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Chocolates and Confections

By Peter Greweling

Published 2007

  • About
Fat is another important part of toffee and caramels formulation. Fat contributes to mouthfeel, provides flavor (when the right fat is used), and ensures ease of cutting and handling. Fat also contributes to these confections’ shorter texture, and, if the fat used is a hard fat such as cocoa butter, aids in the candy’s setting, or stand-up. The fat content of toffee makes a profound difference in the texture of the product. Toffee with a high fat content has a short, tender break in the mouth. Such toffees are usually referred to as “crunches.” Toffee with a lower fat content has a hard texture more like that of hard candy. As with other confections that contain added fat, toffee and caramels may be made with less expensive fats, such as hydrogenated vegetable oil, that add no flavor of their own but are used to produce candies of lesser quality at lower cost. The only fats considered in this book for the production of toffee and caramels are butter and cocoa butter. Butter adds flavor, provides additional milk solids, and melts below body temperature, ensuring that no waxy film is left behind after the candy is chewed. Cocoa butter adds little flavor but melts below body temperature and provides firmness to the cooled product. Butterfat is added through the milk or cream in the formula or through the direct addition of butter during cooking. Cocoa butter may be added as a discrete ingredient, or it may be present in the chocolate used to make chocolate caramels. In toffee and caramels fat added early in cooking is emulsified into the sugar solution and held in a dispersed state by the milk solids. It is common practice to add a small quantity of butter near the end of cooking caramels. Fat added late in cooking is not locked up in the emulsion and is therefore free to release its flavor and rich mouthfeel much more quickly than fat that is thoroughly emulsified. Fat added later in cooking is also available to lubricate the cutters or knives used to cut the finished caramels. An excess of unemulsified fat, however, results in an oily exterior and a greasy mouthfeel.