Confectionery Ingredients and Equipment

Appears in

Chocolates and Confections

By Peter Greweling

Published 2007

  • About
Confectionery is arguably the most demanding of the culinary arts, requiring a degree of precision and accuracy unequaled in other areas of the kitchen.
A batch of confectionery centers is not as forgiving as a batch of bread or cake. Because confections themselves are smaller than pastries or baked goods, a typical batch of confections uses smaller increments of each ingredient. When scaling and handling small quantities, slight errors translate as sizable percentages of the total. In addition to this basic requirement of precision in the amounts of ingredients, confectionery art demands precise handling techniques. Cocoa butter will crystallize in a desirable form only under specific conditions; if the temperature is a few degrees off, or the amount of agitation is not adequate, the chocolate will bloom, resulting in a ruined product. Sugar too requires exact control over percentage, temperature, and handling in order to achieve the desired result, whether that is the prevention or formation of crystals. These are just some of the factors that the artisan confectioner must deal with every day. By understanding the ingredients commonly used in confectionery, knowing the proper use of confectionery tools, and mastering the basic processes, the artisan confectioner can bring to fruition any creative inspiration.