What Every Candymaker Wants To Know

IMG_0001 1971 culinary arts

Well, where the sugar is, for one thing. Only that is not what the Culinary Arts Encyclopedic Cookbook (1971) means, precisely. They mean that you want to know how to jazz up your boring old candy with food colorings, nuts, coconut (yay, coconut work!), glacé syrup all over it. And also “making fascinating designs with pulled sugar or gossamer nests of spun sugar [which] lift a candymaker from the mediocre class.”

What if you made boring designs with the pulled sugar, or your spun-sugar nests were a little – twiggy looking? You’ll be held back to repeat the medoicre class, that’s what. But to tell you the truth, the Skuse’s Complete Confectioner from yesterday is really for the professionals. I was going to give you some more of those recipes, but you sort of need a starch machine and a Cream or Bonbon Warmer and, well, all sorts of things. And even though a Bonbon Warmer sounds fun, I don’t think I can get one at Wal-Mart or even Williams-Sonoma.

So today we will be making some candy with Ruth Berolzheimer & Co. I love the photo above, by the way. I’ll bet “the results are a joy forever” – if you like cleaning your kitchen again and again and never quite getting all the sugar off. Or if you plan to keep the spun sugar under glass on the mantelpiece.

Jam Sandwiches

Cut fondant into small squares, putting two squares together with a little strawberry or raspberry jam. Dip in melted chocolate.

Baked Fruit Fudge

2 Tbs butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
2 squares chocolate, melted
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp orange extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup dates, raisins, figs, candied pineapple or cherries, chopped

Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the beaten egg yolks, melted chocolate, and extracts; beat well. Thoroughly bend in the flour and fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites Pour over the fruit arranged in a buttered baking pan and bake for avbout 30 minutes in a  slow oven (300 degrees). When cool, cut in squares.

I can’t resist this final recipe, since I always like recipes with strange names. I understand why it is called this, technically (sort of like the Krunchy Goo – it’s crunchy and it’s gooey) – it will stick to your teeth and by inference, to your jaw. But why would you put the lockjaw imagery into people’s minds in the first place?

Stick-Jaw

3 cups granulated sugar
3 cups brown sugar
6 Tbs glucose
4 cups water
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups shredded coconut

Place the sugars, glucose and water in a large saucepan and cook to 312 degrees. Add the extracts and coconut. Pour into an oiled platter and when cold, cut into squares.

This actually sounds rather good – I would rename it if I was passing a plate of it around. Coconut Praline Fudge would be a good name.

Ultimately what every candymaker wants to know is: why can’t we just buy some candy for once. It’s hot and sticky in there with the pots and the sugar and the candy thermometer. Believe me, I know about all that. Stick-Jaw nothing, how about Stick-Fingers, Stick-Pots and Stick-Countertops!

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