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confectionery

confectionery, delicacies or sweetmeats that have sugar as a principal ingredient, combined with coloring matter and flavoring and often with fruit or nuts. In the United States it is usually called candy, in Great Britain, sweets or boiled sweets. Nonchocolate candy is roughly divided into two classes, hard and soft; the distinction is based on the fact that sugar when boiled passes through definite stages during the process of crystallization. Fondant, or sugar cooked to the soft stage, is the basis of most fancy candies, such as chocolate creams.

Sweetmeats, long known in the Middle East and Asia and to the ancient Egyptians, were at first preserved or candied fruits, probably made with honey. One of the earliest functions of candy was to disguise unpleasant medicine, and prior to the 14th cent. confections were sold chiefly by physicians. Medieval physicians often used for this purpose sugarplate, a sweetmeat made of gum dragon, white sugar, and rosewater, beaten into a paste. One of the earliest confections still surviving is marzipan, known throughout Europe; it is made of almonds or other nuts, pounded to a paste and blended with sugar and white of egg. In the Middle Ages it was sometimes molded into fancy shapes and stamped with epigrams.

Sugarplums, made of boiled sugar, were known in England in the 17th cent., but it was not until the 19th cent. that candymaking became extensive. The display of British boiled sweets at the national exhibition of 1851 stimulated manufacture in other countries, especially in France. In the United States in the middle of the 19th cent. about 380 small factories were making lozenges, jujube paste, and stick candy, but most fine candy was imported. With the development of modern machinery and the increasing abundance of sugar, confectionery making became an important industry. In 2001, estimated retail sales of chocolate, other candy, and gum in the United States had reached $24 billion, and more 1,400 new items of candy were introduced.

Bibliography

See P. P. Gott, All about Candy and Chocolate (1958); B. W. Minifie, Chocolate, Cocoa and Confectionery (1970); E. Sullivan, ed., The Complete Book of Candy (1981); T. Richardson, Sweets (2002).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Candy

 

confectionery made from sugar-molasses syrup, to which various ingredients are added. Candies may be divided into coated confections, completely or partially covered with a layer of chocolate, fondant, paste, caramel, or other coating; uncoated confections; and filled chocolates. The candy surface may also be entirely or partially sprinkled with cocoa, powdered sugar, chopped nuts, wafer crumbs, or bits of chocolate. According to the type of mass from which the filling is made, candy may be classified as fondant, fruit, milk, nut (praline), liqueur, whipped, crème, gril’iazh (made from roasted nuts), marzipan, and so forth. Individual pieces may be made from either a single mass or from several masses, for example, forming combined or multilayered candy or candy with wafers.

The basic operations in candy-making consist in preparing the candy mass by various methods, shaping the separate pieces, decorating (or not) the pieces, and wrapping or packing in boxes. Fondant is made by boiling sugar-molasses syrup, beating the syrup while it cools, and mixing it with various flavorings. Fruit, milk, and liqueur masses are obtained by boiling their components, and nut pastes are made by pulverizing a mixture of powdered sugar, ground nuts, and other ingredients in roller mills, adding fat, and kneading well. Whipped masses are prepared from sugar-agar syrup and egg whites or from various candy masses to which butter or coconut oil is added. Gril’iazh masses are made by mixing chopped nuts with melted sugar, and marzipan is obtained by mixing sugar-molasses syrup with finely ground almonds. Flavorings are added after the masses have been prepared.

Shaped pieces of candy are formed on the production line by pouring the masses into impressions made in cornstarch or by extruding the masses in the form of bands or sheets, which are then cut into pieces (mainly nut masses). Individual pieces are also shaped by spreading the mass in one, two, or three layers on conveyors (or by spreading it on wafer sheets) and cutting them into separate pieces; this method is used for nut, fondant, crème, whipped, and marzipan masses. Thick masses, such as gril’iazh, nut, or combination masses, are rolled out into sheets, which are then cut. Using crème or fondant masses, dome-shaped candies are released onto a conveyor. All candy masses are allowed to cool and settle before being cut. To obtain coated candies, the pieces are coated in glazers or finished by some other method.

Filled chocolates are made on continuous mechanized production lines: metal molds are filled with warm liquid chocolate and inverted 180° so that the excess chocolate covers the inside of the mold, forming the shell of the candy. The molds are then returned to their original position and sent to the refrigeration unit for cooling. Next, the filling is poured into the shell and covered with liquid chocolate to form the bottom of the candy. The cooled candy is easily removed from the molds. The finished product is highly nutritious: 1 kg of candy yields about 16–25 megajoules, or 3,800–6,000 kilocalories.

REFERENCES

See.

T. P. ERMAKOVA

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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