• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

eGCI Team

Q&A: Confectionery 101

202 posts in this topic

Kerry,

I am very excited to see a confectionary course! I will be following along with interest and hope to at least try the nougat and perhaps the caramel.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:wub: FAN-TAS-TIC!!! I bought all the ingredients for your nougat last month, and somehow got sidetracked from making it. This will be a real treat for me!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And what's a caramel ruler or pastry frame?


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And what's a caramel ruler or pastry frame?

Caramel Rulers and Confectionary Frames are used by confectioners to obtain an end product of uniform thickness.

Used for the production of Caramel, Chocolate Ganache, etc.


John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Confectionary always scares my to death, so this course is most welcome! I think I want a taffy hook, but I'm not sure 1)what a taffy hook is or 2) where to find one.  I'd appreciate some advice.

Maggie,

Here are a couple of pictures of taffy hooks. The first is similar to the kind that you would have found on the back of a door in my grandmother's kitchen. The second is the one that my husband put together for me and brought up from his workshop about a week after I'd completed all the pictures of pull taffy for the confectionary course. So you won't get to see it in action. Basically you take the mass of boiled sugar between both hands, hook it over the oiled hook and pull down (or towards you for the one hubby built). You then pick the mass back up, bring the ends together, hook it over the hook again and again and pull until it can't be pulled any more.

So do you need a taffy hook? Not really, cause you can just pull the taffy between your hands. A hook will allow you to handle bigger batches, and is easier on arthritic hands.

Just google 'taffy hook' to find mail order sources. This first picture is from the Sugarcraft catalogue. The hooks for the homemade version came from Lee Valley.

T67.jpg

gallery_34671_3115_39669.jpg

Edited to add sources for taffy hooks, as I never read the whole question before answering.


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And what's a caramel ruler or pastry frame?

Caramel Rulers and Confectionary Frames are used by confectioners to obtain an end product of uniform thickness.

Used for the production of Caramel, Chocolate Ganache, etc.

I have some stainless bars that I use as caramel rulers. I went to the Metal Supermarket on Speers Road in Oakville and asked them to cut them for me. The last set I bought were 3/8 inch by 1 inch bar and I had them cut 2-12 inch pieces and 2-8 inch pieces. Hubby polished off the burrs. They cost me around $24. A lot cheaper than the ones you get at stores.

Marlene - there are several Metal Supermarkets in the GTA if you are interested. Just google them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great course! I look forward to it with great anticipation! :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please note that a food scale will be necessary for the recipes in these classes. We apologize for the omission from the list of equipment in the course introduction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good friend uses dark corn syrup for her caramels (which are so good we refer to them as Crack!) how would this change the result as compared with the light corn syrup/glucose?

on a side note, I am wondering how chewy caramels were made prior to the availability of corn syrup?

Really interesting course - I make toffee at the holidays, but haven't strayed outside that much, and I keep meaning to, so hopefully this will be my push...


Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A good  friend uses dark corn syrup for her caramels (which are so good we refer to them as Crack!)  how would this change the result as compared with the light corn syrup/glucose?

on a side note, I am wondering how chewy caramels were made prior to the availability of corn syrup? 

Really interesting course - I make toffee at the holidays, but haven't strayed outside that much, and I keep meaning to, so hopefully this will be my push...

Dark corn syrup is also glucose syrup with a small amount of molasses, caramel flavour and caramel colour added. It would likely behave very similarly to white corn syrup in the caramels, but might add a slightly different flavour of it's own, which would be very complimentary to the other flavours in caramel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Kerry,

I would like to use carmel to dip marshmallows. Can you offer any suggestions about preparing carmel for dipping?

Thanks for any help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Kerry,

I would like to use carmel to dip marshmallows. Can you offer any suggestions about preparing carmel for dipping?

Thanks for any help!

I haven't yet done this. I figured the first thing I would try would be a thin piece of room temperature or slightly warm caramel wrapped around a piece of marshmallow. I suspect that if you dipped them in hot caramel that the marshmallow would melt.

When I dip apples or pretzels in caramel I do it when it cools down to about 90 degrees C.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Kerry,

I would like to use carmel to dip marshmallows. Can you offer any suggestions about preparing carmel for dipping?

Thanks for any help!

I decided to try a couple of methods this evening to see how it would work.

First, I stabbed a marshmallow with a skewer and dipped it. Not recommended.

Working much better, was just putting a glob of caramel at about 50 degrees on top of the marshmallow, then when cool just stretching it around the marshmallow. That's the first two pictures.

gallery_34671_3115_9229.jpg

gallery_34671_3115_86175.jpg

Here, I poured out a thin layer of caramel on silpat. When cool, took squares of caramel and wrapped them around the marshmallows. The thing to be aware of is that the caramel will flow, so they will need to be wrapped in cello or dipped in chocolate as soon as cool.

gallery_34671_3115_50452.jpg

gallery_34671_3115_43312.jpg

So, I've never before eaten caramel wrapped around a marshmallow, but even with these cheap, no name marshmallows, this is a rather sweet, but amazing combination of textures and flavours.

A chocolate flavoured homemade marshmallow, wrapped in caramel, dipped in bittersweet chocolate - who's going to make it first? Consider it a challange!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Question about humidity and caramel (and nougat, too!).

What is the ideal humidity of a room for making confections? I'd like to try making caramels and nougat, but it's about 75% humidity where I am right now. Would it be a bad move to try it now? Or should I wait for a bit. Would 50% humidity be OK? 25%?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Question about humidity and caramel (and nougat, too!).

What is the ideal humidity of a room for making confections?  I'd like to try making caramels and nougat, but it's about 75% humidity where I am right now.  Would it be a bad move to try it now?  Or should I wait for a bit.  Would 50% humidity be OK?  25%?

I think it's fair to say that high humidity interferes with confectionary. Right now the humidity in my house is 61% and things are turning out OK. I believe the 'recommended' ideal humidity is 55% or less.

If you have air conditioning it really sucks the moisture out of the air and helps a lot when making candy or chocolate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think it's fair to say that high humidity interferes with confectionary.  Right now the humidity in my house is 61% and things are turning out OK.  I believe the 'recommended' ideal humidity is 55% or less. 

If you have air conditioning it really sucks the moisture out of the air and helps a lot when making candy or chocolate.

I do have an air conditioner that has a dehumidifier setting. The only problem is, as with many Japanese appliances made for the Japanese market, it doesn't work very well. It's also typhoon season here. But I'm going to purchase a humidty gauge and as soon as it hits below 60, I'm making the good stuff!!

Soft buttery caramels...mmmmmmmm :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think it's fair to say that high humidity interferes with confectionary.  Right now the humidity in my house is 61% and things are turning out OK.  I believe the 'recommended' ideal humidity is 55% or less. 

If you have air conditioning it really sucks the moisture out of the air and helps a lot when making candy or chocolate.

I do have an air conditioner that has a dehumidifier setting. The only problem is, as with many Japanese appliances made for the Japanese market, it doesn't work very well. It's also typhoon season here. But I'm going to purchase a humidty gauge and as soon as it hits below 60, I'm making the good stuff!!

Soft buttery caramels...mmmmmmmm :wub:

Kerry, Thanks so much! I have 2 questions: I have found a website that makes self sticking cellophane squares for enclosing candy. Would you recommend them? Secondly, if I make fleur de sel caramels, at what point would I add the salt topping? Is there extra salt in the basic recipe? (OK that was 3 questions!). Can't wait for nougat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you convert from grams to ounces for confectionary? any special tips to use? My scale only does ounces.


Lauren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try this conversion site.


Edited by mrose (log)

Mark

www.roseconfections.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kerry, Thanks so much! I have 2 questions: I have found a website that makes self sticking cellophane squares for enclosing candy. Would you recommend them? Secondly, if I make fleur de sel caramels, at what point would I add the salt topping? Is there extra salt in the basic recipe? (OK that was 3 questions!). Can't wait for nougat.

Tell me more about these self sticking cello squares. That would make life so simple. I assume they are they food grade and if so I would highly recommend them (and would love to get some myself).

The fleur de sel is usually sprinkled on after you pour the caramel into the frame, or you can sprinkle a pinch on the top of each finished caramel. Some people add extra salt in the recipe, I don't find it is any better that way. Try with some smoked salt too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How do you convert from grams to ounces for confectionary? any special tips to use?  My scale only does ounces.

Try this conversion site.

Thanks for posting that site Mike.

I'm on a newer Mac iBook and I just click on the dashboard and the widget comes up for conversion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By HeatherAvila
      Ideas on why enrobed marshmallows stored at room temp (68 deg F) have recrystallized sugar particles while the same batch of enrobed marshmallow stored airtight in a cooler (40 deg F) do not?
       
      I'm all ears!
       
      Thanks,
      Heather
    • By pastrygirl
      Do you ever end up with ganache that reminds you of extra-heavy mayo?  I was winging it today, testing batches that set up ok but grainy, then weirldy flexible. The 60% i usually use is 39% cocoa butter, but in this batch I used 72%, which is 45% fat.  I also made some other changes but was trying to keep a similar ratio of liquid to chocolate.  The 72% ganache is far thicker than the 60% ever is - it probably needs more cream or a splash of booze, right?  Arg, I should know this!
       
      I got annoyed and left the slab out to do whatever it will overnight - cross your fingers that it is either use-able or save-able tomorrow!
    • By minas6907
      Hey all, I got a question for you who make pate de fruit on a regular basis. I know it's quite simple to pour the finished pate de fruit into a frame, but does anyone here use a confectionery funnel to deposit them into forms? I'm asking because in Notters 'Art of the Chocolatier' it seems his primary way of making the jellies is to deposit the mixture into a flexipan, and his alternate method is to pour it into a frame. I'm wondering simply if anyone does/has done this before. The jellies seem to set quite quickly, and I'm not sure if you just need to be super fast with this or not. I want to try it, but shy away (I need to get appropriate forms first) because I keep feeling like I'll end up with half the mixture deposited and the other half solidified in the funnel. I assume warming the stainless funnel will aid the process, but I also assume that you have one attempt at this, and you cant rewarm the mixture as you would with fondant or gummies. Anyways, just a question I wanted to put out there. Thanks!
       
       
      Host's note: this is the second part of an extended topic that has been split in order to reduce load on our servers.  
      The first part is here: Pâte de Fruits (Fruit Paste/Fruit Jellies) (Part 1)
    • By elizabethnathan
      I buy pate de fruits whenever I find them, and particularly like these: http://www.recchiutichocolates.com/home.htm.
      Now I'd love to try making them. Any tips?
    • By Tennessee Cowboy
      I am planning to make Pistachio Ice Cream with broken up Pistachio Pralines as a mix in.  I tried it once, using the Jeni's Ice Cream recipe (roast and run 1 c pralines through the blender until smooth, then add to her normal mixture.  There is a discussion of the pistachio ice cream under new members forums.  On the Pralines, I have read all of the posts in this forum on Pecan Pralines--click below if you want to see all of the posts.
      My questions are:
      1.  In general, how should I adapt the pecan praline recipes for Pistachios?  I have attached a file with most of the different recipes from the generic pralines forum.  Is there any reason to think one would be better than the other, as applied to pralines?
      2.  Any particular pistachio roasting recipe you think would work well?  (I've purchased raw, unsalted)
      3.  To get more pistachio-related flavor, should I substitute Pistachio Extract for Vanilla Extract.  Do I substitute one-for-one?  
      4.  Is there a role for Pistachio Paste to impart a more intense Pistachio flavor?  If so, how?
      Praline-multiple recipes.docx
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.