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Mandeville 

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Thanks to everyone who responded to my last post :)

I've got some questions about feeding - I've done some internet searching and it's just left me more confused.

1. Are fondant and candy the same thing? The terms seem to be used interchangeably in some places. It they are different, what is the difference and which should be used when?

2. We made up some candy (fondant?) a few weeks ago for our small swarm - 1 kg sugar to 300ml water. The first batch set into fairly firm blocks which the bees demolished quite quickly. But we mislaid some it and had to make a second batch. I don't think we boiled it long enough because, although it set reasonably well immediately, it's now gone soft and too floppy to put into the hive. Is it OK to reboil it to try and get a firmer set?

3. The mislaid candy got put into the freezer by mistake (don't ask!!). Will this have done anything to it that makes it unsuitable for use?

Thanks
Mandy
 

oliver90owner 

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1. Virtually. Could be identical and depends on where th reference is from US/UK per eg.

2. It will dissolve and can be remade, but beware of burning the sugar if just dropped in a saucepan and heated!

3. Unless left in for a long time without a sealing cover (when it will lose more water), it will be just the same (sugar and water), just as when it went in.

Regards, RAB
 

Mandeville 

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Thanks RAB - that's really helpful.

As I don't have any kind of chemistry background, I didn't know whether re-boiling or freezing might change the molecules (or summat) to a form that would be indigestible.

Mandy
 

Hombre 

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In essence, you could almost think of fondant as 4:1 syrup. The secret to get it all into a syrup stage with the sugar crystals dissolved slowly without the application of too much heat. The addition of glucose is to give a small crystal size when it starts to cool. There is not enough water to stop the sugar re-crystallizing, so it's going to happen anyway. The secret is to have enough water, but not too much in the mix.

I would eschew any kneeding etc. and pour it into cartons etc. while it's still very mobile but definitely whitening up. Test it when it's cool by pressing a finger into the surface. If it doesn't dent, then it's probably too hard.
 

Mandeville 

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In essence, you could almost think of fondant as 4:1 syrup. The secret to get it all into a syrup stage with the sugar crystals dissolved slowly without the application of too much heat. The addition of glucose is to give a small crystal size when it starts to cool. There is not enough water to stop the sugar re-crystallizing, so it's going to happen anyway. The secret is to have enough water, but not too much in the mix.

I would eschew any kneeding etc. and pour it into cartons etc. while it's still very mobile but definitely whitening up. Test it when it's cool by pressing a finger into the surface. If it doesn't dent, then it's probably too hard.
The recipe we used didn't include any glucose, just sugar and water. And we whisked it when it cooled to a certain temperature (haven't got it to hand, so I can't remember what) until it got to the white-but-thickening-up stage. When it set, it was smooth - like softish icing, not noticeably crystalline. Does this sound about right?

I'd be happy to abandon the whisking - it went everywhere!
 

oliver90owner 

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If the recipe works, don't change it! Just get a better whisk. I think I would be using a manual whisk, not a mechanical (or an elecrically driven one).

Regards, RAB
 

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