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Woman's Institute Library of Cookery Volume 5: Fruit and Fruit Desserts; Canning and Drying; Jelly Making, Preserving and Pickling; Confections; Beverages; the Planning of Meals online

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is obtained by adding glucose in sufficient amounts; since it does not
crystallize, the cane sugar is prevented from becoming sugary.

27. The acids most commonly used for this purpose are cream of tartar,
acetic acid, vinegar, which has acetic acid for its basis, and lemon
juice, which has citric acid for its basis. With each pound of sugar, it
will be necessary to use 1/8 teaspoonful of cream of tartar, 1 or 2
drops of acetic acid, or 1 tablespoonful of vinegar or lemon juice in
order to prevent crystallization. Lemon juice and vinegar are much more
likely to flavor the candy than are cream of tartar and acetic acid.
Often, if a fine-grained creamy candy is desired, a small amount of one
of these acids is used. Even in small quantities, they will prevent the
coarse-grained crystallization that is the natural result of the cooking
and stirring of the cane sugar when nothing is done to prevent it.


FOOD MATERIALS

28. In addition to the ingredients already mentioned, there are a number
of materials that may be used in the making of candy to provide food
value and at the same time give variety and improve the flavor and
appearance of the candy. Chief among these materials are coconut, cocoa,
chocolate, nuts, candied and dried fruits, milk, cream, butter, etc.
Their value in candy depends on their use, so it is well to understand
their nature and the methods of using them.

29. COCONUT. - Either shredded or ground coconut is often used in candy
to give it flavor or variety. Coconut for this purpose may be secured in
a number of forms. A coconut itself may be purchased, cracked open to
remove the flesh, and then prepared either by grating it or by grinding
it. This will be found to be very delicious and preferable to any other
kind. However, if it is not desired to prepare the coconut in the home,
this material may be purchased shredded in boxes or in cans. That which
comes in boxes is usually somewhat dry and is often found to be quite
hard. The canned varieties remain soft, since the shredded coconut is
mixed with the milk of the coconut, but these have the disadvantage of
not keeping very well. Any coconut that becomes too dry for use may be
softened by steaming it.

30. COCOA AND CHOCOLATE. - In the making of confections, cocoa and
chocolate are used extensively for both flavoring and coating. Either of
them may be used for flavoring purposes, but chocolate is always
preferable, because it has a richer, deeper flavor than cocoa. Bitter
chocolate should be used in preference to any kind of sweet chocolate.
When it is to be cooked with candy for flavoring, it may be added to the
other ingredients in pieces and allowed to melt during the cooking. It
is often used without cooking, however, as when it is added to material
that is to be used as centers for bonbons or opera creams. In such an
event, it is first melted over steam or hot water and then worked into
the candy.

31. When desired for coating, chocolate that is sweetened is usually
employed, although many persons are fond of creams that have a bitter
coating. Sometimes a bitter-sweet coating, that is, a slightly sweetened
chocolate, is used, and for most purposes a coating of this kind is
preferred. Such chocolate must usually be purchased from a store where
confectioner's supplies are sold or from a candy-making establishment.
Milk chocolate and very sweet coatings may also be purchased for
coating, but the eating chocolate that is sold in bars will not produce
satisfactory results, and so should never be used for coating purposes.

32. CANDIED AND DRIED FRUITS. - Many varieties of candied or crystallized
fruits and flowers find a place in the making of confections. Sometimes
they are used as an ingredient, while other times they are added to
bonbons and chocolates merely for decorative purposes. Again, they are
often used in boxes of fancy candies that are packed to sell at some
special event or to give away. They are somewhat expensive to purchase,
but if they are properly used they add such an appetizing touch and
produce such gratifying and delightful results that the expenditure for
them is well justified. Many of these may be prepared in the home with a
certain degree of satisfaction.

33. The two candied fruits most frequently used are candied pineapple
and candied cherries, but, in addition to these candied apricots,
peaches, pears, limes, lemons, and oranges are often found in the
market. Cherries preserved in maraschino wine and creme de menthe add
attractive touches of color to candies and make delicious confections
when coated with bonbon cream or chocolate.

34. Crystallized violets, rose petals, and mint leaves are used
frequently in the preparation of confections. They are added merely for
decoration and make very attractive candies. They can usually be
purchased in confectionery stores.

35. Several varieties of dried fruits, chief among which are dates,
figs, and raisins, are useful in the making of confections. They have
the advantage of not requiring complicated manipulation, and at the same
time they lend themselves to a number of delicious confections that may
often be eaten by persons who cannot eat anything so rich as candy.
Children can usually partake of confections made of these fruits without
harm when candy would disagree with them.

36. NUTS. - Nuts of various kinds probably have more extensive use in the
making of confections than any other class of foods. In fact, there are
few kinds of candy that cannot be much improved by the addition of nuts.
Halves of such nuts as English walnuts and pecans are frequently used by
being pressed into the outside of bonbons and chocolates. Then, too,
pieces of various kinds of nuts are used with a filling for coated
candies. Such nuts as almonds, filberts, walnuts, and peanuts are often
covered singly or in clusters with the same chocolate coating that is
used to coat creams. Pistachio nuts, which are light green in color, are
either chopped or used in halves on chocolates or bonbons.

37. When nuts are not desired whole for confections, they should never
be put through a food chopper; rather, they should always be broken up
by being cut or chopped with a knife. The simplest way in which to cut
them is to spread the nuts in a single layer on a board and then with a
sharp knife press down on them, having one hand on the back of the knife
near the point and the other on the handle and rocking the knife back
and forth across the nuts until they are as fine as desired. They may
also be chopped in a chopping bowl or cut one at a time with a small,
sharp knife.

38. Salted nuts, while not a confection in the true sense of the word,
are closely related to confections, since they are used for the same
purpose. For this reason, it seems advisable to give the methods of
preparing them in connection with the preparation of confections.

39. POP CORN. - An excellent confection and one that always appeals to
children may be made from pop corn. This variety of Indian corn has
small kernels with or without sharp points. To prepare it for
confections; the kernels, or grains, are removed from the ears and then
exposed to heat in a corn popper or a covered pan. When they become
sufficiently hot, they pop, or explode; that is, they rupture their
yellow coat and turn inside out. The popped kernels may be eaten in this
form by merely being salted or they may be treated with various sugar
preparations in the ways explained later.

40. MILK, CREAM, AND BUTTER. - Milk is extensively used in the making of
candy, both to obtain a certain flavor and to secure a particular
consistency. Skim milk may be used for this purpose, but the richer the
milk, the better will be the flavor of the finished candy. Cream, of
course, makes the most delicious candy, but as it is usually expensive,
it greatly increases the cost of the confection. Butter may be used with
milk to obtain a result similar to that secured by the use of cream. If
skim milk is used, butter should by all means be added, for it greatly
improves the flavor of the candy. In any recipe requiring milk,
condensed or evaporated milk may be substituted with very satisfactory
results. These milks may be diluted as much as is desired.

Besides providing flavor, milk, cream, and butter add food value to the
confections in which they are used. Most of this is in the form of fat,
a food substance that is not supplied by any other ingredients, except
perhaps chocolate and nuts. They are therefore particularly valuable and
should always be used properly in order that the most good may be
derived from them.

41. The chief problem in the use of milk is to keep it from curding and,
if curding takes place, to prevent the curds from settling and burning
during the boiling. When maple sirup, molasses, or other substances that
are liable to curdle milk are to be cooked with the milk, a little soda
should be added or, if possible, the milk should be heated well before
it is put in. When it can be done, the milk should be cooked with the
sugar before the ingredients likely to make it curdle are added.

In case the milk does curdle, the mixture should be treated at once, or
the result will be very unsatisfactory. The best plan consists in
beating the mixture rapidly with a rotary egg beater in order to break
up the curds as fine as possible, and then stirring it frequently during
the boiling to keep the milk from settling and burning. As this stirring
is a disadvantage in the making of candy, every precaution should be
taken to prevent the curding of the milk.


EQUIPMENT FOR CONFECTION MAKING

42. The utensils for candy making are few in number and simple in
nature. As with all of the more elaborate foods, the fancy candies
require slightly more unusual equipment, and even for the more ordinary
kinds it is possible to buy convenient utensils that will make results a
little more certain. But, as illustrated in Fig. 1, which shows the
general equipment for confection making, practically all the utensils
required are to be found in every kitchen.

[Illustration: FIG. 1]

43. To boil the confectionery ingredients, a saucepan or a kettle is
required. This may be made of copper or aluminum or of any of the
various types of enamelware that are used for cooking utensils. One
important requirement is that the surface of the pan be perfectly
smooth. A pan that has become rough from usage or an enamelware pan that
is chipped should not be used for the boiling of candy.

The size of the utensil to use depends on the kind and the amount of the
mixture to be boiled. A sugar-and-water mixture does not require a pan
much larger in size than is necessary to hold the mixture itself, for it
does not expand much in boiling. However, a mixture containing milk,
condensed milk, cream, or butter should be cooked in a pan much larger
than is needed for the same quantity of sugar and water, for such a
mixture expands greatly and is liable to boil over. The necessary size
of the pan to be used should be overestimated rather than
underestimated. In the cooking of candy, just as in the cooking of other
foods, the surface exposed to the heat and the depth of the material to
be cooked affect the rapidity of cooking and evaporation. Consequently,
if rapid evaporation and quick cooking are desired, a pan that is broad
and comparatively shallow should be used, rather than one that is
narrow and deep.

44. Measuring cups and spoons, a spoon for stirring, and a knife are, of
course, essential in making confections. Then, too, it is often
convenient to have a metal spatula and a wooden spoon or spatula. When
these utensils are made of wood, they are light in weight and
consequently excellent for stirring and beating. If egg whites are used
in the preparation of a confection, an egg whip is needed. When candy
must be poured into a pan to harden, any variety of pan may be used, but
generally one having square corners is the most satisfactory. Then if
the candy is cut into squares, none of it will be wasted in the cutting.

45. A thermometer that registers as high as 300 or 400 degrees
Fahrenheit is a valuable asset in candy making when recipes giving the
temperature to which the boiling must be carried are followed. A degree
of accuracy can be obtained in this way by the inexperienced candy maker
that cannot be matched with the usual tests. A small thermometer may be
used, but the larger the thermometer, the easier will it be to determine
the degrees on the mercury column. A new thermometer should always be
tested to determine its accuracy. To do this, stand the thermometer in a
small vessel of warm water, place the vessel over a flame, and allow the
water to boil. If the thermometer does not register 212 degrees at
boiling, the number of degrees more or less must be taken into account
whenever the thermometer is used. For instance, if the thermometer
registers 208 degrees at boiling and a recipe requires candy to be
boiled to 238 degrees, it will be necessary to boil the candy to 234
degrees because the thermometer registers 4 degrees lower than
it should.

46. The double boiler also finds a place in candy making. For melting
chocolate, coating for bonbons, or fondant for reception wafers, a
utensil of this kind is necessary. One that will answer the purpose very
well may be improvised by putting a smaller pan into a larger one
containing water. In using one of this kind, however, an effort should
be made to have the pans exactly suited to each other in size;
otherwise, the water in the lower pan will be liable to splash into the
pan containing the material that is being heated.

For the coating of bonbons, a coating fork, which is merely a thin wire
twisted to make a handle with a loop at one end, is the most convenient
utensil to use. However, this is not satisfactory for coating with
chocolate, a different method being required for this material.

47. A number of candies, such as fondant, bonbon creams, and cream
centers for chocolates, can be made much more satisfactorily if, after
they are boiled, they are poured on a flat surface to cool. Such
treatment permits them to cool as quickly as possible in a comparatively
thin layer and thus helps to prevent crystallization. When only a small
amount of candy is to be made, a large platter, which is the easiest
utensil to procure, produces fairly good results. For larger amounts,
as, for instance, when candy is being made to sell, some more convenient
arrangement must be made. The most satisfactory thing that has been
found for cooling purposes is a marble slab such as is found on an
old-fashioned table or dresser. If one of these is not available, and
the kitchen or pastry table has a vitrolite or other heavy top
resembling porcelain, this will make a very good substitute.

48. To prevent the hot candy from running off after it is poured on a
slab or any similar flat surface, a device of some kind should be
provided. A very satisfactory one consists of four metal bars about 3/4
to 1 inch in width and thickness and as long as desired to fit the slab,
but usually about 18 inches in length. They may be procured from a
factory where steel and iron work is done, or they may be purchased from
firms selling candy-making supplies. These bars are merely placed on top
of the slab or flat surface with the corners carefully fitted and the
candy is then poured in the space between the bars. When it is desired
to pour out fudge, caramels, and similar candies to harden before
cutting, the metal bars may be fitted together and then placed on the
slab in such a way as to be most convenient. Fudge, however, may be
cooled satisfactorily in the pan in which it is cooked if the cooling is
done very rapidly.

49. A satisfactory cooling slab may be improvised by fastening four
pieces of wood together so as to fit the outside edge of the slab and
extend an inch or more above the surface. If such a device is used,
plaster of Paris should be poured around the edge of the slab to fill
any space between the wood and the slab. In using a slab or similar
surface for purposes of this kind, a point that should be remembered is
that a part of it should never be greased, but should be reserved for
the cooling of fondant and certain kinds of center creams, which require
only a moistened surface.

50. Many of the candies that are turned out on a flat surface must be
worked to make them creamy. For this purpose, nothing is quite so
satisfactory as a putty knife or a wallpaper scraper. If a platter is
used, a putty knife is preferable, for it has a narrower blade than a
wallpaper scraper; but where candy is made in quantity and a large slab
is used, the larger scraper does the work better. For use with a
platter, a spoon is perhaps the best utensil when a putty knife is not
in supply.

51. Scales are valuable in candy making because they permit exact
measurements to be made. However, they are not an actual necessity, for
almost all recipes give the ingredients by measure, and even if this is
not done, they may be purchased in the desired weight or transposed into
equivalent measure. Scales, of course, are required if it is desired to
weigh out candy in small amounts or in boxes after it is made.

52. Waxed paper is a valuable addition to candy-making supplies, there
being many occasions for its use. For instance, caramels and certain
other candies must be wrapped and waxed paper is the most suitable kind
for this purpose. Then, too, chocolate-coated candies and bonbons must
be placed on a smooth surface to which they will not stick. Waxed paper
is largely used for this purpose, although candy makers often prefer
white oilcloth, because its surface is ideal and it can be cleansed and
used repeatedly. Often a candy- or cracker-box lining that has been
pressed smooth with a warm iron may be utilized. For such purposes, as
when reception wafers are to be dropped, it is necessary that the
surface of the paper used be absolutely unwrinkled.

* * * * *

PROCEDURE IN CONFECTION MAKING

COOKING THE MIXTURE

53. WEATHER CONDITIONS. - If uniformly good results are desired in candy
making, certain points that determine the success or failure of many
candies, although seemingly unimportant, must be observed. Among these,
weather conditions form such a large factor that they cannot be
disregarded. A cool, clear day, when the atmosphere is fairly dry, is
the ideal time for the making of all kinds of candies. Warm weather is
not favorable, because the candy does not cool rapidly enough after
being cooked. Damp weather is very bad for the making of such candies as
the creamy ones that are made with egg white and that are desired to be
as soft as possible and still in condition to handle. In view of these
facts, candy should be made preferably on days when the weather is
favorable if the element of uncertainty, so far as results are
concerned, would be eliminated.

54. COMBINING THE SUGAR AND LIQUID. - The proportion of liquid and sugar
to use in making candy varies to some extent with the kind of
ingredients used and with the quantity of candy being made. In the
making of quantities up to several pounds, the usual proportion is
_one-third as much liquid as sugar_, but with larger amounts of sugar
the quantity of liquid may be slightly decreased.

With the quantities decided on, mix the sugar and liquid and put them
over the fire to boil. Stir at first to prevent the sugar from settling
and burning, continuing the stirring either constantly or at intervals
until the boiling begins. At this point, discontinue the stirring if
possible. Mixtures that do not contain milk usually require no further
stirring, and many times stirring is unnecessary even in those which do
contain milk; but whenever any stirring is required, as little as
possible should be done. The rule that applies in this connection is
that the sugar should be entirely dissolved before the boiling begins
and that all unnecessary agitation should then cease.

55. BOILING THE MIXTURE. - When the mixture begins to boil, wash down the
sides of the kettle with a small cloth wet with clean water. This
treatment should not be omitted if especially nice candy is desired, for
it removes all undissolved sugar and helps to prevent crystallization
later. In case merely sugar and water make up the ingredients, a cover
may be placed on the kettle; then the steam that is retained will keep
any sirup that may splash on the sides from crystallizing. This cannot
be done, however, with mixtures containing milk and butter, for they
will in all probability boil over.

56. The boiling of candy should be carried on quickly, for slow boiling
often proves a disadvantage. A sugar-and-water mixture may, of course,
be boiled more rapidly than any other kind, because there is not the
danger of its boiling over nor of burning before the water is evaporated
that there is with a mixture containing material that may settle and
burn. It should be remembered that candy does not begin to burn until
the water has entirely evaporated.

57. The length of time candy should boil is also a matter to which
attention should be given. This depends somewhat on the kind that is
being made, but largely on the rapidity with which the boiling is
carried on. Thus, to time the boiling of candy is the most uncertain way
of determining when the boiling has continued long enough. The
inaccuracy of measurement, the size and shape of the pan, and the rate
of speed in boiling cause a variation in the time required.
Consequently, it would be rather difficult for the same person to get
identical conditions twice and much more difficult for two persons to
produce the same results.

58. TESTING CANDY. - Since accurate results cannot be obtained by timing
the boiling of candy, other tests must be found that will be reliable.
As has already been stated, a thermometer is perhaps the most accurate
means that can be adopted for this purpose. However, if one is not
available, the testing of a small quantity of the hot mixture by cooling
it in cold water will be found to be fairly accurate. Ice water is not
necessary nor particularly desirable for this kind of testing. In fact,
water just as it comes from the faucet is the best, as it is quickly
obtained and its temperature will not vary greatly except in very hot or
very cold weather. Of course, to make an extremely accurate test of this
kind, it would be necessary always to have the water at the same
temperature, a condition that can be determined only by testing the
temperature, but such accuracy is not usually required.

If the thermometer is used, all that need be done is to insert it into
the candy and allow it to remain there until the temperature is
registered. In case it does not reach the right temperature the first
time, keep the mixture boiling until it registers the temperature that
is decided on as the correct one.

59. To test the mixture by the water method, allow it to boil almost
long enough to be done, and then try it at close intervals when it is
nearing the end of the boiling. Dip a little of the sirup into a spoon
and drop it slowly into a cup containing a little water. Not much sirup
is needed for the test, a few drops being sufficient. Gather the drops
together with the tips of the fingers and judge from the ball that forms
whether the candy has boiled sufficiently or not. If the ball is not of
the right consistency, boil the candy a little longer, and test again.
Be sure, however, to get fresh water for each test. When the candy is
nearing the final test, and it is thought that the mixture has boiled
enough, remove the pan from the heat while the test is being made so
that the boiling will not be continued too long.

60. To assist in making the tests for candy properly, Table I is given.
This table shows both the water test and the corresponding temperature
test for the representative variety of the leading classes of candies.
In each one of these classes there are, of course, a number of varieties
which may cause a slight variation in some of the tests, but on the
whole these tests are uniform and can be relied on for practically
all candies.

TABLE I

TESTS FOR REPRESENTATIVE CLASSES OF CANDY

Classes Water Test Temperature Test
Degrees Fahrenheit
Center Cream......Soft ball 234 to 236
Fudge.............Firm ball 238 to 240
Caramels..........Hard ball 246 to 248
Taffies..........Brittle ball 256 to 260

When candy is cooked long enough to form a _soft ball_, it can just be


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Online LibraryWoman's Institute of Domestic Arts and SciencesWoman's Institute Library of Cookery Volume 5: Fruit and Fruit Desserts; Canning and Drying; Jelly Making, Preserving and Pickling; Confections; Beverages; the Planning of Meals → online text (page 15 of 27)