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Q&A: Confectionery 101

202 posts in this topic

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.

"Confectionery Twisting Paper and Cellophane Sheets". The website is CANDYLANDCRAFTS.COM Please let me know what you think.

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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.

"Confectionery Twisting Paper and Cellophane Sheets". The website is CANDYLANDCRAFTS.COM Please let me know what you think.

Ah yes. These would be the demented cello I have been looking for. A caramel maker who was demonstrating her product at the gift show a few weeks back told me to find cello with 'no memory'. ie cello that once twisted doesn't want to go back to it's original state. I haven't had a chance to visit my cello bag manufacturer and ask if they make rolls of demented cello.

So these won't stick to themselves, but they will work beautifully for twisting.

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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.

Thanks Kerry. I will work on this more and see if I can come up with a way to dip. the wrap around method is too time consuming for me. I will post if I have success! :smile:

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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.

The conversion site also can do weight (cups to metric), and distance on other pages.


Mark

www.roseconfections.com

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Hey Kerry,

I am planning on making your caramel soon and am very much looking forward to it. However, I would like to try making with some raw sugar I have, as well as perhaps piloncillo, palm sugar, and maybe even maple syrup if possible. All three of the sugars have considerably more moisture than regular white sugar. Would I have to adjust for the moisture content or any other factors if I were to switch the sugar? The raw sugar is similar to turbinado, but probably a little more moisture, the piloncillo and palm sugar are close to brown sugar.

Would it even be possible to do it with maple syrup?

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Hey Kerry,

I am planning on making your caramel soon and am very much looking forward to it. However, I would like to try making with some raw sugar I have, as well as perhaps piloncillo, palm sugar, and maybe even maple syrup if possible. All three of the sugars have considerably more moisture than regular white sugar. Would I have to adjust for the moisture content or any other factors if I were to switch the sugar? The raw sugar is similar to turbinado, but probably a little more moisture, the piloncillo and palm sugar are close to brown sugar.

Would it even be possible to do it with maple syrup?

Try the original recipe first so you know the texture you are after.

I think the sugars will give reasonable results, extra moisture will boil off, texture may differ somewhat from traditional caramel. Do small batches to experiment. Maple syrup will be more of a challenge. You might want to try with maple sugar instead, or add the maple syrup in place of some of the water and glucose. Again small batches to test your recipes. Failures can be diluted with cream and used as caramel sauce.


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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Is it possible to make future recipes as their own post, without pictures or other commentary. It would make it a world easier to print just recipe to bring to the kitchen. Mmmm, caramel...

Thanks!


"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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Is it possible to make future recipes as their own post, without pictures or other commentary. It would make it  a world easier to print just recipe to bring to the kitchen. Mmmm, caramel...

Thanks!

I can put the recipes into recipeGullet. That should make it easier to print out. I'll do it later tonight.

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Is it possible to make future recipes as their own post, without pictures or other commentary. It would make it  a world easier to print just recipe to bring to the kitchen. Mmmm, caramel...

Thanks!

Here is a link to the caramel recipe in recipe gullet.

1 person likes this

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This is a wonderful course, Kerry. I have a couple of questions. First, I have a jar labeled "glucose" that I got at a cake decorating store. Is this somehow more "pure" or otherwise different than light corn syrup? I want to know if it's worth buying as it is more expensive than corn syrup.

Second, on the caramel frame, do you think it would be possible to use polycarbonate bars? I can get them much cheaper than the metal ones (i.e. free from a friend), they are foodsafe and they are safe to at least 115 degrees C.

Thanks.


Edited by Darcie B (log)

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Yowza! I just read your SNICKERS thread. It is definitely on my TO- DO list for Thanksgiving. I'll wrap them in that sticky twisty wrapping paper I received today.

I don't recall if you noted how long they keep. Must they be refrigerated?

I have a question about the nougat recipe-- can you give me an idea of the texture of the peanut butter nougat when it is placed in the pan? You say not crumbly. Should it look like home made fudge when THAT is placed in a pan? Thanks so much!

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This is a wonderful course, Kerry. I have a couple of questions. First, I have a jar labeled "glucose" that I got at a cake decorating store. Is this somehow more "pure" or otherwise different than light corn syrup? I want to know if it's worth buying as it is more expensive than corn syrup.

Second, on the caramel frame, do you think it would be possible to use polycarbonate bars? I can get them much cheaper than the metal ones (i.e. free from a friend), they are foodsafe and they are safe to at least 115 degrees C.

Thanks.

The difference between glucose and white corn syrup is a some vanilla and more water in the white corn syrup, so technically I guess the glucose would be a bit more pure. I would use what ever costs less. You might find that you can get glucose less expensively at a bulk food store. I buy mine in 20 lb pails from my chocolate supplier or from a bakery supplier. It's quite inexpensive that way.

The polycarbonate bars should be fine as long as they are heavy enough that the flowing caramel doesn't push them. Just wait until the temperature is 115 or less before you put it in. Do you think your friend might want to share further afield?

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Yowza!  I just read your SNICKERS  thread. It is definitely on my TO- DO list for Thanksgiving. I'll wrap them in that sticky twisty wrapping paper I received today.

I don't recall if you noted how long they keep. Must they be refrigerated?

I have a question about the nougat recipe-- can you give me an idea of the texture of the peanut  butter nougat when it is placed in the pan? You say not crumbly. Should it look like home made fudge when THAT is placed in a pan? Thanks so much!

I think they have lasted as long as a month around my place, but they do tend to get eaten before we have a chance to test their lifespan. After dipping in tempered chocolate I keep them at room temperature.

The texture of the nougat is stiff, but ideally not crumbly. You can see in the picture that this one was a bit crumbly. The texture is quite different from fudge, but the change in stiffness as you stir fudge and it becomes ready to pour out would be somewhat similar. (I don't know if that explains it well).

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Yowza!  I just read your SNICKERS  thread. It is definitely on my TO- DO list for Thanksgiving. I'll wrap them in that sticky twisty wrapping paper I received today.

I don't recall if you noted how long they keep. Must they be refrigerated?

I have a question about the nougat recipe-- can you give me an idea of the texture of the peanut  butter nougat when it is placed in the pan? You say not crumbly. Should it look like home made fudge when THAT is placed in a pan? Thanks so much!

I think they have lasted as long as a month around my place, but they do tend to get eaten before we have a chance to test their lifespan. After dipping in tempered chocolate I keep them at room temperature.

The texture of the nougat is stiff, but ideally not crumbly. You can see in the picture that this one was a bit crumbly. The texture is quite different from fudge, but the change in stiffness as you stir fudge and it becomes ready to pour out would be somewhat similar. (I don't know if that explains it well).

Yes. I understand. Thanks.

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Kerry,

For the caramels - it looks as if you are using creamed honey. Will liquid honey work?

Thanks.


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)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Kerry,

For the caramels - it looks as if you are using creamed honey.  Will liquid honey work?

Thanks.

Yup! The only reason that honey is solid is that I brought it back from Manitoulin last year. It was liquid when I bought it.

As an aside, if your honey solidifies and you like it liquid, just heat it and put it back in a clean container. It will remain liquid until it gets around to crystallizing again.

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Kerry,

For the caramels - it looks as if you are using creamed honey.  Will liquid honey work?

Thanks.

Yup! The only reason that honey is solid is that I brought it back from Manitoulin last year. It was liquid when I bought it.

As an aside, if your honey solidifies and you like it liquid, just heat it and put it back in a clean container. It will remain liquid until it gets around to crystallizing again.

Whew! I have everything weighed out and then came back to the course to make sure I understood the procedure and then noticed the honey! Will be reporting back on my caramels!


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)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Kerry,

Inspired by the nougat lesson, yesterday I tried making divinity using a recipe virtually identical to your nougat recipe except that the syrup is cooked to 160 degrees F and the mixture is dropped by rounded teaspooonfuls onto a lined cookie-sheet. Problem is, my divinity never set up hard enough to spoon out into fluffy balls. I suspect it was the legendary mugginess of the Washington, D.C., summer. I had thought it was a cool and dry day (compared to what we usually get around here!) and I had the windows open.

Query: I there anything I could have done (can do in future) to offset the humidity? Would boiling to a higher temperature work?

Another query: What can I do with failed divinity besides pour it down the drain?

Thanks ever so much for these terrific confectionery lessons!

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The caramel is made and is cooling. The process went (almost) flawlessly. It took much longer than it should have due to my wimpy electric range and my wimpy approach to hot sugar! (I will deep-fry with the best of them even in an open pot but hot sugar is not something I choose to dabble in.) The recipe and method were very easy to follow and I will be much more confident in my next attempt. The only minor glitch, as you can see in the photo, is some leakage under my frame.

gallery_6903_111_12706.jpg

Many thanks, Kerry, for clear and precise instructions.


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)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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The caramel is made and is cooling.  The process went (almost) flawlessly.  It took much longer than it should have due to my wimpy electric range and my wimpy approach to hot sugar!  (I will deep-fry with the best of them even in an open pot but hot sugar is not something I choose to dabble in.)  The recipe and method were very easy to follow and I will be much more confident in my next attempt.  The only minor glitch, as you can see in the photo, is some leakage under my frame. 

Many thanks, Kerry, for clear and precise instructions.

Taking a longer time isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The first time I made caramel, I cooked it to the proper temperature but it was very blond and too soft. After doing a bit of research, I found the book ‘Candymaking’ by Kendrick & Atkinson. They pointed out that if you cook it too fast, the sugars don’t have a chance to properly caramelize. You also increase the chance of scorching.

The next time I made it, I turned the temp down a bit and voila! the caramel came out just right. Took longer but the flavor / texture was much improved.


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.”

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. . .

The next time I made it, I turned the temp down a bit and voila! the caramel came out just right.  Took longer but the flavor / texture was much improved.

Thanks, John. The proof will be in the tasting - I might rush that a bit so my SIL can offer his opinion this evening. (I did "lick" the pan - OK - used the spatula as it was too hot, and that was very, very tasty.)


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)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Kerry,

Inspired by the nougat lesson, yesterday I tried making divinity using a recipe virtually identical to your nougat recipe except that the syrup is cooked to 160 degrees F and the mixture is dropped by rounded teaspooonfuls onto a lined cookie-sheet. Problem is, my divinity never set up hard enough to spoon out into fluffy balls. I suspect it was the legendary mugginess of the Washington, D.C., summer. I had thought it was a cool and dry day (compared to what we usually get around here!) and I had the windows open.

Query: I there anything I could have done (can do in future) to offset the humidity? Would boiling to a higher temperature work?

Another query: What can I do with failed divinity besides pour it down the drain?

Thanks ever so much for these terrific confectionery lessons!

For divinity I would suggest a day that is less muggy, or have the air conditioning on to decrease the humdity. Also you have to keep beating it until it thickens. Keep doing little test drops to see if it is ready to set up.

I don't think a higher temperature will work any better.

Try using it like you would marshmallow fluff, ie fluffernutter sandwiches, on ice cream etc.

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Kerry,

Inspired by the nougat lesson, yesterday I tried making divinity using a recipe virtually identical to your nougat recipe except that the syrup is cooked to 160 degrees F and the mixture is dropped by rounded teaspooonfuls onto a lined cookie-sheet. Problem is, my divinity never set up hard enough to spoon out into fluffy balls. I suspect it was the legendary mugginess of the Washington, D.C., summer. I had thought it was a cool and dry day (compared to what we usually get around here!) and I had the windows open.

Query: I there anything I could have done (can do in future) to offset the humidity? Would boiling to a higher temperature work?

Another query: What can I do with failed divinity besides pour it down the drain?

Thanks ever so much for these terrific confectionery lessons!

For divinity I would suggest a day that is less muggy, or have the air conditioning on to decrease the humdity. Also you have to keep beating it until it thickens. Keep doing little test drops to see if it is ready to set up.

I don't think a higher temperature will work any better.

Try using it like you would marshmallow fluff, ie fluffernutter sandwiches, on ice cream etc.

Marshmallow Fluff! That's what I have! Thanks for this great idea. I've just learned from the website for Marshmallow Fluff and Fluffernutter that I can make Rice-Krispies Treats with marshmallow fluff. So glad my kitchen can keep its no-food-wasted status!

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Kerry,

I love this course and I really want to try making nougat. Is it possible to make it without the peanut butter? What adjustments would I make?

Thank you,

Ellen

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Kerry,

I love this course and I really want to try making nougat.  Is it possible to make it without the peanut butter?  What adjustments would I make?

Thank you,

Ellen

Check out the link to the recipe at the bottom of the nougat class. It links you to the french nougat with nuts that I did in another thread.

You could also just make the recipe without the peanut butter, beat a little longer so it's nice and stiff and use it for a chocolate bar center just the way it is. Or you could use a different nut butter.

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