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Homemade Altoids?


minas6907
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Hello all.

For some reason I had the idea of making some altoids at home, not really sure why. I do enjoy these little mints, and thought 'how difficult could it be.' Anyways, just a simple google search yielded a few leads.

http://www.nilarosa.com/2009/02/how-to-make-altoids-or-how-to-make.html

http://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-Altoids-Recipe/

It seems that all the little mints are made up of is gum paste. It has pretty much the same ingredients as listed on the can of altoids, and the thought of making different flavors (gotta us those candy oils for something) made me smile. Anyone every give this a shot? I've never made gum paste nor have I worked with it, but I have a general idea of what it is. Maybe I'll make up a batch. Hmmm, interesting. Just thought I'd share :-)

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When I made them in culinary school we made them from pastillage, not gum paste.

Here's a recipe I found for pastillage (as I don't currently have access to my culinary school formulas)

http://cakecentral.com/recipes/14633/easy-pastillage

I would add whatever flavoring/oil either with the gelatin, or right after you add all the dry ingredients.

I don't know if you've ever worked with pastillage before, but one thing to be aware of is that it sets up really quickly, so you need to work with it rather fast. For making altoids this probably won't be much of an issue, but we had to made pastillage boxes in school, and it was quite a pain.

I'm sure you could make them from either, and gum paste has a bit more work-ability than pastillage, so I guess it's up to you really.

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Hey, thanks for the response. Maybe I'll give that a try. I do have a pastillage recipe, its from The Advanced Professional Pastry Chef. I assumed the altoids were gumpaste, since the ingredients on the tin basically match exactly whats in gumpaste, while pastillage contains cornstarch. But I'll make up a small batch and see how it comes out.

One little worry though. In the forward to the recipe in Bo Friberg's book, he says "Theoretically, pastillage is edible, but is rarely intended to be - nor should it be - eaten when it is dry. It is hard and brittle like glass, and I really do not recommend you try it even if you have a ravenous appetite, strong teeth, and good insurance."

Ummm, yeah now I'm scared. I haven't worked with the pastillage before, is it really that horrible to eat? I just envision myself chomping on little glass beads.

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Huh, well I'm sure Bo knows better than I do. Pastillage is definitely fragile when it sets up, but maybe I'm getting the two mixed up. When I was in school I remember them telling us that one of the mediums is not edible, but the way I remember it is that it was gum paste, not pastillage. But culinary school was 5 years ago, and I can't say that I have an iron clad memory, so maybe pastillage was the inedible one. And since altoids are basically gum paste via ingredients, and most recipes you found confirm that, then I guess it would be the better option.

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And since altoids are basically gum paste via ingredients, and most recipes you found confirm that, then I guess it would be the better option.

A google search gave me the following quotes:

"a pastillage box I made pastillage is like the same stuff altoid mints are made out of, the bunny and decorations are gum paste"

"We then made some pastillage. The way that Chef Bob described it was Altoids without any flavor. It's made with powdered sugar, gelatin sheet, water, and white vinegar."

"For this project, we were to create a freestanding frame from pastillage (think flavorless Altoid mints), and then use alcohol and cocoa as paint to create an image."

So many are also saying it is basically what altoids are made from. Anyways, I think when I get some time, I'm going to make a small batch of pastillage, it doesnt need any special ingredients, and I also cant make gum paste since I dont have any gum Tragacanth. I'll be careful with the pastiallage :-).

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Pastillage is what Necco Wafers are, as well. And, yes, prepare every bit of your setup in advance, the surface sets up in under two minutes. Thicker parts can take days to dry fully, but the surface is only workable for a brief period. Of course, you can always sand your candies to smooth them, before serving.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well here they are. They turned out pretty nicely, no exactly like altoids, but no different then most after dinner mints. It took about 4 days until they were dried out completely, but I'm very happy with them. I'd try a little more peppermint oil next time, or perhaps a cinnamon or ginger oil. I also felt relived by the texture, Chef Bo made eating pastillage sounds terrible, I had this awful visual of eating glass, but they nice to suck on.

My smallest cutter was still the size of a tums tablet, but thats fine. And the pastillage wasnt all the difficult to work with, but of course I was just stamping mints, not making a display.

Mints.JPG

Edited by minas6907 (log)
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They look great! There are lots of tiny cutter sets around, if you're willing to invest a few dollars to make fancy shapes.

The craft stores sell a lot of small containers now, you could maybe find an interesting one to use so that it's clear to others that you're pulling out a far more premium mint than before.

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Hey thanks! I have the standard sets of the Ateco round and fluted round cutters, and when I compare them to altoids, these are quite huge. But I'm sure I can find a slightly smaller one, not imperative though. Was kinda funny when I put them into an altoid tin, I could barley shut it with only like 10 of my mega-mints. Thanks for the references guys.

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Hey thanks! I have the standard sets of the Ateco round and fluted round cutters, and when I compare them to altoids, these are quite huge. But I'm sure I can find a slightly smaller one, not imperative though. Was kinda funny when I put them into an altoid tin, I could barley shut it with only like 10 of my mega-mints. Thanks for the references guys.

Don't knock yourself out searching for a small round cutter. When we make fondant pearls for cakes, we roll out the fondant and cut circles with a round pastry tip. It gives us uniform size, then we just roll them into the pearls. A size 12 round or a 2A should do nicely for your purposes.

Theresa

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln

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Yeah, I wasnt really worried about a small cutter, but I'm not sure why I didnt think of that pastry tip, thanks for reminding me! I've used that to cut small holes on the top cookie of the 'three sister' cookie, I think that will work great next time!

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