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thegreatdane

Sugar syrup and chocolate coatings on nuts

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How do you put a thin, hard-crack coating of sugar on nuts, then cover that with a thin layer of chocolate. Any suggestions for doing that? Equipment? Manufacturers who do that? How?

Thanks,

Tom

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I think you may be looking at a tumbler. Looks kind of like a cement mixer. It keeps everything moving so you dont get clumps of sugar or chocolate. The downside is, besides the cost of the equipment, is that you lose quite a bit of the coating to the inside of the rotating drum. It's how jawbreakers, Lemonheads, Boston Baked Beans (the candy), Jordan almonds and jellybeans are done.

It's also called "panning".

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I've seen these, probably on TV. Do you know how much they cost. Would it be possible to rent time/contract out the work?

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Are you looking to do this commercially or for home use? If for home use, Jacques Torres has some instructions in his book Dessert Circus on how to do it by hand, but you will not get commercial style shinyness on the nuts.

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The commercial-style shinyness actually comes from a final coat of gum based glaze. The Kitchenaide tumbler attachment does work, but it can be tricky and require much practice to get good results.

If you just want to do a small batch at home, you can also use a stainless steel bowl and wooden spoon to coat the nuts in tempered (important) chocolate. Put the nuts in the bowl add add a small ladle of chocolate. Stir and toss semi vigorously so all the nuts are coated evenly and they separate as the chocolate sets. continue to stir until the chocolate is COMPLETELY set before adding a little more chocolate and repeating the process. If the chocolate on the nuts is not set enough, it will melt when you add more melted chocolate and the coating will become uneaven. It will take several repetitions of this before the nuts are evenly and completely coated - be patient. Like many things with chocolate, this process is hard to describe and it really helps to see how it's done

Coating nuts in a thin, hard sugar glaze is another story. Are you looking for a clear candy type coating, or caramelized?

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nightscotsman-

I'd like som advise on applying a thin, hard carmelized sugar glaze. Currently, I dump almonds into hot hard-crack-stage sugar, toss and spread onto SILPAT. How can I get a thin, even coating?

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Here's my recipe for Vienna Almonds-

250 nuts

125 caster sugar

60 ml water

vanilla

Cook all the ingredients, without stirring, to 124C. Start stirring and the sugar will crystalize. Sift off the crystalized sugar and heat the nuts again until they caramelize. Take off the heat and stir in 10 g butter. Dump onto an oiled tray and shake them to seperate while they cool. Then you can do the chocolate as Neil explained.

Hope this helps.

Dan

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Funny that I should read this- I just caramelised mac nuts for a dessert for a party of 540 last night. The tricks are to have your nuts hot and toasted. The caramel needs to be very dark (to the point that it is a thin liquid). I then stir the hot nuts in and immediately strain through a large china cap or fryer basket (spray them well first with pan spray). With a sprayed spatula, spread the nuts on many silpats- keeping them as seperate as possible. I break them up and freeze them as soon as they are "just" cool. If you want them coated in tempered chocolate- later bring them to room temp and dip them with a candy tool or a slotted spoon/ skimmer etc...

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Sorry I haven't been around to answer any questions. Went to the beach in California. Ahh....

Tedwin: Thanks for the Kitchenaid Tumbler Attachment link. I'll check that out.

Rickster: I am thinking of eventually doing this commercially. I'd really prefer to find someone who could do large batches and I could concentrate on marketing, etc. Gotta test it at home first, though, and see if it's feasible.

nightscotsman: I'm looking for two things; a clear coating, could be amber, for a nice glazed look, and a glaze that will be covered with chocolate, then cocoa. Any suggestions?

aidensnd: Thanks for the recipe. What's castor sugar? Why butter at the end?

KarenS: Thanks for the recipe. Do you get pools or stands of sugar under the nuts when they cool? Or, do you drain them on a rack?

Thanks everyone for your answers and help. This is a great and helpful community.

Take care,

Tom

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I shake them very well in a china cap(sprayed), or pasta/ fryer basket and strain off all the excess caramel- then I spread on silpats with my (sprayed) offset

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aidensnd: Thanks for the recipe. What's castor sugar? Why butter at the end?

As the above post says, caster is just superfine sugar. The butter helps the nuts to not stick together.

Dan

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Why use super fine sugar and not regular granulated?

You guys are great. Thanks for all the info. I wish we could all be sampling these treats together.

Tom

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I use a round rotisserie tumble basket made by BBQ Guys

http://www.grillingaccessories.com/baskets.asp (scroll down about 1/3 of the page it is on the far right.

The spaces are too large for small things the way it is so I bought stainless steel hardware "cloth" with 1/2 inch grid and wrapped it around the outside of the basket.

I have a large rectangular crockpot which is ideal for maintaining sugar syrup at the correct temperature. (I have several of various sizes that I use for candying ginger, citrus peel, etc.)

The basket fits easily into the crockpot so I can dip and turn the basket.

Since it has no handles I just clamped small vise grips onto the center of each end for handles.

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When I add the nuts at 300-310º F the sugar crystallizes. What am I doing wrong. I want the nuts to toast a bit and then retain the sugar/caramel glaze, clear. Should I have more syrup solution to the quantity of nuts? Start the nuts at a lower temp?

Thanks for your help,

Tom

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When I add the nuts at 300-310º F the sugar crystallizes. What am I doing wrong. I want the nuts to toast a bit and then retain the sugar/caramel glaze, clear. Should I have more syrup solution to the quantity of nuts? Start the nuts at a lower temp?

Thanks for your help,

Tom

On his show yesterday (Food TV Network) Jacques Torres coated nuts with a glaze.

He used corn syrup heated to a simmer until it was very thin.

He then added the nuts, stirred them in the syrup then spread them on a rack over a tray. After the excess syrup had drained away he turned them onto a sheet pan lined with bakers parchment to harden. When cool he just rubbed them in his hands to break the nuts apart.

Very easy process. You do need one of the grid type cooling racks with small openings.

I bought some at Linen's 'N Things which are non-stick (black) and very reasonable priced.

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Thanks. I just read in Torres' book that cooking corn syrup with sugar makes the surface harder and crunchier and also helps prevent crystallization. That's what I want.

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Try maple syrup over medium-high heat. I usually do this with pecans for salads. I start with a hot pan and add the pecans and toast them slightly then I add the maple syrup and a spicy seasoned salt. Then I stir them to coat evenly. It takes only a couple of minutes. Then I place them on a silpat or parchment to cool. When they cool they have a nice crunchy coating of maple syrup.

I have also tried this with cinammon and vanilla bean (scrape the bean and add it along with the cinnamon). It works pretty well...

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When I add the nuts at 300-310º F the sugar crystallizes. What am I doing wrong. I want the nuts to toast a bit and then retain the sugar/caramel glaze, clear.

It depends on the method you are using. If the sugar crystalizes keep stirring until it is a powder then strain it off. Put the nuts back on the heat for a couple of minutes and the sugar coating on them will caramelize. Then just dump them onto silpat or something similar. You can add butter at then end if you want.

Cooking the sorn/maple syrup does sound a lot easier though. I'll have to give it a try some day and see what the difference in the final product is like.

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