CONFECTIONS IN SUGAR-BOILING
180. -- Clarifying Sugar.
The clarifying and boiling of sugar to the different degrees must be considered as the key to all sorts of stove working, and I will give here the method used for clarifying sugar. The pan used must be perfectly clean and bright. Whisk two whites of eggs in one pint of water; break 30 lbs. of good lump sugar into small pieces and put it into the pan; pour over it 6 quarts of water, set it on a clear stove to melt, but be careful it does not blubber and boil before it is melted; when you see it rise it is then boiling, and must be stopped immediately by putting in 1 quart of water; when it rises again add the same quantity of water, and so on two or three times; this prevents the scum from boiling into the sugar and makes it rise to the top. Draw the pan to one side of the fire and take all the scum off; let it continue to simmer. Keep adding a little water to make the remaining part of the scum rise. By this time the scum will be very white and tough, which also take off if the sugar appear clear. Dip in your finger, and if a drop hang from it, it is of the first degree, called smooth, and may be put by for use.
You may clarify a much smaller quantity of sugar by carefully attending to these instructions.
181. -- Testing Sugar.
Granulated sugar is considered the best to use, as it is less liable to adulteration than any other kind. Of moist sugars, Demerara is the best. The simplest way to test sugar for its purity is to dissolve a little in a glass of clear water. If the sugar be quite pure the water will only be slightly thickened, but not in the least clouded, neither will there be any sediment. In keeping sugar care should be taken to protect it from dampness and vermin -- especially ants.
To boil Sugar to the different degrees.
182. To the degree called 'Pearled.' -- Cover your preserving pan bottom two or three inches deep, boil it briskly over a clear fire for a short time, then dip in your finger and put it to your thumb, if on separating them a small string of sugar adheres to each it is boiled to the degree called pearled.
183. To the degree called 'Blown.' -- After you have ascertained that the sugar is boiled to the degree called pearled put in the skimmer and let it boil a few minutes, then shake it out of the sugar and give it a blow. If sugar fly from the skimmer in small bladders it is boiled to the degree called blown.
184. To the degree called 'Feathered.' -- Continue to boil the sugar from blown for a short time longer; take out the skimmer and give it a jerk over the pan, then over your head, and if sugar fly out like feathers it is boiled to the degree called feathered.
185. To the 'Ball' Degree. -- To know when the 'ball' has been acquired, first dip your finger into a basin of cold water, then apply your finger to the syrup, taking up a little on the tip and dipping it into the water again; if upon rolling the sugar with the fingers and thumb you can make it into a small ball, that is what is termed the 'small ball ;' when you can make a larger and harder ball, which you could not bite without its sticking unpleasantly to the teeth, you may be satisfied that is the 'large ball.'
186. To the degree called 'Crackled.' -- Boil the sugar from the degree called feathered a little longer; dip a stick or a piece of pipe (or your finger, if you are used to boiling) into water, then into the sugar and again into the water. If it crack with the touch it is boiled to the degree called crackled.
187. To the degree called 'Caramelled.' -- Boil the sugar still further, dip a stick or your finger into water, then into the sugar, and again into the water. If it snap like glass it is of the highest degree, called caramelled, and must be taken off the fire immediately, for fear of burning. This sugar is proper to caramel any sort of fruit.
188. -- To boil Sugar by the Thermometer.
All the foregoing tests are according to the old style of boiling; but a boiling-glass can now be had which enables us to boil to a better degree of accuracy. Thus, to boil to the pearl is to boil to 220 degrees; the small thread 228 degrees; the large thread 236 degrees; the blow 240 degrees; the feather 242 degrees; the small ball 244 degrees; the large ball 250 degrees; the small crack 261 degrees; the hard crack 281 degrees; the caramel 360 degrees.
189. -- Barley Sugar.
Put some sugar in a pan with water and place it on the fire to boil; when it is at the feather add a little lemon juice and continue boiling to the caramel; when done add a few drops of essence of lemon. Pour it on a marble slab previously oiled, cut into strips. When nearly cold take the strips in your fingers and twist them, and when quite cold put them into tin boxes and keep them closed down. The reason that barley sugar is so named is that it was originally made with a decoction of barley.
190. -- Barley Sugar Drops.
These are made in the same manner as the preceding. You pour the sugar while hot into impressions made in dried icing sugar.
191. -- Acid Drops,
Boil 3 lbs. of loaf sugar, 1 pint of water, and a teaspoonful of cream of tartar to the caramel; add a few drops of essence of lemon, and pour it on an oiled marble slab or stone; sprinkle on it a tablespoonful of powdered tartaric acid and work it in. Oil a tin sheet and put the sugar on it in a warm place, then cut off a small piece and roll it into a round pipe, cut this into small pieces the size of drops with a pair of scissors and roll them round under the hand; mix with fine powdered sugar, sift the drops from it and put them in boxes, to be used as required.
192. -- Pineapple Drops.
Cut the half of a pineapple into slices, drop them into a mortar and pound them; put the pulp into a cloth and extract the juice; take as much sugar as will be required and boil it to the crack. When the sugar is at the feather commence to add the pine-apple juice; pour it on slowly, so that by the time the syrup is at the crack it shall all be mixed in with the sugar. Finish as for barley sugar drops.
193. -- Poppy Drops.
Extract the essence of the poppies (the wild flowers are the best) in hot water, boil some sugar in a pan -- the same way as for barley sugar drops -- and add the decoction of poppies just before the syrup is at the crack. No essence of lemon should be used, and they need not be sugared when put into boxes.
194. -- Ginger Drops.
Make these after the same manner as barley sugar drops, in boiling the sugar, and flavour with a few drops of the essence of ginger just before the syrup is at the crack.
These are made the same way as barley sugar drops and the poppy and ginger drops. Flavour a minute before the boiling sugar is at the crack. To give the cayenne flavour add a few drops of the essence of capsicum.
196. -- Ginger Candy.
Boil some clarified sugar to the ball, and flavour with essence of ginger, then rub some of the sugar against the sides of the pan with a spatula until the sugar turns white; pour it into tins which have been oiled and put into the stove. The sugar should be coloured with some vegetable yellow whilst boiling.
197. -- Lemon Candy.
This is made in the same manner as ginger candy. Colour yellow with a little saffron, add a few drops of essence of lemon. This is made by boiling sugar to the feather and ball, and grained by rubbing against the pan.
198. -- Peppermint Candy.
The mode of making this candy is the same as that for making ginger candy, only add essence of peppermint.
199. -- Rose Candy.
Made the same way as ginger candy. Rose candy should be coloured with cochineal or carmine.
200. -- Burnt Almonds.
1 lb. of almonds, 2 lbs. of sugar. Take 2 lbs. of clarified sugar and
boil it to the 'ball' put 1 lb. of
201. -- Cast Sugar Drops.
Select the best refilled sugar with a good grain, pound it and pass through a coarse hair sieve; sift again in a lawn sieve, to take out the finest part, as the sugar, when it is too fine, makes the drops heavy and compact and destroys their brilliancy and shining appearance. Now put the sugar into a pan and moisten it with any aromatic spirit you intend to use, using a little water to make it of such a consistence as to allow of its dropping off the spoon without sticking to it. Rose water is the best; it should be poured in slowly, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon. Colour the sugar with prepared cochineal or any other colour, ground fine and moistened with a little water; the tint should be light and delicate. Then take a small pan, made with a lip on the right side, so that when it is held in the left hand the drops may be detached from the right. Put in the paste and place the pan in the stove on a ring that just fits it. Take a small spatula and stir the sugar until it dissolves and makes a slight noise, but do not let it boil, but remove it from the fire when it is near the boiling point, then stir it well with the small spatula until of such a consistence that when dropped it will not spread too much, but retain a round form. Should it, however, be too thin add a little of the coarse powdered sugar, which should be reserved for the purpose, and make it of the thickness required. Take a smooth tin or copper plate and let the paste drop on it from the lip of the pan at regular intervals. You hold the pan in the left hand and with a piece of straight wire in the right hand you separate the drop of sugar from the lip of the pan, letting it fall on the tin. In the course of an hour and a half or two hours the drops may be removed with a thin knife. If no copper plates are at hand a piece of stout cartridge paper will do. Damp the back of the paper with a sponge when you wish to remove the drops.
202. -- Rose Drops.
These are made as in the preceding case. Flavour with essence of rose and colour with cochineal.
203. -- Orange-flower Drops.
Flavour with orange-flower water or a little of the essence of neroli.
204. -- Chocolate Drops.
2 ozs. of chocolate, 2 lbs. of sugar. The chocolate must be scraped to a powder and then made into a paste with cold water, finishing as for cast sugar drops.
205. -- Coffee Drops.
2 ozs. of coffee, 2 lbs. of sugar. Make a decoction of coffee in the regular manner and add it to your sugar to make the paste or syrup. Finish in the same way as for cast sugar drops.
206. -- Barberry Drops.
6 ozs. of barberries, 1 1/2 lb. of sugar. Press the juice out of the barberries and mix it into the pounded sugar. Should there not be sufficient juice add a little clear water. Make no more paste than you can actually use, as the second time it is heated it becomes greasy and difficult to drop.
207. -- Peppermint Drops.
Moisten the sugar, which should be white and of the finest quality, with peppermint water, or flavour it with the essence of peppermint and moisten it with a little clear water. See that your utensils are very clean.
208. -- Pineapple Drops.
Take the pineapple and rub the rind on a piece of rough sugar. The sugar thus impregnated you scrape off for use directly. Pound the pine-apple, and pass the pulp or juice through a fine hair sieve. Add the sugar just scraped off and as much more as you think it requires to make it sweet. Make it into a paste with clear water. Every precaution must be used, as it soon greases. No more should be made than you actually want for immediate use.
209. -- Vanilla Drops.
2 pods of vanilla, 1 lb. of pounded sugar. Use the pods of vanilla in preference to the essence; the latter is apt to grease the paste. Cut the vanilla up very fine, put it in a mortar, and pound it well along with a portion of your sugar. When sufficiently smooth, sift it through a fine sieve. Finish as for the rest.
210. -- Ginger Drops.
Take as much ginger as you wish to use, pound, and sift it through a fine lawn sieve; add it to as much sugar as you desire to flavour, and mix it with clear water. Some use the ginger sold at the shops already powdered; some, again, the essence of ginger, colouring the paste with saffron.
211. -- Lemon Drops.
Rub off the yellow rind of some lemons on a piece of rough sugar; scrape it off, and mix it into your paste. Add sufficient to your sugar to give it a good flavour, and colour it a light yellow with saffron. Moisten with clear water, and mix as the rest.
These are made the same as lemon drops.
213. -- Pear Drops.
Made the same as above, and flavoured with the essence of jargonel pear.
214. -- Lavender, Violet, Musk, and Millefleur Drops.
These are all made the same way as the above, being flavoured with the essences that give them their names.
215. -- Pink Burnt Almonds,
Put 1 pint of clarified sugar in a round-bottomed pan on a clear fire, boil it to the degree called blown, mix in as much prepared cochineal as will make it a good colour, boil it again to the degree called blown, throw in the brown burnt almonds free from small; take the pan off the fire and stir the almonds well about in the sugar with the spatter until it is all upon them, which is very easily done if you are careful. You may repeat this two or three times, which will make the almonds very handsome.
Take 10 lbs. of sugar, 2 quarts of rich cream, 1 1/2 lb. of glucose, 1 lb. of fresh butter, 1 teaspoonful of cream of tartar, 1 lb. of cocoa paste, and 1/4 of a lb. of white wax of paraffin. Boil these to the 'crack,' pour upon a greased marble slab, between iron bars, and let it remain until cold, then cut it into small cubes and fold in wax-paper.
These are made of sugar boiled to the hard crack, flavoured and tinted to suit your fancy; it is then poured upon a greased marble slab. As soon as it becomes sufficiently cold the edges are turned in and the batch is folded in a mass, placed upon the candy hook and pulled; it is then run through a machine the iron rollers of which are set very closely together, so that the candy comes through as thin as a wafer; it is then cut into strips to suit, or it may be wound around an oiled round stick and then slipped off, making a curl. Two or more colours may be joined together before it is run through the machine, thus making a parti-coloured ribbon.
218. -- Engagement Favours.
Break up 1 lb. of loaf sugar into small particles, let it dissolve in a pan with 1/2 pint of water and 2 spoonfuls of lemon-juice; skim and boil to the ball, add pieces of lemon peel tied together with a string, boil until a sample is brittle; take out the lemon peel, pour out the sugar on an oiled slab, taking care to distribute it so that the whole mass cools at the same time. It is pulled, manipulated, and cut in the ordinary way. A small part of the sugar coloured red and boiled separately may be used to variegate the sweets, and should be worked in just before cutting.
219. -- Almond Hardbake.
Oil a square or round tin with low edges, split some almonds in halves and place them in rows over the bottom with the split side downward until the surface is covered. Boil some raw sugar to the crack, pour it over them so as to cover the whole with a thin sheet of sugar.
Coconut cut in thin slices, currants, and other similar candies are made in the same way, except that the sugar is ground before it is poured over.
220. -- To make Gum Paste.
Put any quantity of picked gum dragon into an upright earthen jar, cover it over with cold water and let it stand two or three days. Have ready some of the very finest icing sugar, take the gum into a coarse piece of canvas and let another person assist in twisting it round until the whole has passed through. Beat it well up in the mortar to make it tough and white, then add sugar by degrees, still beating it with the pestle. When it is stiff take it out and keep it in an earthen jar for use. When it is worked into ornaments it will require a little starch-powder to smooth and make it proper for use. If you want to colour any part of it, use vegetable colouring.
221. -- To spin a Silver Web.
Take 1 pint of clarified sugar and 1 teaspoonful of lemon juice, boil it in a small pan to the degree called caramelled; the moment the sugar is ready take it off and put the bottom of the pan in cold water. As soon as the water is warmed take the pan out. This precaution will keep the sugar from discolouring. As this sugar is to represent silver you must be particularly careful not to boil it too high. Have ready a crocanth mould neatly oiled with sweet oil, then take a teaspoon and dip the shank of it into the sugar on one side of the pan, take up a little sugar and throw the spoon backwards and forwards in the mould, leaving as fine a thread as possible. Continue to do so until the mould is quite full. You must observe that there be no blotches and that the threads be as fine as hair; you may then take it out and cover it over a custard or any other sweet, and may, if you please, raise it by spinning light threads of sugar on the top.
222. -- To spin a Gold Web.
Proceed with a gold web exactly the same as with the silver web, only boil the sugar a moment longer.
223. -- A Spun Sugar Pyramid.
Provide four or five round moulds, the one larger than the other, oil them neatly, then boil your sugar as for silver web, only let it remain on the fire one minute longer, then take up sugar with the shank of the spoon and spin it as near the side of the mould as possible, but let no blotches appear; do this to the four moulds. As soon as cold take them out and fix one above another with hot sugar, then spin long lengths of sugar round until they form a complete pyramid. You may spin long threads of sugar to represent a feather, and place them on the top, or you may place a sprig of myrtle on the top and spin long lengths of sugar round it. The way to do it is to take the shank of your spoon, dip it into the cool sugar at the side of the pan, take hold of a bit of the sugar with your finger and thumb and pull it out to any length and fineness you please.
224. -- To spin a Gold Sugar Crocanth.
Boil your sugar a minute longer than for the silver web, using the same precaution as before. Have ready your mould neatly oiled, then take a little sugar on the shank of your spoon, spin it quite close to the side of your mould (be careful you make no blotches), spin all round, and strengthen the sugar as much as you can. There must be no holes or blotches, but an even regular sugar, all parts as near alike as possible. When the sugar is perfectly cold turn it out carefully, and set it over a custard or any other sweet. You may use it plain or ornament it with gum paste, as you think proper.
225. -- To spin a Gold Cup,
Provide a copper mould like a cup. It must be made in three parts, and must be perfectly smooth within; oil each neatly, and spin sugar in each, agreeable to the directions for the crocanth. If two persons can spin at the same time it will be much better. When the three moulds are perfectly covered with sugar, and cold, take each out and put them together in a proper manner with hot sugar. You may ornament the cup with gum paste, which will make it very beautiful.
Note. -- In boiling sugar to spin, great care must be taken to have a clear fire, and only to boil a small quantity at a time in a small brass pan. If you have two or three sugars to spin you must use two or three pans. One person may be attending to the boiling while another is spinning. A teaspoonful of lemon juice must be put to a pint of clarified sugar. If the sugar is likely to boil over the top of the pan drop one drop of sweet oil from your finger into the sugar, which will stop it immediately.
226. -- A Spun Sugar Beehive.
Mould twenty or thirty bees in gum paste, as near the colour and shape as possible, make a hole with a pin on each side of the mouth and let them dry; make some of the wings extend as if flying. Provide a large round crocanth mould as near the shape of a bee-hive as possible, then boil the sugar as formerly instructed. Spin the sugar hot close to the inside of the mould. It must be regularly spun and very strong, the threads very fine, and no blotches. When it is so, let it stand until quite cold, then turn it out of the mould on to a large dish and ornament as under.
227. -- To Ornament a Beehive.
Before you begin to boil the sugar take as many borders out of your gum paste moulds as will go round the bottom; also take out leaves for the top; run a husk round the sides to represent the matting of the hive, lay your borders and leaves on a marble slab, with a cloth over them to keep them moist.
You may also twist a length of gum paste like a wreath and make it into a large ring; this must be dried; then fix on the ornaments with a little hot sugar and set the ring upright on the top. You may then spin long lengths of sugar very fine on to a tin plate. Take the bees and fix them with hot sugar on the top and sides of the hive; break the lengths of sugar in short pieces and fix them in the holes made in the bees. You may also form three entrances into the hive with the gum paste husk.
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