Tuesday, November 22, 2011

5 Types of Sugar You Need to Know

Aside from giving candy its sweet taste, sugar also provides grain and crunchy texture for candy. Candies are largely comprised of sugar and sweeteners (well duh!). Therefore, it is detrimental for you to get familiar with the types of sugars that will be used in making candies, since each of them fits perfectly to certain recipes.

1.Granulated Sugar

The most common sugar, you use this every day to make almost everything in the kitchen. Guess what, candy-making isn’t that demanding, the same sugar is used in this profession. It is the backbone of many candies and act as a primary sweetener. Since it is very common, I don’t think I should write much about it.

2.Brown Sugar

The second most often you’ll stumble upon. Yes, it is brown. However it comes in two colors, one is lighter brown and the other one is darker. Dark brown sugar is more often used in making candies since it gives a more expensive-looking color and it shines more. Do take note that brown sugar has a lot of air space in between the particle. Therefore, when you’re measuring them, make sure to give them a nice press into the cup!

3.Powdered Sugar

Also known as confectioner’s sugar. They contain a small percentage of cornstarch, and they’re very fine. This explain why they dissolved faster and better even at room temperature. Powdered sugar is an essential ingredient used in noncooked or microwaved confection.

Another interesting thing about this sugar is that it is also often used when handling candies to prevent stickiness. If you don’t have powdered sugar to dust your hand, you can always use cornstarch as a substitute.

4.Fondant Sugar

Similar to powdered sugar except that it doesn’t contain any cornstarch and it is less sweet. Keep in mind that fondant sugar usually clumps up together when it is poured out of the package. It is a good idea to sift first before you use it. Fondant sugar is widely used in making creams.

5.Invert Sugar

The substitute for corn syrup if you don’t prefer liquid sweetener. It is sweeter by a little and it produces a darker color once cooked. This sugar is the least common, however it is widely used in the candy industry. It is a combination of glucose and fructose, and you don’t need to know a lot about it except that it makes a good ingredient when making divinity.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Making Candy for Special Occasion

One of the greatest joys in making candy is to make them to give as gifts for other people, since these confections are affordable enough for a number of occasions. Also, you can also make some special treats for your kids if you’re a mom. Kids are honest, and they’re amazing feedback givers. They may not like your confetti but it’s a good of improving your cooking skills.

1. Making Festive Holiday Candies

For the easiest example, think about what kind of candies you can make to be given together in an Easter Basket. It could also be a handmade, crafty Valentine box set of chocolate. Or, make candy as an atmosphere changer during Christmas, lift up the mood with aromas of your cooking.

2. Making Treats for Kids

If you find yourself reluctant to bring your kids to the store for their special treats, why don’t you let them have the fun of making their own goodies at home? Some recipes can be simple enough to be made, if you don’t have high hope upon your kid handling the ingredients, choose some recipes that require ‘friendly’ ingredients such as cereal, chips, cookies, and marshmallows.

One nice thing about making these candies for kids is that the rules can be broken. Kids can be creative as long as you give them some guidelines to follow. Let them loose and let their creativity do its job. Creating delicious food is always satisfying, think about how proud the younger ones feel when they make something worthy of praise. Plus, once they’re doing your job (cooking), you free up some time for facebook!

3. Giving Presents with Candies

Then, once you’re adept at making candies, you can start giving them as gifts. Candies always come good with your primary gifts. For example, snuck some treats inside gift mugs, gift boxes or even bags. You may want to wrap the gifts in some fancy, colorful foils. Then the gift is good to give. Sometimes, people appreciate presents more when there are hard work put into making them.

These are some of the example of how candies can be good in many occasions. The ideas can be limitless, the only thing stopping you is your imagination. Be creative!

Getting Prepared for Making Candies

Now, before we get started on our candy-making journey we need to be prepared in terms of kitchen environment, tools and ingredients. Preparation is essential to ensure an easier time along the way of your journey and you will find yourself adapting quicker with the right preparation.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a five-star kitchen at your house, a normal one would do. You just need to put some effort on creating a clean and dry environment, put some money on buying utensils and ingredients, then you’re set to go.

1. Preparing Your Kitchen

he most important thing you need to do with your kitchen is to make it as suitable as possible for making candy. This means you need to have a cool and dry environment, with an ideal room temperature of 70 to 72 degrees. Organize your ingredients in its rightful place, some need to be place in the fridge, some need to be kept at room temperature. Then, make sure you have enough counter space cause you will be making some mess like it or not.

2. Getting the Proper Tools

Aside from having the right environment, we need some tools to handle the task at hand. Most utensils you will use while making candy are available at the grocery, kitchen stores, commercial equipment suppliers. And if you’re lazy like me, search for those tools online and wait for them to be delivered to your door. Some of the tools that are a must includes; measuring tools, pots and pans, electrical appliances (microwave, oven), decorating tools, and tools for cooling such as racks and containers.

3. Finding Great Ingredients

Most people worry about the scarcity of the needed ingredients in candy-making. The truth is, they’re widely available even at your local grocery store. Sugars and sweeteners are the core ingredients for candy recipes, you can’t miss them as they are very easy to find. Dairy products are for creams and toppings. Nuts are optional, but they can be very good if one prefer their candy to be crunchy and cracky. Chocolates are also essential, as they’re the main favorite and they give that high class touch on your candy.

Keep in minds that these suggestion are not the absolute rules. You can still be creative and have fun on your way in this candy-making journey. Creativity is what makes candies’ flavor endless and varied, but for a starter these guidelines can be helpful…

Monday, September 5, 2011

What This Blog is About?

Hello world! I'm Joe, from Moscow, currently studying as a medical student in First Moscow State University. Life as a medical student itself is full with challenges and tests, free times were scarce for us. But its the little thing in life that matters most right?

Aside from playing games, I prefer to spend my free times trying something new, and among them things, I found that cooking is the most satisfying and pleasuring. A large part of my times were spent reading books. However, books are not the only thing that can feed the soul. For me cooking bring satisfaction and ease to the mind as much as the food itself can satiate us.

I'm no Julie Powell, instead of trying myself with fancy french cooking, it is more comfortable for me to make candies, cakes or anything that doesn't require much time. Candies and cakes are godsent, they're easy to make, they're delicious, and they make good companion while playing online games! For dinner... well, we have pizza delivery for that. Come on, I'm a guy ok? We rarely cook...

Now don't get me wrong, I'm no expert in making candies myself. In fact, just like you who stumble upon this blog, I'm learning to make candies too. We're in the same shoes. The things that will be shared in this blog are things that come from a learner's mind and things that I want to know myself. They're not advices or tips from experts. But I hope these inexperience and ignorance that we shared will keep us together! ^^

Feedbacks are always welcome, now lets hope that this candy making journey will make a good getaway from the hustle and bustle of life. What to do when you feel frustrated at the end of the day when work or school doesn't treat you well? You make candies!!