AJAR.id – Hello Ajarian! Caramelized sugar can be used to 'glaze' petit fours before they are served. Caramelized petit fours have a very short shelf life unless the sugar is sprayed with lacquer after it is applied. Sugar breaks down when it stands for too long at room temperature. 'Breaks down' is a term used to describe the action of moisture from the air attaching itself to the sugar and dissolving the sugar. The surface becomes sticky and the sugar just runs off the product.
Caramelized petit fours are mainly roasted nuts and dried fruits with marzipan. Any product that is going to be coated with caramel will need to be dry in texture.
Strawberry and grapes can be dipped in caramel but only have a life span of a couple of hours. 30-40 minutes is best. The main problem here is the moisture from the inside of the fruit weeps out and the hard caramel falls off of the product. Dried fruits can be caramelized with success as there is low moisture content.
When fresh fruit is dipped the moisture inside ‘boils’ and structure of the fruit just under the skin breaks down and the resulting moisture weeps through the skin and releases the caramelized sugar from the surface. Dried fruits stuffed with flavored marzipan or other dried fruit and sugar/flavor mixtures are excellent candidates for coating with caramel. The caramel will hold longer as the product is lower in ‘water’
Caramelized nuts and marzipan work better as the product is dry and will carry the caramel better. Even here the life span is only a few hours unless a food lacquer is applied. Fresh dates and dried apricots stuffed with flavored marzipan. Nuts like walnuts should be chosen for their whole halves, no chips of breakages to the nut piece. Two walnut halves with a ball of flavored marzipan between.
Nurturing You to Grow!
Written by: Alan Hickman, Garry Blackburn
Subject Matter: Prepare and Display Petit Fours