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Confections! (2006-2012)


Kerry Beal
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Heres some peppermint taffy I made today. I had some extra time after work, so I just made a small little batch to try it out, and I loved it! I cant wait to get some real flavors, for these I just used some peppermint extract, but I'm looking forward to making licorice, peach, blackberry, strawberry, etc. After playing around with pulled sugar, these were easy.

Taffy.JPG

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Oooh. I am jealous. They look lovely. I've never made taffy to this day and I look forward to seeing what you do next in this line.

Whose recipe did you use? And anything special we should know? Something to look out for? Etc?

Good one, Minas6907 :smile:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Hey, glad you both liked them. I used the recipe in Chocolates and Confections for Saltwater Taffy, and I also left out the frappe. I'm quite pleased with the result (I got some peppermint extract and red color for hard candy, but I realized they both were not the best for use in hard candy, so I'll have to get the right products) I just wanted to give this a quick try after work, and it took no time at all. The first candies I made were toffee drops and soft caramels, as well as shell molded chocolates, then I played around just once so far with pulled sugar, so after doing those things, the taffy was soooooo easy! I was pleased to see that it didnt require stirring for an hour and a half like the caramels, but the solution reaches the temperature pretty quickly. What I'm going to do different next time is firstly not pour the taffy on a stone slab like instructed (I think I didnt oil the stone enough, the pool just stuck there and I had to scrape it off and put it on a silpat, I couldn't fold it over to cool) I'm just going to pour directly onto a silpat over the granite, and fold it onto itself using the mat. Also, because I didnt include the frappe (I have absolutely no desire to make or purchase frappe because this would be the only recipe I would use it in) I think they may not be as soft as they could be, I also may have go just a touch over temp (not much though) so I was planning on also cooking the mixture to just under 240F.

But over all, they were very very easy, much more simple then I was expecting. Also, the thing I do like about the taffy, is not just that it can be made quickly, but dividing up portions for different flavors and colors is very simple, doesn't require the candy to be kept warm and mailable under a heat lamp or anything. Anyway, so thats my one experience with taffy. When I'm done having fun with this, I'll move back to hard candy, haha.

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Just finished some truffles. 70% chocolate coating on my own ganache recipe (copying Greweling's directions pretty much): Tahini, icing sugar and bittersweet chocolate. Tastes like a cross between Gianduja and Halvah.

Now to get them out of the house quickly. :raz:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I didnt include the frappe (I have absolutely no desire to make or purchase frappe because this would be the only recipe I would use it in)

I've found the commercial "marshmallow fluff" found in most large groceries works just find to substitute for the frappe. It's inexpensive and lasts pretty near forever if you keep the container properly closed.

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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Thanks for the tip, I do appreciate it. Still, though, its not something I'm interested in using. Its kind of funny with all this candy stuff, before two months ago, I had never touched a single drop of corn syrup. I was taught to cook in a local french restaurant, so I was used to all fresh ingredients, but recently when I started to think about candy, I realized I had to get over using corn syrup, so I bought a jug of the stuff, and I have been able to enjoy what I do with it in various candies. It also took some courage on my part to purchase the sweetened condensed milk to make the taffy, I think it may be that I was just never exposed to the stuff, when I opened the can I was a little puzzled by the thick yellowish fluid that oozed out. Concerning the frappe, remember while I was looking through a digital edition of the Chocolates and Confections at Home book on Amazon, I saw that you can use the marshmallow fluff, but its still not something I want to buy, to me its more like "processed mystery fluff." I'm generally suspicious of things that last forever. Maybe I'm being a bit to extreme, but I guess I'm weird like that, I know it may seem like a small stupid thing, but it may be again, its not something I knew existed until like 2 years ago, and when I saw it I was a bit weirded out by it.

Anyways, I did make a second batch of taffy's, which I did cook mabye 5 or 6F lower then the recipe specified, and I also pulled this batch of candy more then my first batch, and it came out waaay better then the first, I now dont feel like I'm going to pull my teeth out when I try a piece, and I can offer it to friends without feeling bad, haha.

Anyways, thanks for the tip lebowits, I dont want my determination not to use frappe sound like I didnt care for your advice. Anyways, I also have some colors coming in the mail (something else I had to get over...but eh) so I'll be making some cool flavors soon. :-)

Hey, also, concerning the flavored oils, I have some fruit flavors on order, but has anyone ever tried making their own? I used to do it all the time with different herbs and spices, I was thinking of making a cinnamon oil and using it for a hard candy after I strained it, or perhaps an anise oil. Anyways, just a thought on some homemade flavors. :-)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Everyone!

I'm back with more from my obsession with hard candy! Here's some watermelon candy I made, hopefully you make semi make out the details. I wrapped up some long thin black strands into a red sheet of the candy, then wrapped that in green. The sheet of green for the outside was (I found out) a bit too thin, so the color on the outside isn't very pronounced. But they turned out ok, I was hoping they would look better, but I'm very happy, though, with the flavor, I took Darienne's advice from my thread on this topic a few days ago, as well from watching this video:

Notice at 1:00 how he adds the flavor, for some reason I was concerned I'd be adding too much moisture to the candy, but realized theres no water in the candy oils, and it all worked out well, just a little flavor went a very long way.

And concerning the shape of the candies, I pulled them into sticks and cut them in the same way as they do at 3:42 in this video:

And heres my candy, I tried to make them look like little watermelons.

Watermelon Candies.JPG

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And heres my candy, I tried to make them look like little watermelons.

They do look like little watermelons! And thanks for posting the video. It's a great illustration of the process. The pros make it look so easy :)

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Hey thanks for the compliments! Heres an almond nougat I made today using the recipe from "The Advanced Professional Pastry Chef." I was trying to come up with a few designs to put on the top in chocolate for a friends wedding, I have a few better ideas then these. I like the lattice up top, not too crazy about the one on the bottom.

Almond Nougat.JPG

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Hey thanks for the compliments! Heres an almond nougat I made today using the recipe from "The Advanced Professional Pastry Chef." I was trying to come up with a few designs to put on the top in chocolate for a friends wedding, I have a few better ideas then these. I like the lattice up top, not too crazy about the one on the bottom.

I don't know if this something you are interested in, but it might be fun to paint a thin layer of white chocolate on top of the candies and experiment with some transfer sheet designs. Depending on how many of these you are making, using transfer sheets might also be a bit less labor-intensive than piping.

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S'More Pop

Can't figure out how to get the picture here but you can click on the link above.

We tried using oil instead of cooking spray on the foil under the marshmallows but it stuck so we ended up with some rough looking ones. Thought I would use them to make some pseudo S'more and they came out pretty good. Now to figure out if there's a way to package them for resale. First attempt the torched end became sticky overnight & stuck to the cello bag. Anyone have suggestions? Maybe I just have to be really careful about having them stored airtight at all times.

Edited by CanadianBakin' (log)

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Very nice Snickers! I love the uniformity, the layers look very even with just a thin coat of chocolate, perfect!

Heres some turkish delights I made that I was very happy with, I was surprised. I'm very picky with things I make, and especially these ones. I'm half Greek, so I've been eating these things since I was a child. Anyways, I followed the recipe from Chocolates and Confections At Home, and they came out a little softer then what I was used to. After they dried for 2 days, the texture did improve, but just a little bit soft. Although I was very encouraged by them not sweating.

I made the recipe again (both times I did a half recipe) and added a 1/2 oz. more cornstarch to it, made sure to cook the starch paste fully so it gels properly, and instead of cooking the mixture for 20-25 min like the book says, I cooked it for 40 min, the gel was much thicker. Let it cool overnight in a frame, cut and coated in the morning, and two days later, the texture was perfect, not too tough, but not so soft, the candy had a little bite to it.

Anyways, and now I'm enjoying them with some Turkish coffee (ooooo, look at that crema)

:-)

Turkish Delight.JPG

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Just finished dipping some raspberry truffles in dark chocolate. No, no photos. The only way I could ever post photos of my handiwork is if I could have the photos professionally airbrushed. But they are delicious. The raspberry ganache is the most incredible I have ever tasted. Calls for 1/2 cup of Chambord. Heaven.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Just finished dipping some raspberry truffles in dark chocolate. No, no photos. The only way I could ever post photos of my handiwork is if I could have the photos professionally airbrushed. But they are delicious. The raspberry ganache is the most incredible I have ever tasted. Calls for 1/2 cup of Chambord. Heaven.

Oooh, I love the combination of chocolate and raspberries. Sounds heavenly!

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One more bar. Chocolate nougat with nibs.

I folded until I thought my arm would fall off, and one little speck of white still shows up. Probably not the only one.

It is my considered opinion that making confections is a two-person job. :raz: A friend, like my confectionery partner, Barbara, or a husband with strong arms who will butt out after he does the 'manly' parts. Alas! My DH will help me...but he won't butt out.

Your bar looks delicious. :wub:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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One more bar. Chocolate nougat with nibs.

I folded until I thought my arm would fall off, and one little speck of white still shows up. Probably not the only one.

Both these bars look absolutely amazing! I'd prefer a few white spots over a texture that is too tough...

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One more bar. Chocolate nougat with nibs.

I folded until I thought my arm would fall off, and one little speck of white still shows up. Probably not the only one.

Both these bars look absolutely amazing! I'd prefer a few white spots over a texture that is too tough...

Thanks! These came out pretty good. The thing I'm liking about making these bars is that they are no where near as sweet as store bought ones, and this one is a lot more chocolaty than a 3 Musketeers. The chef I work for likes to make as much as we can instead of buying, so he's putting these in the new cafe/grill he's taking over.

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