Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

dragée the French name for a sweetmeat composed of a nut or some other centre coated with layers of hard sugar. Almonds are the nuts usually chosen; alternative centres are seeds, fruit pastes, or chocolate, and occasionally liqueurs.

The manufacture of dragées is carried out using heated rotating pans, shaped a little like concrete mixers, in which a batch of almonds (for example) is tumbled. A ‘charge’ of sugar solution, mixed with gum arabic, is added. The rotating action of the pan causes the sugar to coat the centres, and the heat dries them; when the ‘charge’ is used up, another is added and the process is repeated until the sweets have reached the desired size. The sugar solution can be coloured and flavoured as the confectioner wishes; and the dragées may be polished after the final coat of sugar. The appearance and texture of the finished product is influenced by the proportion of sugar in the syrup.