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Chocolates and Confections: Formula, Theory, and Technique for the Artisan Confectioner Hardcover – November 6, 2012
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When it was first published in 2008, Chocolates and Confections won the IACP Award and almost instantly became the bible of artisan confectionery. This remarkable and comprehensive guide from master confectioner Peter Greweling of The Culinary Institute of America offers a complete and thorough explanation of the ingredients, theories, techniques, and formulas needed to create every kind of chocolate and confection. As interest in both professional and home chocolate- and candy-making continues to grow, this edition features new formulas, photographs, and illustrations to better meet the needs of confectioners.
This edition is beautifully illustrated throughout with 250 full-color photographs of ingredients, step-by-step techniques (from tempering chocolate to candying fruit), and finished chocolates and confections. It also includes helpful charts that pinpoint common candy-making pitfalls and how to avoid them, guides to the best quality chocolate and other all-natural confectionery ingredients, and information on packaging and storage.
You'll find chapters on every confectionery type, including cream ganache, butter ganache, noncrystalline sugar confections, crystalline sugar confections, jellies, aerated confections, and nut centers, as well as an all-new chapter on American-style layered candy bars. The book includes nearly 200 formulas for classic confections like marzipan, as well as contemporary variations such as Madras, a coconut curry butter ganache. From truffles, hard candies, brittles, toffee, caramels, and taffy to butter ganache confections, fondants, fudges, gummies, candied fruit, marshmallows, divinity, nougat, marzipan, gianduja, and rochers, Chocolates and Confections demonstrates how to produce world-class confections and provides the in-depth background information candy makers need to formulate their own signature creations.
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Why? It's a comprehensive 4 in 1 book:
1) The science behind chocolate, sugarwork and the various components. Why might you want to include glucose in your chocolate and not just any sugar syrup? What is the difference between using agar-agar, gelatin, pectin and cornstarch in making gummies and jellies? This type of information helped me better understand why some of the steps to chocolate making mattered, and also gave me more comfort in knowing where I could deviate from recipes (e.g. I can add whatever liquid flavourings I want so long as I add them at the right time and keep my fats to liquid ratio consistent).
2) Techniques - how do you temper chocolate? how do you make aero-bar style chocolates? what's the proper way to handle ganaches or molded chocolates? how do you make a praline or marzipan? what's the secret to those meltaway type chocolates? what about the honeycomb material inside crunchie bars?
3) Troubleshooting - invariably a chocolate recipe will go wrong. how do you save a ganache that's been separated? why did your pates de fruit sweat and what can you do about it?
4) LOADS of really delicious recipes from chai tigers to a thai lemongrass truffle or toucan passionfruit chocolate to marshmallows, nougats, chocolate bars, candy crisps, caramels, fudges and more. I made several recipes (scaled down since the recipes are for ~180 truffles each!) from the book and they have all been hits. I have ordered more chocolate and I can't wait to try more.
The book also included suggested equipment and a brief explanation of some of the tools and why they were important.
The one thing missing from the book that I wish they spent time on was decorating in general -- the different techniques for finishing chocolates such as adding chocolate swirls, etc. To be fair each recipe has a description for how to finish the chocolate such as adding bits of salt or adding candied fruit bits and they did show you how to make spiked chocolates, but I wanted to know more about selecting colours and other types of chocolate flourishes.
In all it's a pricey, but valuable book that I anticipate I will be referencing a lot as I continue to learn and make chocolates.