wash the screen. After exposure to the light a strong steam of water washes away the areas masked from the light by the black printing. Now we were ready to try to learn to print our transfers. Beth and I taped a piece of overhead projector acetate to the counter and prepared the coloured cocoa butter. I mixed some melted cocoa butter with powdered PCB dye on a piece of marble. I worked it until it was starting to firm up but wasn't so stiff if wouldn't flow. I used the heat gun to warm it again if it got too stiff. The coloured cocoa butter pool. Note the tongue depressors taped to the frame. This holds the screen an 1/8th of an inch or so above the transparency so that it springs back after the squeegie is applied. Getting ready to flood the screen with the coloured cocoa butter. The initial squeegie to push the cocoa butter into the screen. Note that I am holding up the end of the screen that is towards me in order not to print on the acetate yet. The final squeegie to push the cocoa butter onto the transfer. Beth's transfers in blue. Very early on the learning curve as you can see. Beth's transfer in dark chocolate. My first attempt in blue. The chocolates with the transfers still in place. After peeling off the transfers. My trials with gold coloured cocoa butter. After showing the dark chocolate and blue transfers to Georgina she showed me how she floods her screen for printing T-shirts. So on this attempt I dragged the squeegie over once to fill the script, then went back over it a couple of times to make sure there was lots of cocoa butter over the lettering. When I pushed down for my final squeegie application I got a reasonably good application. Of course you have to work quickly before the cocoa butter starts to firm up or your screen will glue itself down to the acetate. There is a bit of a problem I have yet to sort out, the edges have more intensity of colour than the middles. When I get back home I'll take my screen and cocoa butter etc and head back to screentek and get Andria to watch my technique and give me suggestions. This is what happens to transfers after the dog hauls them out of the box and licks each one to get the chocolate off. Not a single transfer escaped his tongue. Total cost - $74 Cdn for 4 litre pail of emulsion, $22 for applicator, $17 for squeegies, $20 per screen. Cost for Georgina to copy our images on to the transparencies and expose them $55 for both screens. We could have saved $30 by printing our images to the transparencies ourselves.
  22. OK, so here's a question for all of you confectionary gurus: do you think it would be a terrible waste of my ingredients to try making ginger caramels using a panela-ginger 2:1 sugar:water syrup as my sugar base? Would they turn out the way I'm imagining, which is chewy creamy gingery goodness, or would it just be a pan full of awful yukk and a frustration? If you think it would work, what proportions of syrup to cream should I be looking at? Is there anything else I should be adding? And finally, I normally shave 18 F off of my boiling temperatures to account for my extreme altitude - I should do the same with these, yes? Thanks in advance.
  23. I want to put a soft marshmallow fluff into a bonbon. I’ve made this recipe lots of times for my s’mores macarons and it’s great but the recipe says it will only keep 2 weeks in the fridge (but it is actually fine much longer—at least no one in my family has died yet ). https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.chowhound.com/recipes/homemade-marshmallow-creme-30296/amp Does anyone know of a soft marshmallow cream recipe I can pipe into a bonbon and leave at room temp for a couple of weeks? I know the commercial stuff will separate long before it goes bad (don’t ask ).
  24. The current issue of the NY Times Magazine is on candy. Shamefully sinful. I cannot unsee the images.
  25. Who here hand dips chocolates, either with their actual hand, or with a fork? I have a side job working with a woman who hand dips everything with her fingers in a puddle of chocolate on a sheet of parchment. She's super fast at it, I tried it but it felt so messy and awkward. I have done a little fork-dipping, so today dipped 300+ cookies with a fork and remembered why I hate fork dipping. So, anyone have any pointers, tricks, or favorite dipping forks that don't make your hand go numb? Today I used a dinner fork, I didn't have my actual chocolate dipping forks, but they have really thin metal handles that are hard to hold onto and horrible. I need like the Good Grips version for people with arthritis and pastry chefs who have done too much piping ...
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