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August 27, 2007

Candy from the Late 19th Century

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I'm really sorry for taking so long in getting around to another post. Its been really hectic. Though life hasn't been too "sweet" for me, I thought it needed some sweetness. So here I give you some recipes from my old cookbook, Compendium of Cookery dated 1890. I've not yet tried any of these but they are on the "to do" list!

Ginger Candy - Boil a pound of clarified sugar until, upon taking out a drop of it on a piece of stick, it will become brittle when cold. Mix and stir up with it, for a common article, about a teaspoonful of ground ginger; if for a superior article, instead of the ground ginger add half the white of an egg, beaten up previously with fine sifted loaf sugar, and twenty drops of strong essence of ginger.

Lemon Candy - Put into a kettle three and one-half pounds of sugar, one and one-half pints of water, and one teaspoon cream of tartar. Let it boil until it becomes brittle when dropped in cold water; when sufficiently done take off the fire and pour into shallow dish which has been greased with a little butter. When this has cooled so that it can be handled add a teaspoonful of tartaric acid and the same quantity of extract of lemon , and work then into the mass. The acid must be fine and free from limps. Work this in until evenly distributed, and no more,a s it will tend to destroy the transparency of the candy. This method may be used for preparing all other candies, as pineapple, ect, using different flavors.

Peppermint, Rose or Horehound Candy - They may be made as lemon candy. Flavor with essence of rose, or peppermint, or finely powdered horehound. Pour it out in a buttered paper, placed in a square tin pan.

Chocolate Caramels - Two cups of brown sugar, one cup of molasses, one cup chocolate grated fine, one cup of boiled milk, one tablespoon of flour; butter the size of a large English walnut; let it boil slowly and pour on flat tins to cool; mark off while warm.

Molasses Candy - One cup of molasses, two cups of sugar, one tablespoon vinegar, a little butter and vanilla, boil ten minutes, then cool it enough to pull.

February 2, 2010

Taffy or Vinegar Candy

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Finished Taffy Candy wrapped in wax paper.

I think during the 19th century this particular kind of Taffy was known as Vinegar Candy. The old cookbooks keep pointing to that. For example, my old cookbook, Queen of the Household, has this recipe: Vinegar Candy - One quart sugar, I pint water, 4 tablespoons vinegar, butter size of an egg, I teaspoon vanilla. Boil 20 minutes and pull it. If you halve this recipe it brings me very close to what I used to make our Taffy. One 1870's cookbook has the same exact ingredient list except they add cream of tarter to it.

The steps, followed by the recipe:

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Stirring the syrup to dissolve sugar.

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Poured finished syrup onto well buttered marble slab.

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Worked candy into mound.

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Candy on the left has been pulled longer than that on the right. You can see the color and transparency differences beginning to emerge.

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Twisting two ropes of pulled candy together to form finished product.

Here is the recipe I used:

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

First combine sugar, water, vinegar and butter in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Cover and continue to cook 2 or 3 minutes to wash down crystals. Now uncover and cook without stirring until mixture reaches soft crack stage which is 270 degrees. When it reaches that stage remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Now pour syrup onto well buttered 15 x 10 x 1 inch jellyroll pan or marble slab. Cool slightly. Work candy into mound using buttered spatula, cut in half. With buttered hands pull, fold, and twist each portion until candy is opaque and begins to stiffen. Pull each section then into a rope and twist the two ropes together. Cut in pieces and wrap with waxed paper.

March 9, 2010

Home Made Marshmallows

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Marshmallows in the mid 1800s used to contain the extract of the marshmallow plant. But by the later part of that century and into the 20th they took on more of the form as we know them today. Most recipes before 1900 use gum arabic instead of gelatine. The The Mendelssohn Club cook book of 1909 uses Knox Gelatine, which can still be found in stores today. Here is the recipe we used to make our homemade marshmallows.

4 cups sugar
4 packets Knox unflavored gelatine
1 3/4th cup water - divided
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cornstarch

In a bowl combine the 4 packs of gelatine with 3/4th cup water. Let this set between 10 and 30 mins so it may "bloom". In one pot pour in 4 cups sugar and 1 cup of water. Next bring to boil the sugar and water with medium heat, stirring constantly. Once it comes to a boil stop stirring and boil until a candy thermometer reaches 244 degrees - the firm ball stage. Once that stage is reached slowly pour syrup into gelatine, beating {at high speed if you have an electric mixer}. Add in vanilla and continue to beat until basically it fluffs up. This takes between 15 and 30 minutes worth of beating time total.
Now combine cornstarch and powdered sugar together and sift into a jelly roll pan,cookie sheet or casserole dish. Pour marshmallow mixture into your pan and let it rest overnight. Next day slice marshmallows into squares. They are excellent, esp in hot chocolate.

Notes: You can make this with any flavoring. I am going to try a cinnamon flavored batch one day. Also you probably could coat these with chocolate for a marshmallow candy.

Enjoy the old fashioned way of things? Interested in the Victorian era? If so have a browse around our other site A Victorian Passage. Updated Regularly!

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Hearth and Home in the Candy category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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