Sunday, March 26, 2006

UTENSILS FOR CANDY MAKING

"Capital Things"

Thermometer

Marble Slab

Sugar Scraper

Spatulas

Dipping Forks and Rings

Pastry Brush

Caramel Cutter

Marzipan Molds

Tin Sheet

Rolling-pin

Starch Tray and Plaster

Molds Candy Bars Hair Sieve Saccharometer or Syrup

Gauge

Waxed Paper and Wafer

Paper

Rubber Mats Saucepans and Double

Boilers Nougat Frame Knives Scissors

Air-tight Tins and Jars Hook for Pulling Candy Tin Measuring Cup Pair of Heavy Gloves for Pulling Candy Platters and Basins Crystallizing Tray and

Wire Racks

A proper confectioner's thermometer is required for candy making, so that the syrup may be removed from the fire at exactly the right degree.

Such thermometers are made of wood, brass, or copper, and the degrees on them should mark not less than 350°.

A thermometer should always be gently lowered into the boiling sugar.

When not in use, it should be kept hanging up on a nail or hook.

When required for candy making, place the thermometer in a pitcher of warm water, so that it may rise gradually, and return it to the warm water on removing it from the pan. This dissolves the clinging candy and protects the tube from breaking.

The wooden thermometer can be used to stir with, and is very easily kept clean.

The saccharometer is often used for ascertaining the specific gravity of liquids. It is made of glass containing quicksilver, the same as the thermometer, and is divided into degrees or scales.

It is rather more difficult to handle than a thermometer, but the results are more certain. When immersed in cold water it marks zero, which proves that the water contains no sugar.

The scale on the saccharometer registers from o° to 500, and reads from the top downward. The advantages of the saccharometer are immense, not only as a matter of economy, but as a guide to the candy maker, who cannot work with certainty without knowing the degrees of boiling, For example: The thread, large or small, marks 25°; the pearl, 30°; the blow, 34°; the feather, 35°; the ball, 50°. After this last degree the sugar has become so thick that the saccharometer can no longer be used.

The remaining degrees, the crack and caramel, must be determined by other tests. In order to use the saccharometer to test syrup you must have a narrow tin tube, or a glass test-tube, or a tall bottle about an inch and a half in diameter. Pour some of the syrup into one of the tubes, wet the saccharometer and drop it into the tube containing the boiling sugar and it will indicate the degree of the sugar.

A marble slab is not absolutely necessary, but it is convenient and useful. When the candy is poured out on a piece of marble it cools quickly and is much better in every respect. An old marble-top wash-stand, a large platter, or a white enameled tray may be substituted for the slab.

A sugar scraper is made of a strip of strong metal or tin rolled at one end to form a handle. It is used to scrape up the sugar on the slab or platter. A broad-bladed knife can take its place.

Spatulas are flat, pear-shaped paddles made of hard wood, and are used for stirring and beating the mixtures or for scraping out the pans. They are useful little utensils, and often used in place of wooden spoons.

Dipping forks are made of wire with two or three prongs, or a loop at the end, and are used for lifting the dipped candies out of the coating mixtures. They are very inexpensive.

A caramel cutter consists of a metal framework filled in with transverse and longitudinal metal bars, which, when pressed on the surface of caramel or taffy, mark it into a number of small, neat squares. The squares are then cut out with a knife.

Marzipan molds, for molding marzipan or almond paste, are made of metal. They are sometimes made of a special preparation mounted in plaster-of-Paris, and they consist of various designs to form vegetables, fruits, nuts, shells, fish, and a great variety of other small dainties in marzipan. The molds should not be washed, but before using for the first time they should be lightly brushed with olive oil and wiped with a soft duster.

A sheet of brightly polished tin, which may be procured at the cost of a few cents (or pence), will be found useful for dropping chocolates on.

A starch tray is used when molding fondants, liqueurs, fruit jellies, or other candies in starch. Any large flat box or biscuit pan will do for this; one three inches by twenty inches is a convenient size.

Fill the box with clean, dry, sifted corn-starch. Smooth the starch with a flat stick; then make the required impressions in it. The impressions are usually made with small plaster molds which are glued to a piece of wood, but they may be made with a cork, a piece of sealing-wax, a thimble, a marble, a dent made with the tip of the finger, or a glass stopper of a bottle. The piece of wood should be longer than the box or pan. Pour or pipe in the candy mixture, filling each level with the top of the starch. When set, pick up the candies and dust off the starch. Keep the starch dry and clean in tin boxes. It should always be dried and sieved before use.

Candy bars are made of steel and are used to form various sized spaces on the marble slab, into which are poured caramel and taffy mixtures. They can be arranged to hold any quantity of candy.

Crystallizing trays are shallow tins fitted with wire racks to hold candies and prevent their rising during crystallizing. A crystallizing tray is usually about fourteen inches long and ten inches broad.

Rubber mats are used for the molding of fondants. They come in innumerable designs, and the candies cast in them are perfectly shaped and delicately modeled.

Saucepans may be made of copper, iron, granite, enamel, or aluminum. They must be kept clean inside and outside. Two small lipped pans, holding about one pint each, are convenient for melting fondant and for other minor operations.

Nougat frames are made of wood, and are used for pouring nougat into. They will be found useful for other candies as well.

A candy hook is a very handy utensil to have, and it is inexpensive. Candy is improved by being pulled on a hook, as the pulling makes it lighter in color and fluffier.

It is also much easier to pull candy over a hook than to pull it by hand.

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