Jump to content
  • 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.

Recommended Posts

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.

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

I can't wait! Thanks Kerry. (Funny, I was on track for making nougat and got off track too.)

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.

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

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
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.

oop's, my bad.

Kerry

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...

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.

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 quiet1
      We have a local Italian bakery my mom loves, but they are very expensive and hard for her to get to. She also really likes cookbooks (she reads them even if she never cooks from them  ) so I was thinking for her birthday I could get her a cookbook that has similar cookies and cakes, and offer to make a few things for her on request also.
       
      I'll obviously look myself, but eGullet is always well informed about the quality of cookbooks so I wanted to know if anyone has any recommendations. The thing about the Italian bakery is that the stuff they make seems to me to be not as sweet as classic American recipes, and often have more complex flavors and also are usually on the light end for whatever the item is. (Like even something that's intended to be dense doesn't have a very heavy sensation in the mouth.)
    • By jedovaty
      Hi:
       
      I'm making some homemade peanut butter cups, but shaping them like bon bons instead.  I don't have bon bon molds, so instead I'm dipping the peanut butter centers into tempered chocolate.  As the chocolate coating sets, it contracts and my soft peanut butter center squirts out a little.  Is there a way to prevent this, or do I need to do a second dipping?  I've tried with both frozen and room temp centers (although peanut butter with a little vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar doesn't seem to freeze at all).
    • By Kerry Beal
      It's that time again - I'm the group leader for a group of newly minted Ecole Chocolat grads taking a masters course. This one is in Wieze, Belgium. You may recall my last trip as group leader for Ecole when I took a group to Valrhona in France.
       
      I got my packing done on Sunday - was all prepared, car was to pick me up at 6 pm to drive me to the airport. Got a little suspicious when the child was late getting off the bus from school - the driver said that the highway wasn't moving well. At about 5:15 I got a call from the limo service to say that the car that was coming to get me had moved 2 car lengths in the last 30 minutes. Apparently a car roll over on the westbound lanes of highway had ejected two people into the eastbound lanes and the entire highway was closed in both directions.
       
      So I set out in my own vehicle - which of course had no gas, and needed oil... at least the toll highway got me past the problem.  Airport wants $175/week to park - so a quick text to @Alleguede and he came to fetch my car from the airport to park in his driveway until I return.
       
      So here I sit in the lounge awaiting my departure.
       
      I'm doing the Jet Lag program that I have done several times before that has worked well for me. Overcoming Jet Lag, by Charles F. Ehret and Lynne Waller Scanlon. This involves food and caffeine modification. So for the past 4 days I've been drinking Rooibos Provence throughout the day and between 3 and 4:30 slugging down as much real tea as my bladder can handle! The dietary part consists of alternating days of 'feasting' and 'fasting' with high protein breakfasts and lunches and high carb dinners. I had planned to get the driver to stop at the Tim Horton's at the top of my street to pick up the black coffee that is to be taken at around 6 pm the day of travel - unfortunately as I was driving myself that didn't happen - so when I hit the lounge I drank down two cups of strong black caffeinated coffee - better late than never. I'm not much of a coffee drinker - and particularly not black. Should be good for some palpitations when I start the next part of the program which is to sleep as soon as I get on the plane!
       
      This is a 'fasting day', 800 calories suggested - I left my carb meal until I reached the lounge.
       

       
      ]
       
      One of the two cups of coffee.
       

       
      These are the "Gentlemen Retire to the Library' chocolates that I posted before that I am taking along - port wine PDF and tobacco ganache. I used Sosa tobacco flavouring this time instead of a cigar so I don't have to concern myself with nicotine poisoning.
       
       
       
       
    • By pastrygirl
      I'm watching The Sweet Makers on BBC - four British pastry chefs & confectioners recreate Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian sweets with petiod ingredients and equipment. A little British Baking Show, a little Downtown Abbey. 
       
      Check it it out for a slice of pastry history. 
       
      BBC viewer only available to the U.K., but on this side of the pond where there's a will, there's a way. 
    • By boombonniewhale
      Hello! I was wondering if anyone on here has tried using an induction cooktop with confection making (caramels, fondant, marshmallows ect...). My stove has literally three settings, and the low setting still burns sugar and there is no such thing as maintaining any sort of "simmer". I was looking into getting a cooktop and buying some copper sugar pots and mauviel makes this thing that goes inbetween. I would love to hear any input into this idea or your experiences!
       
      ~Sarah
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×