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Kerry Beal

Confections! (2006-2012)

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Probably this is not the right place to ask this basic question but what is almond paste? What can be substituted? How is it different from marzipan? I live in Malaysia and some things are hard to get or would cost a bomb.

Hey Pamela, thanks for the recommendation. Will look out for that too.

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I have put the nougat recipe in recipeGullet for you. 

I was going to ask for the recipe, too! My mother loves nougat, but it's so expensive that I was thinking of trying to make some for her. I checked out your recipe, and have three questions:

1) Is pistachio or almond paste really necessary? It's difficult for me to get even almond paste in Japan, so would there be some kind of substitution available, or could I just leave it out?

2) Cocoa butter is even more difficult to find. Any ideas what to use instead? Or again, can I just leave it out?

3) Rainy season has officially started and it's hot and humid! (and rainy!). Is it better to wait until I have a less hot and humid day (maybe in October...), or would the humidity really be a problem?

I would just leave out the pistachio paste and the cocoa butter, it will still be great without them. Dehumidified and air conditioned would be advisable for your climate or wait for October, nougat gets even stickier under your conditions.

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Probably this is not the right place to ask this basic question but what is almond paste? What can be substituted? How is it different from marzipan? I live in Malaysia and some things are hard to get or would cost a bomb.

Hey Pamela, thanks for the recommendation. Will look out for that too.

Marzipan is esentially almond paste with additional fondant and powdered sugar added to make it more moldable. I substitute one for the other but cut back the sugar as required.

In this recipe if you really wanted the extra flavour the pistachio or almond adds you could just add almond butter made in the food processor just like peanut butter. You can do the same with pistachios. 100 grams nuts, 50 grams sugar, couple of drops bitter almond oil (to both pistachio and almond). I use my sumeet spice grinder to make nut butters because it is so fast and powerful.

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Probably this is not the right place to ask this basic question but what is almond paste? What can be substituted? How is it different from marzipan? I live in Malaysia and some things are hard to get or would cost a bomb.

Hey Pamela, thanks for the recommendation. Will look out for that too.

Marzipan is esentially almond paste with additional fondant and powdered sugar added to make it more moldable. I substitute one for the other but cut back the sugar as required.

In this recipe if you really wanted the extra flavour the pistachio or almond adds you could just add almond butter made in the food processor just like peanut butter. You can do the same with pistachios. 100 grams nuts, 50 grams sugar, couple of drops bitter almond oil (to both pistachio and almond). I use my sumeet spice grinder to make nut butters because it is so fast and powerful.

Thanks Kerry. I have never seen almond paste in the stores here only marzipan. Now do I dare attempt nougat :hmmm:

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Curry marshmallows dipped in 82% Sharffen Berger

marshdipped.jpg

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Thanks Kerry. I have never seen almond paste in the stores here only marzipan. Now do I dare attempt nougat  :hmmm:

What's the worst that can happen? Sweet, nutty goo that you have to eat with a spoon. Go for it!

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Curry marshmallows dipped in 82% Sharffen Berger

marshdipped.jpg

Those look great, and the flavour must be amazing. I love curry with chocolate. I take candied ginger, roll in garam masala and dip in bittersweet. What combination of spices did you use for the curry?

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Thanks Kerry. I have never seen almond paste in the stores here only marzipan. Now do I dare attempt nougat  :hmmm:

What's the worst that can happen? Sweet, nutty goo that you have to eat with a spoon. Go for it!

Chufi/Klary gave a recipe for almond paste that's 125g each almond and sugar, ground together, mixed with an egg and a bit of grated lemon zest.

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Those look great, and the flavour must be amazing. I love curry with chocolate. I take candied ginger, roll in garam masala and dip in bittersweet. What combination of spices did you use for the curry?

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I would just leave out the pistachio paste and the cocoa butter, it will still be great without them.  Dehumidified and air conditioned would be advisable for your climate or wait for October, nougat gets even stickier under your conditions.

Good news about the pistachio paste and cocoa butter! But now that I'll have to wait till the fall, I guess I'll have more time to look for them!

I guess it'll just have to be a Christmas project.

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You sometimes find almond paste in the Mexican food section.

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Curry marshmallows dipped in 82% Sharffen Berger

marshdipped.jpg

You mentioned you used the SWAD curry mix. Is that dry or wet? And how much did you add? I love to try a batch the next time I make marshmallow.... :wub:

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I went through all of my curry powders and found the one that smelled like it would go well in a sweet. The SWAD/Raja Foods brand is mostly Chicago area and East coast (and my store in New Mexico). I took 2 big Tablespoons of the mild Madras curry, added another 1 T of tumeric (hoping to get that great color) and mixed them with 2 Tablespoons of the syrup that was heating on the stove. By the way, I used the very first recipe mentioned on this thread, minus the vanilla. So with the syrup and powders I made a paste, which I added at the very beginning of the whipping process.

I added a coconut tuille strip because the dark chocolate was too dark, and I hope that will tame them somewhat. I'm bringing them to an event tonight. The scraps received rave reviews.

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Definately a sticking issue.  That stuff sticks to everything.  I suppose you could do something similar to marshmallow where you use cornstarch to prevent sticking, or as Alana suggests on cello.  I used the rice paper circular wafers called oblaten once, just mounded some on each then dipped the bottoms in chocolate.  The rice paper kind of disappears that way and you don't really notice it.

I suppose the rice paper does allow a uniform thickness also that would be hard to obtain any other way.

You can also use just a little bit of canola oil to prevent sticking. Very little, though, as more than a little makes them feel greasy. A very small bit gets absorbed into the nougat and greatly reduces the tackiness (which, I have come to understand, the honey is to blame for).

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Thanks Kerry. I have never seen almond paste in the stores here only marzipan. Now do I dare attempt nougat  :hmmm:

What's the worst that can happen? Sweet, nutty goo that you have to eat with a spoon. Go for it!

How true Kerry. I do have lots of things against me, even the weather is not on my side! Humidity is always high here but I guess I can always do it in an air conditioned room (I am supposing that is sufficient ??).

I think I will pay Borders a visit this weekend ( it will be 8 hours round trip for me ) I hope I can get the books that have been recommended earlier. By the way Kerry, any opinions on Bittersweet and Pure Chocolate as general chocolate book. What about their candy making section, since I am now introduced to this whole new area? Thanks in advance.

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How true Kerry. I do have lots of things against me, even the weather is not on my side! Humidity is always high here but I guess I can always do it in an air conditioned room (I am supposing that is sufficient ??).

I think I will pay Borders a visit this weekend ( it will be 8 hours round trip for me ) I hope I can get the books that have been recommended earlier. By the way Kerry, any opinions on Bittersweet and Pure Chocolate as general chocolate book. What about their candy making section, since I am now introduced to this whole new area? Thanks in advance.

The airconditioning should be enough to overcome the humidity and allow you to made nougat (and work with chocolate).

Abebooks is a network of used book sellers that is world wide. www.abebooks.com They will have all 3 of the books that were mentioned. You won't find the time-life books at Borders as they are out of print. Try abebooks or e-bay. Not that I would want to discourage an 8 hour trip to Borders.

Both Bittersweet and Pure Chocolate are books that I looked at and didn't buy, because at the time they came around I was after books only about molding etc. If I found them at my cheap bookstore these days I would likely pick them up. Bittersweet particularly gets lots of positive mentions on eG.

What do you want your chocolate books to cover? If you are thinking chocolate as confectionary, eg molding, dipping, tempering, I would recommend the books by eG's own 'chocartist' Elaine Gonazalez. Chocolate Artistry is out of print but can be found on e-bay at times and abebooks at times. The Art of Chocolate is still in print and you will likely find it at Borders. The Chocolate Bible by Karl Teubner is also a good 'entry level' book.

Fine Chocolate by Wybauw is a professional level book that can be found for the best price at www.chocolat-chocolat.com.

If you are a visual learner, you might also find the videos on DVD that I have made to be helpful. Info on my website. I find I learn best by seeing then supplimenting with reading.

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Hi LindaL,

I'm also Malaysian and I'm a beginner's beginner (i.e. I only made korova cookies -the first time I ever made anything from scratch-today) but I just want to say that it may be difficult to make chocolate in Malaysia.

I don't mean to discourage you but the cocoa powder/chocolat etc, basically all the ingredients we can get back home are of far lower quality which really affects the taste (unles you order online)

Of course if you don't mind, no problem but I just wanted you to be aware of that !

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Kerry, I'd love to try the nougat recipe, thanks for posting it. Question -- is there any substitute you can recommend for the edible rice paper? Will heavy, coated parchment work, or will I be picking pieces of paper out of my candies?

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All of you guys are making exquisite candies -- thank you for taking the time to upload the pictures!

I have a candy book question -- I make candy rarely, but for some reason I love collecting old-fashioned candy books. I like the pictures, and the depictions of homey simplicity.

Question -- are the recipes in these worthwhile? Or are they just really behind the times as far as technique and flavor?

I heartily applaud your efforts to make non-chocolate candies -- whereas there's a lot of high quality chocolate that is readily available, it's tough to get a nice piece of really good marshmallow or peanut brittle, etc.

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I never made marshmallow, and I really want to try , I remeber the firts time I had one I was in Italy and I thought was the coolest thing :raz: .

I want to try the recepie posted on the marshmallow thread and see how it goes ,wish me luck :biggrin:

Thank you for posting recepies and pics ,this forum had helped me so much in the past few months I cant believe it!!

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I didn't think making marshmallows was that difficult - the challenge is presentation. I see how beautiful some of the pics in the marshmallow thread are, and will be looking into better ways to cut and present.

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Kerry, I'd love to try the nougat recipe, thanks for posting it.  Question -- is there any substitute you can recommend for the edible rice paper?  Will heavy, coated parchment work, or will I be picking pieces of paper out of my candies?

I'd probably butter the parchment to make it easier to peel off. Let us know how it works.

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All of you guys are making exquisite candies -- thank you for taking the time to upload the pictures!

I have a candy book question -- I make candy rarely, but for some reason I love collecting old-fashioned candy books.  I like the pictures, and the depictions of homey simplicity.

Question -- are the recipes in these worthwhile?  Or are they just really behind the times as far as technique and flavor?

I heartily applaud your efforts to make non-chocolate candies -- whereas there's a lot of high quality chocolate that is readily available, it's tough to get a nice piece of really good marshmallow or peanut brittle, etc.

I like the old recipes best. Nothing much has changed in basic candy making in the past hundred years or so. Tasting freshly made fudges, taffys, krokants and marshmallows is the ultimate in homey simplicity. Takes me back to making fudge with my mom, pull taffy with my granny. Don't get me wrong, I love creating chocolate centres that are new, exciting, unusual, but there is something to be said for comfort sweets too. So why not dig out those candy books and whip up some divinity.

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Thanks Kerry. I have never seen almond paste in the stores here only marzipan. Now do I dare attempt nougat  :hmmm:

What's the worst that can happen? Sweet, nutty goo that you have to eat with a spoon. Go for it!

Chufi/Klary gave a recipe for almond paste that's 125g each almond and sugar, ground together, mixed with an egg and a bit of grated lemon zest.

Have anyone tried chocolates with chopped chillies? I used to make double chocolate cookies with chillies - it's simply heavenly. Chocolate ice cream with chillies are great too.

Devagi Sanmugam

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Hi LindaL,

I'm also Malaysian and I'm a beginner's beginner (i.e. I only made korova cookies -the first time I ever made anything from scratch-today) but I just want to say that it may be difficult to make chocolate in Malaysia.

I don't mean to discourage you but the cocoa powder/chocolat etc, basically all the ingredients we can get back home are of far lower quality which really affects the taste (unles you order online)

Of course if you don't mind, no problem but I just wanted you to be aware of that !

Hi Yunnermeier

Yes I know all about limited resources. I have been going crazy looking for Dutch Processed Cocoa for a couple of years now. I think its time to give up, people look at me funny when I ask if they have this in stock. Maybe I'm just not looking at the right places. Anyway, I am now looking for Valrhona chocolates. Any ideas?

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