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Trufflenaut

Looking for information on sugar panning

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I'm a small-scale hobbyist candymaker (making things for myself and friends, not for sale), and I'm interested in learning more about sugar panning (mostly soft sugar panning, but also interested in hard panning).  I recently made myself a panning machine, and understand the very basics of the process, but I'm finding it difficult to find thorough information on the process that is useful for home candymaking - most of the information I have found so far has been of the sort "here is how to use this product that you can only buy in 100-lb quantities", or "this $200 industry manual has a section on panning techniques that may or may not be useful, but you can't tell until after you buy it".  Is there a good book/website/other source that thoroughly explains all parts of the panning process with enough detail to figure out how to do things with the materials at hand, and more importantly how to know at each step if things are going right?  I have access to the book "Confectionary Science and Technology", which has been a HUGE help, but there's still quite a bit that it doesn't talk about.

 

I also have a couple of specific questions, and would appreciate any info:

1. How do I add color?  Adding gel food color to the syrup only provides slight coloration, and I have food color powder but am not sure if I should add it to the syrup, to the sugar, or just it to replace the sugar.

 

2. I have some carnauba wax to use for polishing, but I can't find any info on how to use it - do I just pour a small quantity of melted wax to the centers in the pan?  Do I need to mix it with anything?

 

Huge thanks in advance for any information you can provide.

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Posted (edited)

1. Colour (and flavour) go into the syrup. Add some acid to punch up fruit flavours.

 

2. Carnuba wax is used dry but can cause spotting (certainly did last time we tried it) - less spotting when combined with beeswax, which is softer and fills in cracks better, used 3 parts beeswax to 1 part carnauba. We decided next time we would put the powder in the empty pan - spin and heat to deposit it on the surface - then put the rehydrated jelly beans back in to see if that would give us a non spotty finish.


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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Thanks for the info!

 

1. Will concentrated liquid colors be sufficient to get good color (the amounts I use for coloring lollipops seem to be WAY too dim for sugar panning)?  If so, do I just dump a whole lot into the syrup?  Or is powdered coloring generally needed?

 

2. By "dry" I'm assuming you mean unmelted?  I have a batch of candy-coated dehydrated blueberries I want to wax-coat (for a friend's birthday tonight), but I only have carnauba flakes, no beeswax - based on what you're saying, I'm thinking of tossing some wax flakes into the pan, and heating them (should I use a hair dryer or a heat gun?), then putting the blueberries in - any advice on what to look for when the wax is ready?  Would any reheating be needed during the panning?

 

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1 hour ago, Trufflenaut said:

Thanks for the info!

 

1. Will concentrated liquid colors be sufficient to get good color (the amounts I use for coloring lollipops seem to be WAY too dim for sugar panning)?  If so, do I just dump a whole lot into the syrup?  Or is powdered coloring generally needed?

 

2. By "dry" I'm assuming you mean unmelted?  I have a batch of candy-coated dehydrated blueberries I want to wax-coat (for a friend's birthday tonight), but I only have carnauba flakes, no beeswax - based on what you're saying, I'm thinking of tossing some wax flakes into the pan, and heating them (should I use a hair dryer or a heat gun?), then putting the blueberries in - any advice on what to look for when the wax is ready?  Would any reheating be needed during the panning?

 

I can't recall what colors we used when I did the course (it was years ago now) - but I'd use the liquid ones. 

 

Are the blueberries soft panned (i.e. layers of granulated sugar, then baker's sugar, then powdered sugar)? If so - does your book suggest rehydrating them?

 

Yes - unmelted - try sprinkling in the pan - use a hair dryer or heat gun for sure - put in the blueberries and spin until they shine. Apparently the melting point of carnauba is 81º C - I don't know if you want to heat the candy that much. I suspect a little trial and error is called for. 

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Yeah, the blueberries are soft-panned (and left in cool dry spot overnight to fully crystallize)

What do you mean by rehydration?

 

I tried a couple of things just to test:

-flakes of wax in the pan, heating the outside of the pan: hair dryer didn't heat it enough, heat gun got them to start sticking to the side of the pan, but I think since the pans I am using are very thin gauge steel, there's not enough thermal mass for it to retain any heat, so they just barely heat enough to stick, then cool down again as the pan rotates - adding a handful of blueberries to see what happens just knocked the wax off the pan in hardened flakes

-melted wax poured in the pan, heat gun to keep it warm: the wax cooled too quickly and was instantly knocked off by the blueberries once I added them

-blueberries in the pan, melted wax poured on top (just to see what happens): it almost sorta worked, but got major clumps, and too thick of a coating on the blueberries, which I imagine wouldn't thin out on its own.

 

I'm thinking I'll have to get some beeswax to mix the carnauba with to soften it.  Ideally, how does the wax get applied?  Is it supposed to create a complete coat as the centers tumble across it, or is just a little bit of wax picked up at a time, eventually creating a complete layer?

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Posted (edited)

They just kind of pick up a skim coat of wax and gradually start to shine. 

 

I'm trying to find the mention I had of rehydrating - with little success. Essentially its a 60% solution of sucrose - added a tiny bit at a time until the surface is no longer dusty. Here we are - I found it. 1 tsp at a time of the 60 Brix solution until moist - dry until just past tacky - but not dusty.

 

Then the instructions read - 0.02% of powdered wax (mix of carnauba and beeswax) and finish with shellac - which I don't think you want to do tonight because it takes a day or so of air out to get rid of the smell.

 

 

 

 


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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Just now, Kerry Beal said:

They just kind of pick up a skim coat of wax and gradually start to shine. 

 

I'm trying to find the mention I had of rehydrating - with little success. Essentially its a 60% solution of sucrose - added a tiny bit at a time until the surface is no longer dusty.

 

 

 

OK, the book I have mentioned a "finishing syrup" of that composition prior to polishing, but it mentioned making sure the candies were fully crystallized first, and it was unclear whether that meant to make sure they were crystallized before adding the finishing syrup, or after the finishing syrup is applied but before polishing.  Am I correct in assuming you add the syrup to the candies in the pan just like the rest of the panning process, then let them tumble til dry?

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1 minute ago, Trufflenaut said:

 

OK, the book I have mentioned a "finishing syrup" of that composition prior to polishing, but it mentioned making sure the candies were fully crystallized first, and it was unclear whether that meant to make sure they were crystallized before adding the finishing syrup, or after the finishing syrup is applied but before polishing.  Am I correct in assuming you add the syrup to the candies in the pan just like the rest of the panning process, then let them tumble til dry?

Yeah - my notes tend to suggest a number of days of sitting to fully crystallize and for the moisture to distribute towards softening the center and firming up the outside. 

 

Indeed - adding the syrup in the pan and tumble just dry. 

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Is that "a number of days" *after* the rehydrating/finishing, or *before*?

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1 minute ago, Trufflenaut said:

Is that "a number of days" *after* the rehydrating/finishing, or *before*?

Before - so engrossing - then sitting for days in a slotted plastic tray - then rehydrated and polished lickety split.

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