Saturday, March 22, 2008

No Coconut Work

IMG bush's confectioners 1921

What I need around here is a good candy recipe. Because we do not have any Easter candy in the house. We are going to get some but I didn't want to buy loads of malted milk eggs and chocolate eggs in foil wrappers and have it all lying around whispering sweet nothings to me. But now I would like some! So I will just read a recipe or two and pretend. Which is much less fattening, right? Right.

So here I am with Skuse's Complete Confectioner, written by anonymous people at the W.J. Bush & Co. Ltd. "olde essence distillers" flavoring factory at Ash Grove Works, Hackney, London (England, not Ontario!) in 1921. It will be just the ticket as it tells us how to make "A.B. goods, Boiled Goods, Caramels, Chocolates, Coco-nut Work, Creams, Drops, Fondants, Fudges, Gelatines, Gums, Nougats, Pralines; and to the art of sugar boiling in all its branches, based on the results of practical work."

Sounds perfect. I would love a little Coco-nut work. Am not sure what A.B. goods are though. Have just had a look and guess what! They don't either: they say that A.B. goods are very popular in the US, and "We have endeavored, but without success, to ascertain the derivation and meaning of the title 'A.B. Goods.'" And Culinary Masterdoes not know either. It says that the term refers to jellied, gum or marshmallow candy but they don't know why.

Sounds like we have got a mystery on our hands, Scooby Doo! (Or Krunchy Goo, I suppose. Could that work? Krunchy Goo, Culinary Detective. A cat, possibly. I like cats and i think that they would make good spies. And they are discriminating diners, if our own cats are anything to go by).

These recipes were meant for professional candy makers, and they all sound quite delicious. Many of them I have never heard of before. So when the time machine is invented, I definitely want to make a stop at fancy confectioner's shop - preferably one that used this handbook.

Vanilla French Jellies or Jelliettes

Sugar......18 lb.
Water......6 pints.
Best Gelatin......18 oz.
Cream of Tartar......1/2 oz.
Vanillin, "W.J.B."......15 grains. [pushing the house brand - W.J. Bush!]
Blue, A.G.......a trace.


Dissolve the sugar and water in a pan over the fire. Stir until it boils. Thenplace a cover over the pan to steam down the sides. Care should be taken that no sugar adheres to the sides of the pan, otherwise the jellies will soon grain. Boil to 236 F. Remove the pan from the fire, then add the gelatin, previously soaked in another vessel until quite soft, and melted. Pour this in small quantities into the sugar batch, stirring gently, otherwise the mixture will rise and overflow. Add the essence and colour; then run into starch impressions. Sift starch over them, and place in the drying-room for ten or twelve hours. A crust will form over the jelly similar to a liqueur. Finish by crystallizing in a cold syrup, 34 degrees Beaume. Allow to stand in the crystal syrup for about twelve hours; then drain for three hours; after which knock the jellies out of the tins onto wire trays. When quite dry, they are ready to pack.

Vienna Chocolate Bonbons

Crystallized fondants of suitable shape, flavored with any desired flavor or blend of essences and colored with any appropriate shade, are so dipped that only half the centre is covered with sweet chocolate covering. The other half of the fondant thus forms a pleasing contrast to the color of the covering, and produces a very attractive form of sweetmeat for inclusion in boxes of mixed chocolates.

Tomorrow: more candy, even stranger and more anachronistic!

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