Thursday, November 19, 2009

Leftover Confections

I finished this class almost two weeks ago... Here's some items I made during the last few days. Lots of fun!

Nougat Montelimar:
It's like an Italian meringue on steroids - whipped egg whites, cooked sugar and honey and gelatin, and lots of inclusions - all kinds of dried fruits and toasted nuts!

We made Port Marzipan. American marzipan is pretty much disgusting, so a lot of people think "ewww" when they hear the word. It's too sweet and bitter almond oil is often used. It's commercial. Homemade marzipan is AMAZING! These were so subtle in flavor; it would be very hard to guess the interior was marzipan! The marzipan was rolled out to a certain thickness, and then we cut out moon shapes using a petit four cutter, dipped and piped them!
Agar agar orange jellies:
These were really fun to make! Agar agar is derived from seaweed commonly found in Asia. It comes in many forms (dried, powdered, strips, etc) and is a great option for people who don't like gelatin, are vegan, or want something Kosher. However, agar agar melts at a higher temperature than gelatin, so when you put it in your mouth, it doesn't melt the same way. Plus the texture is kind of weird. It works as a stabilizing agent though!

For these delectable jellies, we made the outer, lighter-colored layer first by pouring it out flat. When it set (very quickly!), we cut it to size and then placed it into these half-pipe molds. It was bendy but stable! Then we made the filling and poured it in and let it set.
These were pulled out then brushed with some coloring, then we cut them in neat little slices on the guitar.
Rolled in some sugar and citric acid... and done!

I asked Chef G if he knew how to make Molasses Chips - he'd never heard of them! What a travesty! These are a huge hit in my family. My grandparents used to give us kids our own boxes at Christmas... yum! A whole box of dark chocolate molasses chips just for me! :) They came from See's Candies and would quickly disappear within a day (or two) of receiving them. Ahh!!!

Chef G had heard of See's, but I never knew that they didn't exist on the East Coast! They are missing out! There's nothing to take the place of them either. I asked my friend from Jersey where people go to get chocolates for holidays, and he said just mom-and-pop type places. Interesting! Chef G was up for the challenge, and we created a recipe that we tested and manipulated to come up with a formula for something extremely similar to Molasses Chips! And it only took us two tries! How cool is that?!

The molasses...
And dipped in the chip form!
My final test was to give one to someone from California without telling them what it was, and see if it reminded them of anything. The person said "These are like those toffee chips from See's!" Right on Aubs! Right on!

I'm hoping to do some re-creations at home!

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