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Cim Ryan

Butterfinger

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The confection "center" of a Butterfinger is actually a "laminated" product in the style of croissant dough. Greweling has a good formula and description of the technique on p.198 for "leaf croquant". It's not the easiest technique as you need to keep the "dough" warm enough to roll and fold seveal times in order to get the proper lamination. It's definitely delicious and if you have the space, worth the effort.

I tried a recipe I found several months ago that used this technique, but it wasn't worth the effort and mess. I'll read the method in Greweling's book and see how he recommends doing it.

The one I tried said to make a caramel, pour it out on a slab, then spread the peanut butter over it. And then roll and fold which would create the layers.

It did create the flaky layers like a Butterfinger and tasted very similar, but was a mess from the peanut butter oozing out, and I had to keep rewarming it to be able to fold it.

I doubt I would go to the trouble again.

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Your posts got me interested in trying to make this again. I had done it a couple of times before but only with the original almond formula, and never with the peanut butter. I made the original formula again last week and it came out really well. It simply doesn't have a strong enough almond flavor, even after toasting the almonds.

I've done this twice now with peanut butter and both times have been pretty much a disaster. The formula specifies that for the peanut butter "center", combine 400g of peanut butter (melted) and 100g of glucose. What I'm finding is that the resulting compound is much too soft and oozes from every crack. I'm thinking that I can remedy this by using confectioners sugar to bind some of the oils and give me a stiffer product (but not too much).

Keeping the caramel soft enough to manipulate is an exercise in patience. I've people make hard candies use a heated table to keep the product warm enough to manipulate. With the cold weather I'm wishing I had something like that. I wonder if a heating pad underneath several inverted and stacked sheet pans would do the trick. Hmmm... something to try tomorrow.


Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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I finally found a method that was successful. For me it was a combination of adding a bit of confectioners sugar to the peanut butter filling, and technique during folding the "dough".

In the original almond formula, confectioners sugar is added to the almond paste that is made early in the method. Since my peanut butter filling was consistently softer and "wetter" than I liked, I added about 1/2 the amount of confectioners sugar called for in the almond formula. This "dried" the filling a bit, but still left it very soft. It didn't seem to change the flavor enough to matter as the peanut butter is already very sweet.

The more important element came in the making the 3-folds. As I rolled out the "wrapped" confection, the peanut butter would always squeeze out of every available crack and crevice in the caramel envelope. Since I had stiffened/dried the peanut butter a but, I was able to easily scrape it up from the extrusions and spread it across the topmost layer of the package. Since this is a laminated product, I reasoned that this was simply adding another layer. I would then complete the 3-fold and place the package back in the oven to soften the caramel for the next iteration of rolling and folding.

After repeating this process a number of times, I wound up with a rather nice product that had many layers. I warmed it a bit one final time before scoring it with my caramel cutter and completing the cuts with a knife. I cut the pieces roughly 25mm (1") square and 12mm (1/2") thick. After cooling them completely, I dipped them in milk chocolate.

I took a bunch with me to a party as it was a perfect opportunity for a tasting and they were very well received.

I'm not sure if I would add this to my production schedule given the length of time required. Keeping the product warm during folding/rolling adds far more time waiting between iterations which simply aren't long enough to do something else. I'll probably try it a few more times just to see if I can streamline the process a bit.


Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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I've been thinking quite a bit that I want to "master" this technique. Seems extremely hard, and that makes it intriguing somehow. I tried once and failed miserably, but I want to fail over and over again until I can do this.

 

Anyone who have made this, are you using a sugar lamp to keep thing warm or are you just working on a silpat on your countertop?

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You may want to check out this video:

 

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~ Shai N.

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I get a bit of panic watching them temper chocolate to be honest. But, yeah, this is supposed to be fun.

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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.

 

MVIMG_20200329_124632.jpg

MVIMG_20200329_125010.jpg

MVIMG_20200329_132004.jpg

MVIMG_20200329_140523.jpg

MVIMG_20200329_142312.jpg

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Thanks as usual! If you are going to make these again and can find a way to take step-by-step photos (asking to someone else), then it would be super duper helpful!

 

 

 

14 hours ago, minas6907 said:

it being a boiled sugar solution, I think its easier to manipulate then caramelized sugar

 

You can caramelize sugar, add boiling water, cook it again to the desired temperature for the boiled solution. This way you have the best of both worlds.

 

 

 

Teo

 


Teo

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20 hours ago, minas6907 said:

Hi all. The Butterfinger is something I've been wanting to try for a long time.


Amazing... but I've come to expect nothing less from you. Butterfinger is probably in my top 3 for commercial bars but I've never attempted to make them. When you say the filling was folded in, do you mean similar to doing a laminated dough?


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Nice work! I played around trying different temperatures in my oven to see what would be best working with this. But I have really no idea. I think I'm going to do it some more, I would really love to make some perfect leaf croquant - looking at the picture in Grewelings book, make it seems like the hardest thing ever. I'm thinking it would be crazy tasty with hazelnuts, or maybe even my favorite - pistachios.

 

I looked for these sugar lamps, but they're way too expensive.

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If you can get a Paragon induction unit then you can use it with the silicone mat. If you already have an induction unit then try reading the manual if you can set the temperature. I've seen many cheap portable induction units that have the option to set the temperature. You can set it every 10°C and it ranges +-5°C (not much useful for real cooking, except if you want to keep a sauce at serving temperature), should be good enough for this use.

 

Another solution can be buying a heating pad with various settings and put a sheet of parchment paper on it.

 

 

 

Teo

 


Teo

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These are good ideas! I found one in GN1 size, which isn't too far off from a full size silpat. Decisions... I haven't bought any gadgets in a while. I've been thinking about getting an AW meter, but it feels like too much of an investment for something I'll use just for "fun." This makes more sense, since it could be use for multiple things. :D 

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On 4/10/2020 at 5:18 AM, teonzo said:

If you are going to make these again and can find a way to take step-by-step photos (asking to someone else), then it would be super duper helpful!

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!

 

On 4/10/2020 at 10:53 AM, Tri2Cook said:

Amazing... but I've come to expect nothing less from you. Butterfinger is probably in my top 3 for commercial bars but I've never attempted to make them. When you say the filling was folded in, do you mean similar to doing a laminated dough?

Thank you! That's correct, I folded in the filling in using trifolds as you would with puff pastry.

 

On 4/10/2020 at 1:46 PM, Rajala said:

Nice work! I played around trying different temperatures in my oven to see what would be best working with this. But I have really no idea. I think I'm going to do it some more, I would really love to make some perfect leaf croquant - looking at the picture in Grewelings book, make it seems like the hardest thing ever. I'm thinking it would be crazy tasty with hazelnuts, or maybe even my favorite - pistachios.

 

I looked for these sugar lamps, but they're way too expensive.

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.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, minas6907 said:

That's correct, I folded in the filling in using trifolds as you would with puff pastry.


Awesome, thanks!

 

11 hours ago, minas6907 said:

but I think you should be able to find an affordable option


I got mine through work. We have a heat lamp setup for one of the stations. The old one quit working. I figured out that it was just the power cord and that I could easily wire in a new cord and be fine but typical to our management, they said "nah, we'll just buy a new one.'' I asked what they were gonna do with the old one and they said take it if I want it... so I took it. A high temp extension cord, a couple heat bulbs and few minutes of my time later and I have an almost free solid adjustable height heat lamp setup that fits perfectly over my marble slab. But for those not fortunate enough to stumble into that scenario, there are also some very affordable options ranging from stands to hanging units to clamp-on units available in the pet trade for heat sources for reptile enclosures.


Edited by Tri2Cook (log)
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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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