Many home cooks believe that making candy at home is far too complicated for their skill level. In fact, homemade candies can be simpler and easier than making scrambled eggs, depending on the recipe you select.
Simple fudges, chocolate covered dried fruits or dipped strawberries are extremely easy to make, as are most of the truffles and bonbons, while more complex recipes may require many steps to complete. Overall though, candy-making is not rocket science and requires no special degree for you to attain in order to create marvelous confections that make great gifts for friends and family.
Our Candies section is full of superb recipes for you to try as you explore The Confectionery You.
Admittedly, some candy-making recipes require special equipment the average home cook will not have. Companies that make taffy, for example, may have special taffy pulling machines, while others use a simple large steel hook securely mounted on the wall. These are the “hand-pulled” taffies one reads about on some taffy packaging. Essentially, for every complicated recipe that appears to require complex machines, a hand-wrought solution exists and was at the core of the recipe when first made.
Candy can be made into wide range of things few ever think about. In Britain, for example, some candy shoppes specialize in magnificent Easter eggs made with crystallized sugar, fondant and other ingredients. In fact, one author of a cookbook about making these delicate creations referred to a key ingredient called “Mallow Russe” used in making moulding paste. Epicurus.com’s chefs discovered the long lost recipe for this ingredient and to date, we are the first website to have published the recipe.
Some candy making procedures do require some practice, but most are easy enough to master on your first or second try. With a little practice, you can easily become expert in those procedures.
Candy-making also teaches you about the interaction of flavors. In Venice Italy, a chocolatier makes a simple hot chocolate, using dark chocolate, cream and a combination of cinnamon, ginger and cardamom, three spices that paired with the dark chocolate create a unique flavor that is absolutely heavenly. In Switzerland, chocolatiers experiment continuously with new flavors, creating innovative masterpieces for which they are known worldwide. You too can experiment and create masterpieces of flavorful confectionery.
There’s a really important reason to make your own candies, particularly if you are a parent. You can skip all the chemicals and other ingredients not good for your children’s health or their teeth, and you can give your children treats that are both sweet and healthful.
Many simple recipes, such as toffee, butterscotch and other confections, while sugar intensive, can be portion controlled and dispensed sparingly by cautious parents. The superior flavor will keep your children from eating commercial candies that may be far more harmful to them.
Hard candies like butterscotch can easily be made at home. Here’s a recipe we like for its relative ease.
The thing you must be ever cautious about is the fact that sugar holds heat more than any other food, and keeps that heat very intense. If you get hot sugar or caramel on your skin, you will be severely burned. Should this happen, immediately run the burned area under running cold water. If burned, seek emergency medical attention immediately to prevent infection. We also advise that you keep your children away when cooking with sugar to prevent them having accidents or burning themselves.
Toffee, the English hard caramel is a delight and like butterscotch, has more uses than just an edible candy snack. It is fantastic when broken into small pieces and added to ice cream, or ground up and used as a topping for muffins, cakes and other confections.
Making toffee is not difficult, and if going the traditional route, where the caramel is later covered in chocolate and nuts before being broken up into pieces, the melted sugar mixture is simple poured into a slab, as shown right. However, some cooks cut it into squares while still warm (not hot).
If you correctly follow the techniques described in this guide for making candies, your homemade candies will be at comparable to, or better than professionally made candies in appearance, as well as taste.
Whatever you think of candy, or children eating too much of it, remember not to fear sugar, but to control its intake. When your children become loyal to your homemade candies, they’ll spurn any commercial variety that won’t be as healthy, nor as safe as your own.
This beginners guide for candy-making has recipes for a large variety of candies, and we are sure that with a little study and practice, you can master the art of candy-making at home. Apart from learning various recipes of candy-making, we also lets you know detailed information about the finest flavoring substances which are used for taste enhancements in candies.
The Home Candy Maker Part I
If you are interested in candy-making at home, then you must be aware about the commonly used terms in the glossary for candy making. It is important to know the meaning of important and commonly used terms to understand terms we’ll use and the ingredients used in candy making.
Glycerin: It is a kind of viscous liquid which is faintly sweet in taste.
Boiled Candies: The candies which are made from boiling sugar syrup are known as boiled candies. The lollipops, rock candy and barley candy all belong to the same family. It is important to note that although soft candies such as caramel candies and fudge are also boiled, but the boiled candies traditionally refers to hard candies.
Candied Fruit: Those fruits which are cooked and soaked in sugar syrup to keep them protected for a longer time period are known as candid fruits.
Caramel: It is a kind of confectionery which is prepared using a pure cooked sugar or usually enriched with butter.
Chocolate: One of the most popular kinds of confectionery is chocolate. It is obtained from the fruit of a tree, known as Theobroma cacao. The fruit is named as cacao beans which are then fermented, dried, roasted, and ground, to make a cocoa liquor, which can be separated into cocoa butter, a smooth, solid fat used in both food and cosmetics, and cocoa powder.
Cocoa Powder: It is a powered which is unsweetened in taste and is obtained by grinding beans of cocoa tree and pressing out the cocoa butter. It is used to provide intense chocolate taste to baked goods.
Fudge: Fudge is a cooked chocolate confectionery item. There are various types of fudge recipes; however maximum types of fudge contain chocolate, sugar, butter, and condensed milk, evaporated milk, or cream.
Sugarplums: The candies which are of European origin are known as sugarplums. They contain well chopped pieces of various dried fruits and nuts which provides it a great and rich taste.
Toffee: It is a type of candy which is made by boiling sugar syrup to a very high temperature till hard-crack stage. The difference between a candy and toffee is that generally toffee is hard and which is chewable and possessing a rich taste, obtained by adding a mixture of butter, sugar and water into the sugar syrup.
Apparatus for Candy-Making at Home
First in importance, is the heat over which the sugar is to be converted by the process of boiling, into the different varieties of confectionery. This may be obtained from a gas or an electric stove. It should be free from smoke, and the heat must be even and powerful. Sugar should be boiled quickly, if it is desired to have it retain its brilliancy and transparency, especially in the case of clear candies. The heat should be applied only to the bottom of the kettle and the flames must not reach up the sides, as they will scorch, and discolor the candy.
Second in importance, is a suitable vessel, in which to boil the candy. Confectioners use copper utensils, but great care is taken to keep them perfectly bright and clean as otherwise, they are poisonous. Cast iron or aluminum is apt to discolor the sugar. Porcelain-lined sauce-pans and kettles, are suitable for the purpose, being light, easily cleaned and always handy. If you have nothing of this kind, however, an ordinary sauce-pan or kettle of stainless steel may be used. Covers should be provided for them, and they should be free from any taint of cooking. In boiling sugar, allowance should be made for the expansion of the heated syrup. All boiling syrup should be carefully watched, and quickly lifted from the heat, if an overflow is threatened, and then replaced, when it subsides. On the other hand, do not use too large a kettle for a small quantity. A quart sized sauce-pan will usually hold a half, and sometimes a pound of sugar, with its proportionate quantity of water, whereas if molasses were boiling, it would be necessary to use a vessel capable of containing about three or four times the quantity of the same.
In selecting new porcelain-lined vessels, examine them with great care, rejecting any that have cracks, chipped places, or any imperfections on either the inside or the outside of the article. This is very important, for any such imperfection will soon render the article useless.
A most useful article, is a Confectioner’s Slab on a small scale. If you can find an old slab of polished marble, you will have one “ready made.” The next best way, is to get a sheet of polished granite, say about two feet square. Fasten this smoothly over a board, by placing it on a flat towel at least an inch from the edges. You will now have a smooth slab that should not move, upon which the various manipulations may be performed with great convenience. Get such a slab at most home stores, such as Home Depot or Lowe’s, or try a local marble supplier. It should be less than 1/2-inch thick.
Also buy four smooth steel bars, also available at a good hardware store, each about a foot or sixteen inches long, about an inch wide, and half an inch thick. The object of these bars is this: they do away with the awkwardness and risk of using plates, platters, or even tin pans, in which to cool the candy after boiling. When the confectioner wishes to cool the candy, they simply rub over a portion (or the whole) of the surface of the stone slab with a buttered lint-free cheesecloth, arranges the bars to form a hollow square inclosing the greased place, then pours the boiled syrup into this hollow. The insides of these bars, where they come in contact with the candy, are also slightly greased. Don’t use spray oils as they contain alcohol and will cause any candy with which they come in contact to become bitter. When the candy is almost (in some cases entirely) cold, the steel bars may be removed and it is then cut into squares, blocks, etc., without the annoyance and risk of removing it from a pan, during which process, the fine appearance of the candy is frequently injured. You will find a Slab and Bars of greatest convenience, and it is better to go to the trifling expense of their cost, than to run the risk of breaking some choice china platter, in which you are trying to cool the candy. It will be useful for many other operations also, and it makes an excellent dough kneading-board (without the bars).
You will also require a ruler about six inches long, made from steel, or from unfinished hard wood. It should have one side smoothed to a dull cutting edge, and it is to be used to press the divisions, or mark the lines for the squares for caramels, cough candies, etc. While using, the cutting edge may be kept slightly greased to prevent its adhering to the candy.
A smooth Moulding Board (the same as for bread-making) and a rolling pin will be required for lozenge making.
For pulling candy, a hook is useful, if the quantity is large and correspondingly heavy, but for a small quantity, it is not necessary. A large sized meat-hook, such as butchers use, will answer the purpose, but the sharp point should be filed off to prevent any possible accident. Or, a strong peg about eight inches long, made of hard wood, may be driven into a hole bored in some convenient place. Tack a piece of clean cloth behind the hook, to prevent the candy soiling the wall or wood-work.
A Wooden Spoon or Spatula (which is a strong knife cut from hard wood,) should be used in candy making, in preference to any made of metal.
Other useful articles are a pair of strong shears, a sharp knife; a number of sheets of non-stick aluminum foil on which to place the softer varieties of candy to harden, and two sieves or sifters, one having fine, and the other larger meshes.
Moulding trays for casting bonbons, gum-drops, etc., are simply, shallow wooden trays or boxes, filled with either the finest powdered cornstarch, or Confectioners’ sugar. They may be made any convenient size. Candy moulds are available today in a variety of food-safe materials.
Moulding Patterns. Fill the boxes, and having smoothed the surface with a ruler, proceed to make indentations in the surface of the powder, with any convenient pattern. The top of a caster-bottle, the end of a wooden handle; an old checkerman, or a button mould, which you have fastened to a stick for a handle, or any such article may be used for this purpose. Make the impressions as smooth as possible, going over them twice if necessary. These indentations may be made one by one, or a number of wooden or plaster patterns of exactly the size and shape desired, are glued to the under side of a flat board, and the entire number are thus impressed with one stroke of the board upon the surface of the powder.
Today, candy-making colors are harmless. As they are very strong, a few drops will color a pound of sugar. Never use aniline colors for candy, for they are very poisonous. Late 19th century candy makers actually used these dyes, causing serious illness among tens of thousands of children.
Flavors, Extracts and Ingredients.
Essential oils are obtained from woods, roots, barks, leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, etc., by the process of distillation. Extracts are produced by combining these oils with pure alcohol, in certain proportions; while Essences are a weaker form of extract, containing a much greater proportion of alcohol, which makes them so dilute, that they should never be used for the purpose of flavoring candy.
As many of the so-called, strong, ready-made extracts sold in the stores, are nothing but the weakest essences, it is sometimes difficult to obtain a strictly pure article, especially if the purchaser regards a low price and a large quantity, more than he does quality. It is true that there are many reliable brands of flavors, prepared by honest dealers, but the majority of extracts that flood the market are worthless. You cannot judge of the strength of an extract, by the intensity of its coloring. Thus, vanilla does not possess any greater strength because its color is rich and dark, for that appearance is readily given to even the weakest preparation, by the addition of a few drops of red color. We strongly recommend Nielsen-Massey vanilla products, as the purest, finest vanilla on the market today. Weak lemon extracts, are easily colored a bright golden-yellow, with a little tincture of saffron.
If possible, make your own extracts. This is easily and cheaply done, by buying a few cents worth of any of these oils (being particular regarding their purity and freshness), and diluting them with about five or six times their quantity of alcohol (100 proof vodka works fine). As these oils are very concentrated, some care should be taken to keep them out of the reach of young children, because like many other articles that are harmless when diluted, they may produce distressing, if not dangerous symptoms, if swallowed through carelessness or ignorance, while in this concentrated state.
No fear need be entertained, however, when they are used in candy, because it requires but a very small quantity to produce the desired flavoring, and this is diffused through a large proportion of sugar.
All extracts should be kept in closely corked bottles to prevent the evaporation of the alcohol. The easiest way to clear them, is to strain them through cloth, but if it is wished to have them very clear and transparent, they should be filtered. Take a small wad of cotton batting or wadding, wet it thoroughly with water, and thrust it into the inside of a tin or glass funnel, so as to completely close the hole. Then place the funnel, in a pitcher, or in some position where it will be supported, and carefully pour the extract into the funnel allowing it to take its time in running through. Return to the funnel again and again, until the liquid becomes perfectly clear. See that the end of the funnel-tube does not touch the bottom of the pitcher or vessel in which it is placed, for if it does, the liquid can not run through. Use fresh cotton for each different extract, throwing away the old bit.
The flavors most universally used are these: anise, capsicum, cinnamon, cloves, coffee, ginger, lemon, liquorice, orange (or oil of neroli,) peppermint, rose, spearmint, sassafras, vanilla and wintergreen.
Anise. This is distilled from the seed of the anise plant. It is commonly adulterated with the oil from the seed of the Star-anise, an evergreen growing in China and Japan. Use the oil, or make the extract, by adding four drams of the pure oil to four ounces of alcohol.
Capsicum. This is the dried and powdered fruit or seed, of the capsicum plant. It is the common practice to adulterate it. To make the extract, put one ounce of pure cayenne pepper into a bottle, with four ounces of alcohol. Let it stand for ten days or so, shaking occasionally, then filter.
Cinnamon. This is the inner bark of the shoots of the cinnamon tree, a native of Ceylon. It is exported in three forms : in little rolls of dried bark, just as it appears after being separated from the tree ; in powder, made by grinding the bits of bark that are inferior in quality, and it is also distilled into oil. The powdered cinnamon affords ample room for the grossest adulterations, and is seldom found in its pure state. The oil of Cassia, is used by many persons in place of the true oil of cinnamon, as it closely resembles the same, although it lacks its delicacy. Use the oil, or make the extract from four drams of oil to four ounces of alcohol.
Cloves. This oil is distilled from the buds of the Clove tree, a native of the East. The whole cloves of commerce, are these buds, gathered while still unopened, and then dried by solar, or artificial heat. The clove tree while in full blossom, is said to be a beautiful sight. They live to a great age, sometimes over one or two centuries. The trees blossom at regular intervals during the entire year. The buds are at first green, changing to white, and finally become rosy red. They are gathered by hand picking, or they are beaten from the trees, just before they open into full blossom. Use the oil, or make the extract, by adding eight drams of the oil to four ounces of alcohol.
Coffee. An extract is made by soaking for about ten days, one ounce of roasted ground coffee, in one gill of alcohol. Then filter.
Ginger. The dark or black ginger, is brought from the East, while the white or Jamaica ginger comes from the island of Jamaica, in the West Indies. The white ginger is considered far superior to the black. The only part of the plant that is used, is the root, which is sold entire, or powdered. Like all other powders, this is frequently adulterated. To make the best extract, soak for a week or more, one ounce of the powdered white ginger, in four ounces of alcohol. Then filter. This is an excellent extract of Jamaica ginger, and will be found useful for many purposes besides candy making.
Lemon. The best lemons are brought from Italy. The extract may be made, by mixing eight drams of the fresh and pure oil of lemon, with four ounces of alcohol. Or, when lemons are plenty and cheap, buy a dozen fine large specimens, and treat as follows. With a sharp pen-knife, carefully shave the outer yellow rind from the lemons. Do not go below the yellow outer-covering, for the oil-cells lie within this thin layer, and if any of the bitter white rind lying just below the surface is used, it injures the flavor. Put this shaved peel into a bottle, cover with alcohol, and allow it to stand a week or more, shaking occasionally. Then filter.
Licorice or Liquorice. This is the root of the tree Glycyrrhiza glabra. The best and sweetest variety, comes from Italy. The extract of liquorice (or liquorice mass), is prepared, by evaporating a decoction of the root until it becomes a thick paste. It is then formed into the long, black rolls, commonly sold in shops. A good liquid extract is made by soaking one ounce of the pure and fresh powdered liquorice, in four ounces of alcohol. Modern licorice candy is not made as it once was, and contains only a bit of liquorice flavoring, being largely made of starches and corn syrup.
Orange. The oil of neroli, which is distilled from the blossoms of the orange tree, is commonly used for this flavor. Or make the extract from the genuine oil of orange, the same as for lemon. The flavor may also be obtained, by the same process described for lemons, exercising the same care regarding the bitter, white rind, that lies just below the outer yellow coating.
Peppermint. This oil is distilled from the peppermint plant. Use the oil undiluted, or mix eight drams with four ounces of alcohol. This plant is a native of Great Britain, but is extensively cultivated in the U. S., for its aromatic, and medicinal properties.
Rose. This oil, which is called otto, attar and essence of roses, is obtained by distilling the petals of freshly-gathered roses. It requires five hundred pounds of these petals, to produce one ounce of the oil. The best quality comes from Kizanlik in Bulgaria, and is expensive, costing at wholesale, over three hundred dollars an ounce, it is now extensively adulterated with the oil distilled from a certain variety of the sweet-scented Pelargonium, known as the rose-geranium. The cost of the latter is much less varying from only a few dollars an ounce. This flavor should be used sparingly, not only on account of its costliness, but because a delicacy is more grateful, than an intensity. The extract is made, by mixing one dram of the pure oil, with two ounces of alcohol.
Sassafras. This flavor is distilled from the bark of the roots, of the sassafras tree. Use the undiluted oil, or make the extract, by mixing eight drams of the oil, with four ounces of alcohol.
Spearmint. Distilled from the spearmint herb. Make tincture, with eight drams of the oil, and four ounces of alcohol. This is used for mint drops.
Vanilla. This extract is made from the vanilla pod or bean, which is the seed-vessel of the plant. It is slender in form, seven or eight inches in length, and is tilled with an oily mass, containing countless, small and shining black seeds. The best quality is brought from Mexico and Madagascar. The pods are collected before they have fully ripened, dried in the shade, covered with a coating of some fixed oil, and then tied in packages. The tonka-bean is commonly used for the adulteration of vanilla extract, as it closely resembles it, both in odor and appearance. To make the genuine extract, (and care should be taken never to use any other,) take one and a half ounces of the best quality of vanilla beans, and cut them into fragments, with scissors or a sharp knife. Put into a mortar, with a little sugar (to facilitate the powdering,) and grind it to a coarse powder. Then add four ounces of water, and four ounces of alcohol. Cork it closely in a bottle, and allow it to stand a week or two, shaking occasionally. Then filter.
Wintergreen. This oil is distilled from the wintergreen plant. Use the oil undiluted, or add eight drams to four ounces of alcohol. This is also called “checkerberry” flavor.
Omitted Artificial Flavors. These are apricot, apple, banana, cherry, currant, gooseberry, grape, melon, plum, pineapple, peach, pear, raspberry, strawberry, etc. These are simply ethers, manufactured by certain processes that give them apparently the same flavoring properties that the natural fruits possess. That is, they produce an artificial flavor that closely resembles the fresh fruits. They are not really dangerous, when used in this diluted state, being diffused through a large quantity of sugar, but it is not prudent to eat too freely of candles containing them. For example, here are the recipes for manufacturing the artificial peach and banana flavors, winch you can see, do not contain even a suspicion of the natural fruits.
Peach. This is a mixture of 5 parts glycerine, 2 parts aldehyde, 6 parts acetate of ethyl, 5 parts formiate of ethyl, 5 parts butyrate of ethyl, 5 parts valerianate of ethyl, 5 parts Å“nanthylate of ethyl, 1 part sebacic ether, and 2 parts salicylate of methyl. Note: We know… this sounds like you need a chemist. Actually, in this case, and in other fruit flavorings, it may be just better to purchase. This late 19th century formula is by today’s standards, not quite easy to make.
Banana. This is made from strong sulphuric acid, acetate of potash, and fusil oil, mixed in the proper proportions with butyric acid. This butyric acid from which butyric ether is made is obtained by combining a solution of grape sugar with decomposed cheese and chalk, after which the delicious compound undergoes other chemical manipulations, and is finally turned out, as the essence of banana. Many of these flavors are used in sodas.
It is understood, of course, that this refers only, to the so-called artificial preparations. The genuine bottled or preserved fruit juices are perfectly good, and may be used freely.
There is another flavor in common use, to the dangerous nature of which, attention should be directed. This is the Bitter-Almond extract. The deadly prussic acid is extracted from the same nut, and this is often present in the prepared flavor. By careful chemical treatment, much of this acid is extracted, but it is far better to avoid this flavor, for it can be dangerous in the hands of careless or inexperienced persons.
Chocolate, This is obtained from the fruit of the tree Theobroma cacao (corrupted to cocoa.) The fruit is a pod six or eight inches long, containing numerous seeds or nuts, each about the size of a sweet-almond, but thicker. These nuts consist of a thin, paper-like, exterior shell, and a brown, oily kernel. The thin shell is removed from the nuts, and sold under the name cocoa shells, or it is ground into a fine powder, when it is known as aroma.
The kernels when pressed, separated into irregular angular-shaped pieces ; these are called cocoa-nibs, and it is from these nibs that chocolate is made. They are ground between heated stones until they become a smooth, dark brown paste. Sweetened with half its weight of fine sugar, it is called sweet chocolate, while that known as plain chocolate, contains no sugar. For covering creams, it is well to buy the sweetened. It is also sometimes flavored with vanilla. During the process of manufacture, an oily substance is extracted from the nut, which is known as cocoa-butter. This is much used by pharmacists and confectioners.
Never buy a cheap chocolate, for it will surely be adulterated. The best is quite expensive per pound, but well worth the price. The finest quality is made from cocoa-pods brought from Maracaibo, and the next best, from Caracas. While the chocolate is in a soft condition (after it has been ground to a paste,) it is run into moulds that form half-pound cakes, each ounce being marked on the surface of the cake, by lines crossing it at the proper place. Therefore, when the recipe calls for one or two squares or ounces, it is an easy matter to cut off one or more, of these sections. A prepared liquid, called Chocolate Liquor, is much used by confectioners for coating purposes, it being properly sweetened and flavored, all ready for use.
Coconut. This is the fruit of the Cocos nucifera, a palm growing in the tropical regions. It grows to the height of from fifty to eighty feet, with a straight branch-less trunk, crowned with a cluster of immense fronds or plume-like leaves, each leaf being from ten to fifteen feet long. The trees blossom about once in six weeks, each tree, bearing sometimes a hundred nuts during the year. The best nuts are brought from San Bias. For flavoring, the meat of the nuts should be very finely grated, or the desiccated coconut may be substituted, although it is sometimes too stiff and hard for fine work. For creams, the coconut should be as soft and fine as possible.
Sugar is extracted from the sugar-cane plant, in the form of a thick, sweet liquid. The ripened canes are passed through a series of strong rolls, by which process, the liquid or juice, is pressed out, and falls into the proper receptacles. This liquid is clarified, and boiled down, until it becomes a dark, brown, sugary mass, saturated with a sweet substance called molasses. It is passed through different processes, all tending to purify and whiten it until it emerges from the refinery, in the form of pure crystalline masses called sugar. The higher the process of refining is carried, the whiter and purer it becomes, and this is what constitutes the difference between white, yellow and brown sugars, the last two differing in sweetness and appearance, because they have nut undergone so extended a purification as the former.
The yellow and brown sugars are also sweeter than the white, because they contain more molasses than the latter.
The purest and best cane-sugar, is commonly known as loaf sugar. Then come the crushed and granulated, which are chemically as pure as the loaf sugar of older times, differing only in the style of finish; the former, being crushed, while the latter, is sold in the form of grains, as its name implies. The ordinary pulverized sugar, is a powdered form of the same trades of sugar; and the so-called lozenge or icing sugar, is a still more finely pulverized form, it being really sugar dust, and is prepared especially for the use of confectioners. The best of the lower grades, are Coffee A, B, C, D, etc; the first being very light yellow in color, and that known as “Coffee B,” being a trifle darker, and so on, until the poorer grades of dark brown sugar are reached. Do not buy the cheaper grades of brown sugar, for they are less than safe for candy-making. The sweet liquid that drains from the white sugar, during the last stages of refining, is called sugar-house syrup. Much of this syrup, however, is adulterated with glucose. Sugar of all grades, is liable to gross adulterations, and care should be taken to buy it only from reliable dealers. Sugar made from grapes, is used as an adulterant of cane-sugar. For crystallizing, use only the purest, high-grade white sugars; for the ordinary varieties of candy use ”Confectioners’ A” (or any good quality of white sugar) ; while for taffies, cough-candies, etc., the kind known as ”Coffee C” will answer.
Degrees of Boiling Sugar
In writing this article, we discarded the usual custom of directing amateurs to “boil until it cracks,” or “to boil twenty minutes,” or “to boil four minutes,” etc., and various other mysterious and very unsatisfactory directions ; and has taken it for granted, that if any one has already sufficient interest to wish to learn to make candy, he, or she, will surely be willing and anxious to learn the method, by which all professionals ascertain the progress of the boiling of the sugar. It is not difficult to learn, and once mastered, you may be far more sure of success in making any of the varieties you may choose to try your skill upon. It is true that it requires close attention, but it is thought that no difficulty need be experienced, if, after carefully reading this article again and again, until you thoroughly understand it, you put what you have read, to the practical test, remembering always, that “Practice makes perfect.”
The solution of sugar and water is, by the constant and steady heat, rapidly undergoing changes; and the water being gradually lost by the evaporation during the process of boiling, the solution becomes thicker, and more concentrated. Now, some varieties of confectionery, are made when the boiling has been carried to one stage or degree, while other varieties cannot be made, until the solution has reached a higher degree, that is, when it has boiled for a longer period of time, and has become still more concentrated. These different degrees are ascertained (or tested), by dropping a little of the boiling sugar, into cold water.
There are about ten of these degrees, but those most frequently used, are termed as follows : the thread, the feather, the soft hall, the hard ball, the soft crack, and the hard crack. After these, comes the degree called the caromel (do not confound this term with the candy known as the caramel, for it is entirely different ), which is reached, when the water has entirely boiled away, and the sugar that remains, is upon the point of burning.
When the sugar and water solution is first placed over the fire, the sugar settles at the bottom of the kettle, in a thick mass. As soon as the heat begins to strike through, you will see the sugar slowly dissolving, while the water begins to look milky or turbid. After a few moments, you hear a low murmuring, and little bubbles begin to arise around the sides of the vessel. These slowly increase, until the boiling approaches the center. All at once the cloudy, thick, appearance is gone, and you have before you a clear, thin watery solution that is boiling rapidly. It has then reached the full boiling point. Continue the boiling, and after about fifteen minutes (depending upon the quantity) have passed, dip a spoon into the liquid, raise it, and hold it still for an instant, to allow it time to cool slightly.
Then very slowly and carefully, turn the spoon sideways, and allow the liquid to run out. If it draws out into a thread, it has reached what is called “thread” degree. Or, after cooling it slightly, dip the thumb and fore-finger into the spoon, and if, upon separating them, a thread is formed, the result is the same. You will also notice that the liquid is thicker than it was at first.*
Continue the boiling, and presently dip a skimmer into the vessel, and, if the sugar solution has gained sufficient thickness or density, you’ll find the holes in the skimmer, covered with a delicate film of the boiling liquid. Now, blow through these holes, and if the sugar flies off in feather like spray the “feather” degree is reached. Continue a while longer, and drop a little into cold water. With the thumb and fingers, try to gather this into a little ball. If you can do so, and can get something that resembles a very soft ball, it has reached the “soft ball” degree. Previously to this stage, it is useless to try the testing in water, for the solution, not having gained sufficient consistency, will only dissolve, leaving no trace when dropped into it. Presently test it again in cold water, and you will probably find that it will now roll into quite a firm and hard ball. As the term implies, this is the “hard ball” degree. Soon repeat the testing, at a shorter interval (for the solution is rapidly thickening and settling in the kettle), and you will find it has reached the “soft crack” because it slowly stiffens, and does not snap or crack when pressed between the fingers, until it has cooled for an instant in the water. Candies boiled to this stage are termed “soft-boiled”.
NOTICE. The learning candy-maker will notice that the thread will also be found during all the after stages, it becoming much stronger as the boiling advances. This rule applies only to its first appearance.
You have now reached the critical point, for a little neglect will end in burning the candy. Test it again, and almost before yon know it, the ”hard crack” is reached.
You will find the portion that you dip up with a spoon, will stiffen, with a sharp snap, immediately upon being dropped into the water (which should he very cold for this test), and becomes stiff and hard, breaking with a brittle crack, when pressed between the fingers. For all stick and clear candies, the nearer you can approach this stage, the better, because the candy will retain its clearness for a greater length of time, and is not so quickly affected by the action of the atmosphere.
You will also notice, that, as the boiling approaches this “hard crack” stage, the movement is slight, and it appears to boil with difficulty, making but little sound in doing so. This is where the danger lies, for it is now so thick and concentrated, and it is so difficult for it to boil, that the dense liquid is liable to scorch on the bottom of the kettle. Watch it carefully, and do not allow it to remain on the fire too long, or it will suddenly turn yellow, and emit a burned odor. This is the last degree before burning, and is called the “caromel” degree. After that, the water being entirely boiled away, and nothing but the sugar remaining, it speedily turns black, and is ruined for candy purposes.
If the sugar is steadily and quickly boiled and no accident occurs, it will be a clear and transparent syrup when poured out to cool, but if it has boiled slowly, or the quantity is large (which will require more time, of course), or if it is unintentionally carried to a little over the hard crack, the syrup will be a clear, golden yellow, and no possible amount of pulling, will make it white enough for stick candies, for instance. The syrup passes quickly from one stage to the next, after the thread degree is reached, and it should have constant attention. The smaller the quantity you make, the shorter the time required for boiling, and the more rapid the changes. Many confectioners say that it is more difficult to cook a small quantity than a large, for these very reasons. On the other hand, if it burns, the loss is not as great, as it would be, if you were undertaking for instance, a six pound boil, and should lose it all. We frequently make as small a quantity as a half pound boil, when experiments are being made with different sugars.
Graining of the Sugar
Sugar, while undergoing the process of boiling, is constantly inclined to return to its original condition or state, as sugar. Now, this causes serious trouble, and unless it could be overcome, or, perhaps it would be better to say, controlled, it would be impossible to make many of the different kinds of candy. The addition of a small quantity of acid of the proper’ kind, assists greatly in this respect. Vinegar, or a drop or two of acetic acid, and also cream of tartar are used for this purpose. If too large a quantity should be used, however, the candy will remain soft and sticky, and will never harden. There are several promoters of this “graining” (as it is termed) and perhaps one of the principal, is too slow and consequently too long boiling; another is, allowing the sugar spray to settle upon the sides of the kettle, above the boiling syrup, whence it finds its way into the solution below, and quickly grains the whole. This can be prevented in a measure, by frequently washing the sides of the kettle with a wet rag or sponge, but this is a dangerous operation, for unless you exercise great care, you will be likely to receive serious burns.
This operation of washing off the sugar spray, is not always effectual, and the author has found that the best plan is to cover the kettle with a lid, keeping it on from the beginning to the end, removing only to skim or to test the progress of the boiling. Care must be taken to avoid scalding the hands with the steam. This cover may not be placed over the entire surface at first, if there seems to be any tendency of the candy to overflow, but may remain in that half-covered position, until the danger is over, when it may be placed over the entire surface. Do not use a very close fitting cover, however, the object being only to confine the steam, which melts the sugar spray, thus preventing the tendency to settle upon “the sides of the kettle.
This annoyance of graining will probably happen to you occasionally, but you need not consider it as so much sugar lost, for by re-melting it over a slow fire, with the addition of a little water, you will have a most delicious syrup for your buck-wheat cakes; one far superior to many that you might buy, which in all probability, would be adulterated with glucose.
If your grained sugar contains no acid (such as cream of tartar, etc.), it may be re-weighed, and by adding one gill of water to each half pound of sugar, it may be boiled over again; but, if any acid has been used, the sugar should be brought to an alkaline condition again, before re-boiling. As the quantity that you will boil, will probably be small, and the loss slight, it is not considered essential to explain the method by which confectioners restore the sugar to the proper condition, especially, as you will probably enjoy the making it into syrup, much more than attempting to boil it over.
It may seem unnecessary to give special instructions how to properly pull candy, but when you once realize the difference between candy that has been properly pulled, and that which has not, you will understand why some information upon the subject may be useful. In the first place, the object of pulling candy, is to make it light; and in order to produce this condition, it must be porous.
Pulling it out, draws the air in, and the result is, that the mass becomes a collection of long cells, that are filled with air. Now, by careless handling and pulling, these long cells are crushed and flattened, and the result is, that the finished candy is hard and heavy, and not delicate and crispy, as it would be, if properly treated.
When you begin to pull it, do not grasp it roughly, but handle it only with the tips of the fingers, and not with the whole hand. Draw it out, carefully fold it over, out again, and so on, until it becomes light, and has a tendency to separate into ropes or strings. A slight twist will prevent this, and as soon as it becomes slightly stiff, hold it near a fire for an instant, until it is flexible again. Now lay it down on a clean, dry, board, and with the hands draw it out into the rough wide bars, the shape in which pulled candies are generally finished. To do this, requires some practice, but once understood, it is easily done. Draw it out quite long, (not with the tips of the fingers this time but with the entire open palm) then take one end, and fold it back beside the other (that is parallel with it,) so that the two lie side by side, with the edges lapping. It will now be a narrow bar. Again draw it out, without lifting from the board, fold back along side of the other, repeating this operation, until it is the desired width, then cut into five or six inch lengths with shears, or with a blow from a knife, and lay on tin to stiffen. This applies principally to molasses candies, and pulled cream candies. When making sticks or drops, such care is useless, for the necessary rolling or cutting (as for drops,) removes all tendency to a crispy finish, and it would not be desirable. When using a hook, for pulling large quantities, this extra care would be difficult. It is intended only for the use of amateurs who have the time to spend, and who wish to make the candy as dainty and delicate as possible.
If it adheres to the hands, rub them with a little sweet butter, but never use starch or flour, as it will impart an unpleasant taste to the candy. Soft boiled candies are more troublesome to handle than those boiled to the hard crack.
Weights and Measures
For the convenience of those who may not be supplied with a measuring glass for liquids, the following table is given, it being understood that it applies only to liquids:
1 scanty teaspoonful, is equal to 1 fluid dram,
4 scant teaspoonsful (or 1 Tablespoonful), equal 1/2 fluid ounce,
2 Tablespoonsful, equal 1 fluid ounce,
4 fluid ounces, equal 1 gill,
8 ounces (a tumbler full) equal 2 gills or 1/2 pint,
4 gills equal 1 pint,
8 gills (or two pints), equal 1 quart,
4 quarts, equal one gallon.
The following may also be of some assistance :
Soft butter, size of an egg, weighs 2 ounces , or 1/2 stick,
3 Tablespoons finely grated chocolate, weighs 1 oz.
2 level Tablespoons of gran, gum arable, weigh 1 oz.
1 pint granulated sugar, weighs about 1 pound 4 oz.
1 pint powdered sugar, weighs about 1 pound 3 oz.
It is impossible to give the exact measurement of sugars, because they differ greatly, some measuring much more than others, to the pound. So you will see that the adage, “A pint is a pound, the world around,” applies only to liquid measure.
Observations and Rules
When pouring the boiled sugar out to cool, never allow the drainings and scrapings from the kettle, to be added to the mass, for if that part be upon the point of graining, it will quickly affect the whole. This is particularly important in the case of caramels, and also for all hard-boiled candies.
The flavoring and color is usually added just before pouring out to cool, in the case of clear candies, but for pulled varieties, it may be drawn in while pulling. Sometimes the stirring necessary to thoroughly mix the liquids causes graining. Many persons do not object to the thick cloudy appearance that this condition causes, and for cough candies, it is sometimes preferable.
All sugar solutions for candies should be boiled rapidly, but do not allow them to become scorched.
Always dissolve the cream of tartar, and soda, in a little hot water, before adding it to the boiling solution.
Always stir the sugar and water until the former is dissolved, but discontinue as soon as the bubbles announcing the boiling point appear. Never stir after that, unless the rule explicitly states that you are to do so. This is important.
When adding any ingredient, like cocoanut, or chocolate, pour it in slowly, stirring at the same time, or
lumps will be formed.
The Home Candy Maker Part II
These are very simple and easy to make, and the amateur will do well to commence his or her attempts at “Candy Making at Home” with any one of them. The foundation is the same as for stick candies. Boil, without stirring, one and a half pounds of white sugar in three gills of water, over a brisk fire, adding a scanty half teaspoonful of cream of tartar (dissolved in a little hot water), after the solution has boiled about fifteen minutes. Keep a cover on the kettle, removing only to skim, or to test the progress of the boiling. Continue the boiling to the soft crack. Pour out to cool, and when cool enough to be handled, quickly pull it with the hands until it becomes pure white. (See section on Pulling Candy.) Sift a little fine sugar on a clean, dry tin or platter, and lay the candy thereon. If boiled to the proper degree, this candy will be waxy, and slightly resemble a soft chewing-gum. Add the flavoring just before pouring out to cool, or draw it into it while pulling. Color in the same way.
Vanilla is usually white ; Lemon is tinted yellow ; Rose is pink, while Chocolate is brown. This last is made by drawing into the candy while pulling, two ounces (or squares) of melted chocolate. Melt this chocolate by heating it (but do not allow it to boil) in a cup, over hot water.
The so-called Ice Cream Candy is made in this same manner, with the addition of two ounces of the best butter cut into bits, and stirred into the candy, a few moments before removing from the fire. Like the majority of soft-boiled candies, these become soft and sticky upon the surface, after a while.
Peppermint. Put a pound of either granulated or pulverized white sugar into a small sauce-pan, using one that has a lip to pour from, if possible. Drop in a little peppermint, and add only just enough water, to dampen or make a thick paste with the sugar. If too much water is added, the drops will not harden. Stir this, until it is thoroughly mixed, then taste, to see if the flavoring is right. Add more, if necessary, but do not flavor too strongly, remembering that delicacy is generally more agreeable than intensity. Put this sugar paste on the fire and let it cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly, but never allowing it to actually boil. As soon as it becomes liquid enough to pour easily, remove from the fire, and holding the sauce-pan in one hand, and a knitting needle in the other, allow the liquid sugar, to fall, in large or small drops, upon a smooth surface, cutting the stream of sugar at the right moment, with a stroke with the knitting needle. It will require some practice to make the drops uniform m size and shape. It may be colored red or pink by using more or less of the red color, according to the shade desired. Rose Pastille Drops are flavored with rose, and tinted red. Ginger, are flavored with a teaspoonful of very strong extract of ginger. They may be colored yellow. Any flavor desired may be used in these drops, and during the fruit season, (or by using the prepared pure fruit juices) Fruit Pastille Drops may be made by using, in place of the water, the juice of Peaches, Oranges, Lemons, Strawberries, Raspberries, etc., etc.
Molasses Candy, Taffies, Chips, Etc.
As molasses expands under the influence of heat, a kettle should be used, capable of containing three or four times the quantity that you are about to boil. Use only New Orleans molasses, because the kind known as the Puerto Rico, has an unpleasantly strong and almost bitter flavor, that renders it unfit for candy making. As the boiling advances, the molasses becomes very thick and concentrated, boiling slowly and with difficulty; and as it approaches the end (which may be known by its settling in the kettle, and becoming darker in color), it may be best to remove it to a place upon the range or stove, where the heat will not be quite so in tense, although it must not cease boiling. It burns very easily, and this difficulty may be detected by the odor, or by spots of dark color appearing in the boiling molasses.
If you wish the candy to be crisp and brittle, boil to the hard crack, but, for soft boiled molasses candy, do not carry it much over the soft crack. Keep the cover on the kettle, removing only to test the progress of the boiling, unless the rule calls for stirring, in which case, the cover cannot be used at all. Also, never stir, unless directed to do so.
Old-fashioned Molasses Candy. Boil one quart of New Orleans molasses over a clear fire to either the soft or hard crack. Dissolve a half teaspoonful of pure soda (carbonate, or bi-carbonate) in a little hot water, and stir it in as you pour it out to cool. Flavoring with either lemon or vanilla, improves it. Pull, when cool enough to handle, until it begins to stiffen. This requires a much longer time to boil, than the varieties containing sugar.
Modern Old-fashioned Molasses Candy. One pint best New Orleans molasses, and one pint white or yellow sugar. Boil briskly for a few moments, then stir in one and a half, or two ounces of the best butter cut into bits. Stir in a pinch of soda (dissolved), as you remove it from the fire, and when it foams up, quickly pour it out to cool. This becomes very light when pulled, and is a favorite variety. Flavoring with vanilla is an improvement. It requires about two teaspoonsful of the strong extract.
Home-made Molasses Candy. One pint New Orleans molasses, and one pint of either white or yellow sugar. Add the pinch of soda as in preceding. Flavor if desired.
White Molasses Candy. Five gills of white sugar, two gills pure syrup, and two gills New Orleans molasses. Treat same as preceding.
Store Molasses Candy. One pint and a half (that is, six gills) of white sugar, two gills New Orleans molasses, and one gill of water. When it reaches the soft ball, stir in a quarter teaspoonful of cream of tartar (dissolved in a little hot water). Then treat same as for preceding.
Plain Taffy. Pour a little of the Old-fashioned Molasses Candy (omitting the soda), into well buttered tins, in layers of about an eighth of an inch in thickness. When nearly cold, take the ruler, butter it slightly on its edge, and mark the candy off into squares or diamonds. Press nearly through to the tin. When cold, a gentle tap on the bottom or side of the tin, will loosen the candy, and it may then be broken apart.
Everton or Butter Taffy. This is also called Butter Scotch, Boil one pound best yellow sugar, and four ounces of the best butter. Melt it carefully over the fire, and boil it to the soft crack, stirring constantly.
Maple Taffy. One pound of pure maple sugar, and two gills of water. At the soft ball, add a pinch of cream of tartar (dissolved), then boil to the soft crack.
Coconut Taffy. One pound of white sugar, and two gills of water. After boiling a few moments, stir in two ounces of the best butter, cut into bits. Then boil to the soft crack, and when you are ready to pour it out to cool, quickly stir in two or three ounces of finely grated coconut. Cool in thin layers, and check it off into squares, etc.
Chocolate Taffy. Same as preceding, substituting two ounces (or two squares) of melted chocolate, in place of the coconut.
Lemon Taffy. One pound of sugar, and two gills of water. Boil a few moments, then add two ounces best butter. Boil to soft crack, flavor with lemon, color yellow (if desired), and treat same as for preceding taffies.
English walnut, Hazelnut, Peanut, Hickory nut, Brazil nut and Butternut Taffies.
Make the candy according to any of the recipes for Taffies, and stir in, just before pouring out to cool, the chopped or whole shelled meats of any of these nuts. The Brazil nuts, and hazel nuts, after being deprived of their thick outer shell, should be thrown into scalding water, when, after standing for an instant, their rough, inner covering, will become softened, and may be rubbed from them with the fingers. The red, paper-like, inner covering of the peanuts, should also be removed by shaking them in a coarse sieve, or by rubbing them between the hands. If the meats have been chopped, it is a good plan to sift out the powder that is caused by the chopping, stirring in only the clean bits of the nuts.
Any of the Taffies may be flavored with Peppermint. Sassafras or Wintergreen, For Taffy Drops, see Section on DROPS.
Boston Chips, Flakey Flinder Candy, etc. These can hardly come under the heading of “Home Candy Making”, because in making them, a machine is necessary. After the candy has been pulled, and while it is still flexible, it is quickly drawn into long strips, which are passed between two revolving iron or steel rollers, which process instantly flattens them into ribbons. They are crisp and delicious. Many confectioners draw them out into ribbons by hand, but it requires experience and long practice. Still, this last process may be tried by the amateur.
Nut and Cream Bars
Peanut Bar. Prepare the nuts, by removing both the outer shell and the inner covering, and use either whole or half nuts, or they may be chopped, if preferred. If chopped, shake them in a coarse sieve to remove the dust caused by the operation of chopping. If you do not have a Slab and Bars (described earlier,) proceed as follows. Butter slightly, the bottom and sides of a broad, shallow tin pan, and pour the nuts into it. Spread the nuts around evenly, using more or less of them, as you prefer. Fill to the depth of about a quarter of an inch.
Now boil one pound of either white or yellow (”Coffee C”) sugar with two gills of water to the hard crack, adding the pinch of cream of tartar (dissolved) at the soft ball. Carefully pour this boiled sugar over the nuts, and set aside to stiffen. Before it is quite cold, cut into wide bars, with a strong, sharp knife.
Brazil nut, Butternut, Almond, English walnut, Hickory nut, Hazel nut, and Pecan nut Bar may be made, by using the meats of any of these different nuts. To remove the thick, inner covering of the hazel nuts, pecans, almonds, and Brazil nuts, immerse them (after their shells have been removed) in scalding water for a few moments, when the covering may be rubbed off with the fingers.
Molasses or Taffy JShit Bar. For the foundation, use any of the recipes for Molasses Candy or Taffies, adding the nuts.
Maple Nut Bar. For the foundation, see Maple Taffy, adding the nuts.
Coconut Cream Bar. Boil one and a half pounds of white sugar with three gills of water nearly to the soft ball. Flavor if desired, and it may also be tinted yellow or red, although the white is considered the best. Remove from the fire, and allow it to cool for a few moments in the kettle. Then, with a spatula, begin to rub and scrape the sugar solution, against the sides of the kettle, until it becomes milky. Then, rapidly stir in about six or eight ounces of coarsely-grated coconut. Stir it a little longer, but not too long, or it will suddenly harden before it can be poured out. Pour it into wide shallow tins, in which a sheet of white paper has been fitted, (leaving the ends of the paper long enough to project an inch or two from each end). When it is cold, by taking hold of the paper with both hands, the cake of coconut may be lifted from the pan, and cut into bars. If it adheres to the sides of the pan, where it is not protected by the paper, run a thin knife down the side of the pan, to loosen it. The paper may be removed from the cake, by moistening slightly, then tearing it off.
Lozenges do not require any boiling, being cut from a dough made from very finely-powdered sugar, mixed with a solution of either gum tragacanth, or gum arabic. They can never be satisfactorily made from any but the finest pulverized sugar, the best results being obtained by using only that known as XXX lozenge sugar, which is really sugar dust. Still, if this cannot be obtained, use the ordinary pulverized sugar, sifting it free from all lumps.
To prepare the gum for the dough, put one quarter ounce of gum tragacanth to soak in one gill of cold water, for twenty-four hours, then strain by pressure through a strong cloth bag. Use one ounce or more of this strained liquid to every pound of sugar. Or, if a gum is desired for immediate use, dissolve one ounce of granulated gum arabic in two ounces of warm water. Strain and use this proportion of liquid to every pound of sugar.
Proceed to make the doughy by mixing the gum solution and sugar, by working it with a strong spoon, or by pounding and pressing with a. clean potato-masher. As soon as it’ becomes possible to handle it, work it by kneading thoroughly with the hands. Do this, until the dough becomes smooth and flexible. Also work in the flavor, and the color, if you wish it to be tinted. Should the dough crumble, add a little more of the gum solution, but if it is too soft and sticky, sift in a little more sugar. The hardness of the finished lozenge depends upon the thickness of the gum solution.
Now, sift a little sugar dust over the slab (described earlier), or upon a smooth, clean, moulding-board. Lay the dough upon the sugar (which is used to keep it from adhering to the board), sift more sugar over the dough, and then with a rolling-pin, roll it down evenly to a sheet of about an eighth of an inch in thickness. Sift more sugar over the surface, rub or polish it smoothly with the palm of the hand, and then, with another slight dusting of sugar, it is ready for the cutter.
The cutter is a tin (or steel) tube, four inches long; the diameter at one end, being one inch and a quarter, then tapering to one inch at the other end. The edges where it is joined at the sides, should be neatly soldered, leaving no perceptible joint, and the smaller end of the tube is to be filed to a smooth, sharp, cutting edge. This cutter will make round lozenges, only. Hearts, stars, squares, diamonds, octagons, hexagons, and many other shapes, may be cut out by using cutters of the corresponding shapes. The lozenges will be large or small, according to the size of the cutting end of the tube.
Now, take this cutter in the right hand, and with firm, steady strokes, cut out the lozenges, one after another, continuing until the cutter is full, when, by reversing it over a clean tin, or plate, the lozenges will fall out. Separate them, spreading them out to dry. Again till the cutter, empty out as before, and so on until the dough is all used. Keep the board free from stray bits of dough, and lumps of sugar, or the lozenges will be rough when finished. They should be put in a moderately warm place to dry.
It is impossible to state the exact quantity of flavoring required in each case, because tastes are so different, and the flavors are generally of varying strength. The best plan is to drop in a little of the flavor, working it in thoroughly, then taste of the dough, and add more if necessary.
Anise, Clove, Peppermint, Vanilla, and Wintergreen lozenges are usually white; Cinnamon, Cayenne and Rose are colored red, or rose-pink; Ginger, Lemon and Orange are pale yellow. Marbled lozenges are made by adding a little coloring to the white dough, and working it slightly through it, when the dough will present a streaked or marbled appearance.
Tri-color Lozenges, are made by combining two or more colors in one lozenge. Divide the dough into as many portions as you wish colors, flavoring and coloring these portions separately. Roll them out on separate boards, slightly moisten the surface of one sheet, by passing a damp sponge over it, then lay another sheet of dough upon this. If there are to be three colors, do the same with the third sheet. Roll them firmly together, and proceed to cut out the lozenges.
Conversation Lozenges. These are made by printing words or short sentences upon them, with a little stamp, which is first lightly pressed upon a pad of red color, and then upon the face of the finished lozenge. Rubber stamps are much used for this purpose.
Ring Lozenges. These are made by having two cutters, one cutting a larger circle than the other. The lozenges are cut out with the larger cutter, one at a time (and separately), and each receives a second stroke (this time from the smaller cutter), that cuts out the center, leaving a ring. Both cutters should be very sharp and 6lean. The centers may be cut in this manner from any of the other shapes, thus making a great variety of fancy lozenges.
Crystal Lozenges. Use the coarser particles of granulated sugar, sifting out the liner portions.
Lozenge Pipe. Roll small portions of the dough into long, slender sticks, with a flat, smooth board, the same as for other sticks. Use sifted sugar to prevent its adhering to the board. They may be colored and flavored as desired, before rolling.
Coltsfoot Pipe or Rock. Simmer gently for ten or fifteen minutes in a covered vessel, a quarter of an ounce of dried coltsfoot, in two gills of water. Then add sufficient water to replace that which has boiled away (that is, making it two gills, as at first), strain, and use this liquid for dissolving the gum in the same proportion as given on page 39. If this quantity of coltsfoot does not give sufficient strength, use a half ounce to two gills of water, instead of the quarter ounce. Make the dough, and roll out portions into long sticks.
The foundation for all cream work, such as Bonbons, Cream Nuts, Chocolate Creams, Coconut Creams, etc., is as follows: To every pound of the best white sugar, allow two gills of water. Boil without stirring, to between the feather and the soft ball (see earlier). It it is desired to have the candle very soft and melting, boil the solution to the feather, but if a firmer and harder consistency is preferred, it may be boiled a little longer, thus carrying it nearly to the soft ball. When it is ready, remove from the fire, and after allowing it to stand for a few moments to cool slightly, add the flavoring, and with a wooden spoon, or spatula, begin to rub and scrape the solution against the sides of the vessel, continuing this operation until you have before you a firm, yet delicate, cream-like mass. The rubbing and scraping, should bring the solution to this “creamy” state, within a few moments, but if not boiled long enough, it may refuse to become firm, and will remain in a very soft and liquid condition. For cast work this is preferable, but for Cream Nuts, etc., stir in a little of the finest sugar dust, if necessary, until sufficient firmness is obtained. Adding the sugar however, will make a coarse cream, very different from that properly made. If, on the contrary, the creamy mass stiffens too rapidly, it may be thinned by adding a very little water, taking care to add but a small quantity at a time, or it will become too soft.
For convenience. Cream Bonbons may be divided into three principal classes ; the Rolled, the Cast and the Dipped Bonbons.
Boiled Cream Bonbons. With the fingers, roll portions of this cream, into little round or oval balls, rolling each one as it passes from your hands, in pulverized sugar, (which may be tinted pink if desired, for a variety), and then place it on a clean, dry, plate or tin, to harden. Round balls, are made, by putting a small portion of the cream into the palm of the left hand; then with the palm of the right hand, roll it around several times, and it will quickly become a perfect sphere. These may be flavored and colored as follows: Vanilla (white), Lemon (yellow), Rose (red), Coffee (yellow), Chocolate (brown) by stirring in two ounces of melted chocolate (to each pound of sugar), as you begin the operation of “creaming;” and Coconut (white or pink), by stirring in one or two ounces of the very finest, grated coconut.
Cast Bonbons. “Cream” the solution, until it stiffens, then allow it to stand until cold. Prepare the moulds, which may be of any the following forms : hearts, diamonds, ovals, rings, square or flat bricks, dome-shape, etc, etc. Now set the kettle that contains the cream into another, containing boiling water, and allow it to slowly melt, stirring all the time. If very hard, add a few drops of water, but not too much, for the heat will also liquify it, and there is danger of making it too soft. Tint and flavor as desired, then carefully fill the moulds. Try to fill the moulds with one movement, and avoid permitting a drop or two to fall into the indentation first, for if this happens, the finished bonbons will have rough, or uneven places on them. If the cream becomes too stiff to pour, warm it again, but it should never be allowed to become over-heated. It should be melted, and no more. These are made with the same flavors and colors as the preceding, but many fancy styles may be invented, to suit the taste and skill, of the amateur candy-maker. They may be cast in two or three colors, by pouring a little of each color in succession into each mould, allowing the preceding color, time to set slightly, before adding the second. They may be one color for the body of the bonbon, and have a top of some contrasting color. In short, the variety that may be made, is simply without end. As soon as they become set in the moulds, and are hard enough to handle without danger, remove from the powder, and brush them perfectly clean. They may be crystallized, if desired.
Dipped bonbons. These are either rolled or cast bonbons, that have been dipped into liquid cream of some contrasting color, or different flavor. For instance, white vanilla bonbons, may be dipped in pink-tinted cream; coffee bonbons, may be dipped in white, and chocolate bonbons in coconut covering, etc., etc. For chocolate coating, see Chocolate Creams.
Cream Nuts. These are made from rolled bonbons by placing the whole meats of nuts, on the outside of the ball (on one side only, or on both), and firmly pressing them in, until they are retained by the edges of the bonbons. Or, they may be imbedded in the center of the bonbon. The nuts usually employed, are sweet almonds and English walnuts, but any others may be used. The almonds may be deprived of their rough inner coating, by throwing the nuts after they have been shelled, into scalding water, allowing them to remain for a moment or two, when they may be rubbed free from this covering.
Cream Dates, Raisins, Apricots, etc. These are made by extracting the seeds, and filling the cavity with cream. Cream Strawberries may be made, by dipping the clean, dry, hulled berries into the melted cream. These should be made fresh when wanted, for they spoil within a few hours after making. Other fruits may be dipped in the same manner, the only care being to have the cream for coating rather thick, and the fruit dry.
Chocolate Creams. These are also called Chocolate Cream Drops. They are -either rolled, or cast from the cream, and then dipped in melted and sweetened chocolate. The real French chocolate creams, are very soft, melting even in the heat of the hand. It requires some care to make this kind, for it is difficult to coat and handle them even as little as is necessary, without injuring them, as they melt so quickly. To make, boil the sugar to the feather, “cream” it, cool, re-melt, and pour into the moulds. Properly made it will be very soft When firm, take them from the moulds, and put them in to a fine sieve, and with the least possible handling, brush off all the adhering powder. Keep them where it is cold, until ready to use them. Melt the chocolate by putting it into a cup, and setting over boiling water, but do not allow the chocolate itself to boil, or become over-heated as it requires little heat to melt it, and that is all that is necessary. If it is too thick to cover well, it should be thinned with a little melted cocoa-butter, or a little of the purest olive oil, but do not add too much. Or, it may be thinned by adding to each cake of chocolate (that is, every half pound cake, which contains eight ounces or squares), half an ounce of gum arabic dissolved in two tablespoonsful of warm water. When the covering is right, it will flow easily, without being too thin, and cover the creams, with a rich, brown coating. If you are obliged to sweeten your own chocolate, use eight ounces of the finest sugar dust to each half pound of the plain melted chocolate, stirring it until perfectly smooth. Thin, as before. If you can procure the so-called Chocolate Liquor, do so by all means, for it saves much trouble.
To coat the Chocolate Creams. Dip them into the melted chocolate (which should not be too warm), one or two at a time, roll around for an instant, then lift them out upon the tines of a broad fork, drain slightly on the edge of the vessel, to remove the superfluous covering, and then place upon tin sheets or plates, over which only a trace of butter has been rubbed. Allow them to remain until firm. They may be made with the inside part in various style. It may be white, yellow, pink, or brown, and the flavors may be Vanilla, Lemon, Coffee, Rose, Chocolate or Coconut.
If a stiffer cream is desired, cook the sugar a little longer (see directions at the commencement of this article).
Chocolate Cream Bricks, Rolls, Bars, Sticks , Mice, Beetles, Flowers, etc., etc., etc., may be made, by using the corresponding moulds.
Coconut Creams. These may be entirely of coconut cream, or the inside may be plain, and then dipped in melted Coconut cream. The forms are as varied as any of the others. Only the very finest grated, or soft dessicated coconut should be used for the coating purposes. For Coconut Cream Bar, see section on BARS.
For Jellied Cream Bonbons and Bricks, see section on Jelly Work.
There is another form of bonbons, that may be made by mixing the beaten white of egg with sugar, in the proportion of one egg to every pound of the finest sugar dust, adding a little water if too stiff. It may also be used for the cream nuts. This makes very good bonbons, although they wholly lack the genuine creamy qualities, found in those made from boiled sugar.
Dissolve in as little water as possible, one quarter ounce (or, one half ounce if you wish the jelly to be quite firm) of the best refined gelatin. The unflavored powdered gelatin of the quality known as “Knox” brand being perhaps the best and most widely available. While this is dissolving, take a pint of jelly of any flavor (although apple jelly is commonly used) and place it over boiling water, where it will slowly melt, but not boil. Mix the dissolved gelatin with the liquid jelly, stirring thoroughly, add color if desired, and when perfectly cold and slightly stiff, pour into the indentations, which you have made in the powdered starch or sugar, in the moulding trays. These moulds may be made in the form of clusters of grapes (the underside being flat, of course), diamonds, squares, bricks, thick lozenges, dome-shape like gum drops, stars, rings and beans. Allow them sufficient time to stiffen thoroughly, before removing them from the moulds. Shake them in a fine sieve, then remove any adhering powder with a soft brush. They may be left plain, or they may crystallized, lemon Jelly is tinted yellow, and flavored with lemon : Rose jelly is colored red, and flavored with rose.
Assorted Flavors. Apple, Crab-Apple, Cherry, Currant, Barberry, Blackberry, Elderberry, Grape, Peach, Plum, Orange, Quince, Raspberry, Strawberry, Whortleberry and Wine flavors may be obtained by using these different jellies.
Jelly Cream Bricks and Bonbons. Make the same preparation, and fill the indentations in the trays half full ; when it has set, fill up with Cream (see Cream Work) that has been slightly melted. Do not have it too warm, or it will melt the jelly. Let them remain undisturbed until tirm enough to handle. This Cream may be flavored with Lemon, Rose, Vanilla, Chocolate, Coffee, Orange, Coconut, etc.
Dipped Jelly Bonbons. These may be dipped in Cream of any desired color and flavor, or they may be dipped in melted sweet chocolate, when they are known as Jelly Chocolates,
The reason for not pouring the melted jelly into the moulds when warm, is, that if the liquid is thin, it will quickly absorb the sugar or starch powder, and run all through it, injuring the powder, and, of course, ruining the candy. It should be cold and thick (like honey), as it appears just before it begins to solidify. Take this same care regarding Gum drops.
Dissolve about one pound of the best quality of granulated gum-arabic, in three gills of water, by heating it over a moderate fire, stirring constantly. Do not allow it to boil. Strain, and after you have washed out the kettle, return the liquid gum, and add twelve ounces of pulverized sugar, and two gills of water. Let this boil down to a very thick liquid (evaporation being the safer way, however), so thick that it will pour only very slowly from the kettle. Stir constantly, being careful not to allow it to burn. Then remove from the fire, flavor and color (if desired) and put it aside to settle. Meanwhile, prepare the moulding trays, and make indentations of the usual form for all gum-drops, and when the contents of the kettle are cold, and honey like, carefully skim the surface of the solution, and till the moulds. When they are all filled, sift a little fine sugar or starch powder over the tops, and put them away to harden. Do not disturb them for two or three days, then remove from the powder, and if they are sufficiently firm to bear the handling, put them into a fine sieve, and gently shake until the particles of powder are removed. Then brush them with a broad and very soft brush. When thoroughly dry, they may be crystallized, or left plain.
The usual flavors are Lemon (yellow), Rose (red), Wintergreen (uncolored).
Pulled Cream Candies
As no cream of tartar is added to this variety, the amateur will probably find his or her first attempts, resulting in nothing but a hard and coarse sugary mass. Rapid boiling will lessen this danger. Never stir it; keep the cover on the kettle, removing only to test the progress of the boiling, or to skim off the scum. If the syrup remains clear and colorless, it is probably doing well, but if it begins to look cloudy, and if, upon cooling a spoonful in water, it turns sugary, the candy will quickly grain after being poured out to cool. In this condition it cannot be pulled, so when this trouble occurs, re-weigh the sugar, and make up the quantity with fresh sugar, to cause it to weigh the same as when you began. Add water to it in the proportion of one gill to every half pound of sugar, replace it upon the fire, and boil it over again. Stir it occasionally at first, to dissolve the lumps, but discontinue as soon as it commences to boil.
If all goes well, however, boil rapidly to the soft crack, flavor and pour out to cool. Pull as quickly as possible, until it feels soft and light, when pressed between the fingers. If not pulled long enough, it will be coarse-grained, while on the contrary, if pulled too long, or, if too long a time is taken for the operation, it will sometimes suddenly turn to a sugary powder in your hands, before you can lay it down. This last accident is usually preceded by a peculiar and very noticeable change from a flexible condition, to a heavy and damp appearance. If you observe this, lay the candy down at once, for it will not bear further handling. At other times, it may be pulled from the beginning to the end, without the occurrence of this difficulty.
Draw out into wide, rough, flat bars, or into sticks, or if preferred, bits may be cut from the sticks with shears, thereby forming one variety of drops. Let them remain upon a clean, dry cookie sheet, or platter for a few hours, until they become creamy, then put away in air-tight boxes or jars. If exposed to the air for any length of time, this candy becomes hard, and loses the delicate and melting quality that characterizes it.
Vanilla Cream Candy. One and a half pounds of white sugar, and three gills of water. Boil rapidly to the soft crack, flavor with a teaspoonful of strong extract of vanilla, cool, and then pull until pure white.
Lemon Cream Candy. Same as preceding, but flavored with lemon. Color with tincture of saffron. Pulling changes it to a delicate cream-color.
Orange Cream Candy. The same, flavored with a few drops of extract of orange, or you may use the oil of neroli. Tint it yellow if desired.
Rose Cream Candy. Same, flavored with a few drops of pure attar or extract of rose. Color red. Pulling changes it to a pale rose-pink.
Chocolate Cream Candy. The same, adding during pulling, two ounces of melted plain chocolate. It will turn to a fawn-color during pulling.
Chocolate Caramels. Dissolve one and one half pounds of white sugar in three gills of cream, or very rich milk. Then add three ounces of melted chocolate. Boil rapidly stirring constantly (adding a half teaspoonful of cream of tartar, dissolved in a little hot water, after it has boiled about fifteen minutes), until it reaches the soft crack, or until a little of it, that has been dropped into cold water, will not adhere to the teeth when eaten. Do not boil it until it becomes too hard, however, for the beauty of the Caramel lies in its delicacy. Pour out to cool into wide and shallow cookie or jelly-roll pans, in layers about half an inch thick. Do not scrape the bottom and sides of the kettle when pouring out, for this part may have become grained, and to mix it with the rest, would injure it. Scrape this part into a separate cookie pan, or on one side of the rest of the candy where it will not mingle with it. Have the pans well buttered, and cut the candy into thick squares or small cubes, when nearly cold Use the ruler described earlier in this article to press the lines, rubbing a trace of butter on its edge, if it is inclined to drag the candy. It requires skill to make first class caramels, and they should be made fresh every day when wanted, for they spoil quickly. It is now the regular practice of many confectioners to use paraffin in their caramels, for this preserves their delicacy, retards their tendency to harden, and also keeps them in shape. For every day making, however, paraffin is not used.
Vanilla and Lemon Caramels may be made by flavoring the preceding, with very strong extract of either of the two flavors. Coconut Caramels are made by stirring in at the soft ball, two or three ounces of the very finest grated coconut. Add a little at a time, stirring constantly. If it is poured in, all at once, it is liable to gather into lumps. For Maple Caramels, use pure maple sugar (powdered) in place of the white sugar.
Maple Chocolate Caramels and Maple Coconut Caramels may be made by adding these different articles, the same as foregoing.
Molasses Chocolate Caramels. Boil one pint of New Orleans molasses to the soft crack. Just before pouring out, stir in two ounces of melted chocolate Add one ounce of butter at the soft ball, if you wish. The cream of tartar may be omitted, and it is not necessary to stir this variety,
As all hard-boiled candies retain the heat much longer than those that are boiled only to a lower degree, confectioners during the process of working them, sometimes wear a glove to protect their hands because this variety requires rapid and steady manipulation, to bring it to the proper condition, while still flexible. Work in a warm room, or near a fire. Also, do not pour the scrapings from the kettle, into the mass while cooling, for that portion may be upon the point of graining, and will quickly affect the whole. Do not attempt to make this variety until you have had some experience at candy making. For practice, a small quantity may be boiled to the soft crack only, in which case, it will remain flexible much longer, and thus the art of striping may be learned more easily.
Boil one and one half pounds of the best white sugar to the hard crack, adding at the soft ball, a half teaspoonful of cream of tartar, dissolved in a little hot water. Keep the cover on the kettle, and boil over a brisk fire. If the sticks are to be clear and transparent, add the flavor and color before pouring out to cool, but if they are to be made of pulled candy, this may be done afterward. Pour out to cool, in well buttered tins. Do not allow it to cool too long, for it must be worked while still soft, because it stiffens very rapidly, when cold.
Clear Sticks. Flavor and color with the least possible stirring necessary to thoroughly mix it, before pouring out to cool. When the candy can be handled, take it up, and shape it into a thick, round, form. Lay this upon a smooth, level surface, (which may be rubbed with a slightly buttered rag), and with a smooth, flat board, or with the hands, roll the mass backwards and forwards a few times, until it becomes perfectly round. Do not press too heavily upon the roll with the board, or it will flatten it, and make it troublesome to roll. Now draw this out between the hands, until it is drawn into the proper size for sticks, cut into convenient lengths, and then, roll each one until it becomes round and even in size. Cut into sticks of about four inches long, by striking with a sharp knife, at the proper distance. The candy should not be too soft, nor should it be too stiff. In the first condition, it will adhere to the roller board, and in the second condition, it cannot be easily rolled. Experience will teach all this, and also how to overcome these difficulties.
Pulled Round Sticks. The candy is pulled until it becomes pure white, but cease pulling before it becomes too stiff to handle. Pull rapidly, and draw in the flavoring, by pouring a little strong extract, or flavoring oil into the mass, as you begin to pull it. It may be tinted in the same way, if desired. Draw out into a thick roll and with the board or hands, roll it perfectly round in form. Draw out again, cut into convenient lengths, roll and cut into sticks.
Striping Round Sticks. Reserve a portion of the boiled sugar separate from the rest (do not use the scrapings of the kettle, however, for this purpose), and color it bright, clear red, with as little stirring as will thoroughly mix it, then set it aside in a moderately warm place, where it will remain flexible until required. It must not be kept too soft, however, or you cannot use it when the time comes. Pull the rest of the candy, adding flavoring, etc., according to the rule for Pulled Sticks, and form into a thick roll. Now, keeping this large roll where it will remain flexible, quickly divide the red striping int6 small portions (you will soon learn the quantity required to make stripes of different widths), and roll them into slender sticks, of the same length as the large roll. Lay these slender strips upon the large roll, pressing them in slightly. Use one, two, or more, according to the kind of sticks you are making, having some stripes wide, and some narrow, and so on. Put them side by side, (but not touching each other), on the upper side of the large roll. Now draw out the roll a little, then cut it into two portions, and lay them side by side, with the striped sides on the outside, in every case. Press them firmly together, twist evenly, draw out into convenient lengths, roll perfectly even and round, then cut into sticks. This may seem easy, but unless the candy is flexible, it cannot be done with regularity, nor will it present an even appearance, when finished.
Flat Sticks. These are sometimes drawn out by hand, or they are passed through rolls that flatten them like a ribbon. They may also be made, by pouring the candy out to cool, in well buttered, broad and shallow pans, then with a ruler of the same length as the pan, press lines upon the surface of the candy, at equal distances (as wide as you wish the sticks to be), and then they may be broken apart when entirely cold.
Anise, body clear, colored red, striped with four, fine white lines; Cinnamon, body pulled, colored pink, striped with three or four lines of clear red ; Cloves, body clear, or pulled just enough to give it a cloudy appearance, colored yellow, striped with two broad stripes of white; Lemon, body clear, untinted, striped with white ; Rose, body pulled, colored pink, striped with clear red ; Peppermint, body white, pulled, striped with two broad, clear red stripes ; Sassafras, body white, pulled, striped with two yellow and red narrow lines; Vanilla, body white, pulled, with clear red center, and white outside; Wintergreen, body pulled white, striped with two or three narrow lines, etc., etc.
Fancy Sticks. These are made by combining two or more colors, and -the variety is endless. For instance the preceding Vanilla sticks are made, by first rolling a stick from clear red candy, and then wrapping an outer coating made from white, around the red center, drawing out, rolling, and so on, thus forming one style of fancy stick. Other colors, such as pulled pink, with clear yellow center, are very pretty, and any combination that may suggest itself to your mind, may be tried, with pleasing results.
Drops, Squares, Cough Candies, Etc.
Pulled Drops. To make these drops, cut with strong sharp shears, bits of equal width from the ends of long sticks (see section on Stick Candy), before they become too stiff. The combinations are almost endless, and by exercising a little ingenuity and forethought, you can make a variety, from but one boiling of sugar.
Transparent Drops. Same foundation as for sticks, only that the candy is not pulled, the coloring and flavoring being added with the least possible handling. Directions for the management of transparent candies will be found earlier in this article. The flavors commonly used are Anise (red); Lemon (yellow); and Mint (uncolored.)
Round Drops. As these are moulded by a machine they cannot be made at home without the proper tools. They are made from both pulled, and transparent candy.
Transparent Squares. Flavor and color, with as little stirring as will thoroughly mix it, and pour it out to cool in broad and shallow well-buttered tin pans, or trays, in sheets from an eighth, to a quarter of an inch in thickness. When nearly cold, mark with the ruler, straight lines across from one side of the pan to the other, then cross these, with lines running in the opposite direction. Press nearly through to the bottom of the pan. Butter the edges of the ruler if it is inclined to adhere to the candy. When the candy is perfectly cold, turn the pan upside down, and the contents will fall out, and they may then be carefully broken apart. This form is extensively used for cough candies.
Cough Drops or Squares
Flaxseed. Boil slowly (or simmer) in a closely covered vessel, for fifteen or twenty minutes, a quarter of an ounce of fresh, clean, whole flaxseed, and two gills of water. When slightly cool (but not cold), strain through coarse cotton cloth, or a fine wire strainer, and add sufficient water to replace that lost in boiling (that is, enough to bring it up to the two gills, again), and add one pound of either white, or the best yellow sugar, and boil to the hard crack, adding a pinch of cream of tartar at the soft ball. As this candy is so mucilaginous, there is danger of its burning. It may be stirred, if you do not object to having it grained after it is finished. Many persons prefer it that way, but if you wish it to be transparent, it should not be stirred at all.
Horehound. Follow the same directions given for the preceding, substituting a quarter ounce of dried horehound leaves.
Iceland Moss. The same, substituting a quarter ounce of well washed, Iceland moss. Even after repeated washings, this moss will often retain a bitter taste that cannot be prevented.
Slippery Elm Bark. Use a half an ounce of the sound bark, cut into small pieces.
Liquorice. Use half an ounce of the sound roots, cut into bits, or crushed by pounding with a hammer.
Barley. Wash thoroughly half an ounce of pearl barley Then boil same as foregoing.
Do not fail to remember that these decoctions are not to be boiled rapidly. They should be allowed to boil gently, or, as was said at the commencement, to simmer.
These Pastes are cooked by a process called evaporation. This is done, by placing a kettle containing boiling water over a slow fire where it will be kept at the boiling point. Within this kettle, is placed another of smaller size, containing the substance to be boiled. It is a slow and tiresome process, because this substance which is to be cooked, must be stirred constantly from beginning to end, and it cooks very slowly. Replace the water in the outer kettle as it boils away, but do not pour in enough to run over into the inner kettle. Also, see that it does not entirely boil away, or the contents of the inner kettle will be burned.
Jujube Paste Dissolve half a pound of gum arabic (that which is coarsely powdered, dissolving more rapidly than the finely pulverized), in three gills of warm water. Strain, and add half a pound of white sugar. Flavor with Lemon (color yellow); or with Wintergreen (color red). Evaporate (stirring all the time) to a very thick liquid, then pour into slightly buttered plates, or trays, in sheets a quarter or a third of an inch thick. When cold, cut with sharp shears into strips, squares, diamonds or any other form that you may prefer. Sometimes a decoction of jujubes is included in this recipe (omitting an equal quantity of water), but Wood’s “Dispensatory” says, that the addition of the jujubes is of no particular value, and that most of the so-called Jujube Pastes contain nothing but gum, sugar, and water.
Fig Paste. Boil over the regular fire, half a pound of fresh and soured figs, cut into small bits, in about a pint of water. More water may be added if this boils away. When the figs become soft, strain by pressure, through a sieve or strainer, and boil the liquid down to measure two gills. Then stir in one and a half pounds of white sugar. Evaporate this to a thick pasty mass, and then pour into a suitable box or pan.
In the bottom of this box or pan, should be placed sheets, or strips of white paper. These strips or sheets should be long enough to project an inch or two from each end, and from both sides, as well. Then when cold, by taking hold of the paper with both hands, the thick block of paste may be lifted from the pan without difficulty, and may be cut into sections. Roll each section in sugar dust. If the paper adheres to the bottom of the mass, it may be removed by dampening it slightly, then tearing it off.
White Nougat. Blanch half a pound of fresh and sound, sweet almonds, by throwing them (after they have been shelled) into scalding water where they should remain for a few seconds ; then their rough, inner coating, may be easily rubbed off with the fingers. They may then be chopped, if desired, or be left whole. Now, put four ounces of genuine white honey into a small kettle, which is to be placed in another kettle, containing boiling water. Set over fire, and boil the honey to the soft ball. It is not necessary to stir this. Then stir in one ounce of sugar dust, and the well beaten white of one egg. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until it will not adhere to the fingers when touched. Then stir in the almonds, until they are thoroughly incorporated. Remove from the fire, and pour into box or tray using the sheets of paper, same as for the preceding recipe. Place heavy weights over the top to press it down firmly, and let it stand until cold. Then cut into thick blocks, with a sharp knife and dust each block with sugar.
Vanilla Nougat may be made from the foregoing, by flavoring strongly with vanilla ; Lemon, by flavoring with lemon, and coloring with yellow ; Rose, by flavoring with rose, and coloring pink, and Chocolate, by stirring in, just before adding the almonds, two ounces of melted sweet, or plain chocolate.
Marshmallow Paste. Dissolve by heating over slow fire (stirring all the time) four ounces of granulated gum arabic, in one and a half gills (six ounces) of water. Strain when completely dissolved. Now, make a decoction of marshmallows by boiling three quarters of an ounce of the sound roots (rejecting any that are moldy, or wormy), in about a gill of water, for ten or fifteen minutes or more. This should simmer rather than boil, and the vessel should have a closely fitting cover. Then strain, boil the liquid down until it measures halt a gill (two ounces) and add it to the gum solution, also stirring in four ounces of white sugar. Evaporate, stirring constantly, until it becomes a thick paste, that will not adhere to the fingers when touched. Then stir in the well beaten whites of two eggs, and continue stirring for a moment or two longer, then pour out and follow directions given for Fig Paste. It may be flavored with Vanilla or Lemon if desired.
To crystallize Creams, Bonbons, Gum Drops, Fig Paste, etc., first free them from any sugar or starch that may adhere to them from the moulds in which they were cast, and see that they are perfectly dry. Place them in tin pans, upon their edges, with their corners just touching one another (to allow the crystallizing solution free access to every part), until the bottoms of the pans are covered with a layer of them. The pans should be immaculately clean, and there should be but one layer of candies in each one.
To prepare the crystallizing solution, boil sugar and water to about the feather, allowing one gill of water to every half pound of the purest, high-grade sugar. Remove from the fire, and lay a damp cloth (cut to fit) over the surface of the solution, and allow it to stand until cool, being careful not to shake or disturb it. When it is so cool that there will be no danger of its melting the candies, remove the cloth, and gently pour the clear liquor over the candies, until they are completely covered, but not too deep, or they will be likely to float. Lay upon the surface, dampened pieces of cloth or paper cut to fit the pans, and with the greatest care to avoid any jarring, place the pans in a moderately warm place, where the thermometer records 70 degrees as the average temperature, but do not allow it to rise above 80, or the candies will be in danger of melting in the pans. Under one corner of the cloth or paper covers thrust a little stick or broom splinter; this may be withdrawn and examined, from time to time, to learn the progress and size of the crystals. Do not jar the pan in any way, as that will inevitably cause uneven crystals. Sometimes they are slow in forming, occasionally not appearing for sixteen or twenty hours, while at other times the candies will be covered with a sufficient coating within six or eight hours. The longer it remains, the larger will be the crystals, but for Bonbons, etc., only sufficient coating is required, to give them a sparkling appearance, when dry. When you are satisfied that the coating is right, cut a small hole in one corner of the cover in each pan, and raise one corner of the pan gently until the superfluous syrup has run out, and then leave them in this position to drain and dry. Do not remove from the pans until they are perfectly dry, which will take a day or so, then a quick, sharp, jar against a table, will loosen them, so that they will fall out, and may be broken apart with the lingers. A little of the red color, added to the solution when taken from the lire, will produce Red Crystals, while tincture of saffron, will cause yellow, or Amber Crystals.
Red or Pink Sand. Take half a pound (or any convenient quantity) of dry, white sugar, either fine or coarse, as you wish the sugar sand to be when finished. Put it into a perfectly clean and dry bowl. Pour in a few drops of the red color, using more or less, according to the tint desired, and with the hands or a spoon, work the color evenly through the sugar. If the color is not as deep as is required, add a drop or two more. Avoid adding too much at a time, for it is an easy matter to overdo it. Set away to dry, stirring it a little, occasionally, to break up any lumps that may form. Yellow or Cream-color Sand is made in the same way, using a little strong tincture of saffron to color; using more or less, according to the depth of color desired.
White Icing. Mix thoroughly, the white of egg and the finest sugar dust, to the consistency of a thin dough or paste. Spread it over the article to be iced, with a thin bladed knife, and allow it to remain undisturbed until it hardens. This icing may be flavored with Lemon or Vanilla. For Chocolate Icing, stir in a sufficient quantity of melted chocolate. For Coconut stir in some finely grated coconut. It may be tinted Yellow with saffron ; Cream-Color, by using less of the saffron ; Red, with the red color, and Pink by using a smaller quantity of the same.
Pop Corn Balls. Boil any convenient quantity of New Orleans molasses, to about the soft ball. Then have ready a quantity of freshly parched (popped) corn, selecting only the kernels that are full and white, rejecting any that are scorched, or half parched. (You may use microwaved popcorn, ensuring there are no un-popped kernels. Use only “Lite and Natural”, which has the least oil and salt.) Put these into a large tin pan, and pour a little of the boiled molasses over them. Work it through the corn, gently, with the spatulas or large wooden spoons, adding more, as it gradually becomes thoroughly mixed with the corn. If you wish to insure making balls of equal size, it is best to measure the quantity for each one. Take a pint measure, fill it with the sticky corn, then empty it, and squeeze the corn into a ball between the hands, pressing it firmly. Set aside to harden, and proceed with the rest.
Red and White Corn Balls. Boil one pound of white sugar with two gill of water, to about the hard ball. Use this to stir into the parched (popped) corn, in place of the molasses. If Red Balls are desired, stir a few drops of red color into the corn, mixing it in with the hands ; also add color to the sugar solution before mixing it with the corn.
Corn Cake. This is made from finely chopped corn, that is mixed with either the sugar or molasses, according o the preceding recipe. It is then passed between heavy rollers, that instantly press it into a thick, flat cake. It be made at home, by putting it into a suitable shallow box or frame, and then placing heavy weights upon it Let it remain undisturbed until thoroughly dry.
Candied Fruits and Nuts. For Oranges, select such as are sweet, and remove the peel. Then carefully remove the thick, white, inner covering, and separate the fruit into its natural divisions, being careful to keep these whole and sound. Any that are torn or broken, should not be used. Allow these divisions to remain spread out on a sieve over night m order that their surface may become slightly dry, but do not let them become too hard. Boil one pound of white sugar and two gills of water to the hard crack, adding a pinch of cream of tartar (dissolved) at the soft ball. Dip each of the orange sections into the syrup (while it is warm), holding it with fine tweezers, or by running a fine wire through its hard thin edge. Drain off the superfluous syrup, and lay them side by side (but not touching one another) upon a slightly buttered platter, or tin. In dipping Cherries, stem serves as a handle Grapes may be dipped in small clusters of twos and threes, and then suspended or strung upon cords, to allow the syrup to drain from them Apricots, Dates, Figs, Raisins, Prunes, Currants, etc, may all be coated in the same manner.
Fruits and Nuts glace. Boil one pound of the best white sugar in two gills of water, to about the thread, then set aside to cool for a moment or two. Have the fruits or nuts at hand, and everything convenient, for the operation must be done quickly. Now, with a wooden spoon or spatula, begin to rub and scrape the sugar against the sides of the kettle. Rub in one place only, and as this portion begins to turn milky or white in appearance, stir it into the body of the sugar, and quickly dip the articles to be glazed, into it, two or three at a time, rolling them around with a fork until they are coat. Then lift (using two forks, if easier to manage) them gently placing them upon a fine wire sieve, being careful not to scrape and rub the sugar solution too long, it will stiffen.