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  • [contemplative music]

  • - You have to work with flavors

  • and smells and touch and sight,

  • but you also have to hear what's going on.

  • That balance of all five senses

  • sort of is a tipping point

  • where you can do just about anything.

  • With our candy, we look back in time.

  • We go back to the 1800s, the Victorian period.

  • Many of our bits of equipment were made in that time period.

  • We're pretty much the only one who has started up again,

  • using this sort of equipment,

  • tracking it down and restoring it.

  • Today we're gonna be making sugarplum drop candies,

  • eggnog image candies, and peppermint candy canes.

  • First, we do the candy canes.

  • The first thing we do is we cook the sugar.

  • It's mixed with water and we're boiling all the water out.

  • We need to use two sugars

  • to interrupt the crystallization process,

  • sucrose and glucose.

  • If we just used sugar and water, when it hardened,

  • it would turn back into table sugar, it'd become granular.

  • - [Uri] Hot pot!

  • - [Greg] We have a team of five candy makers here

  • at Lofty Pursuits.

  • Uri and Jake were working with me today.

  • Everybody in the store knows when we make peppermint candy

  • because peppermint has a weird reaction to your skin.

  • It makes you feel cool.

  • - [Uri] Anybody who was, in any way, slightly congested

  • or had any letter of allergies at this point,

  • they will not after that.

  • - [Greg] Twenty-five pounds of candy canes

  • only take less than an ounce of peppermint oil.

  • When we make candy with multiple colors in it,

  • we add the food coloring on the table.

  • We do this so we can segment

  • and separate the different areas of color.

  • One of our specialized tools doesn't look like it's a tool.

  • It's a giant table.

  • The top is made out of a half-inch piece of steel

  • and has a water circulation system in it.

  • We use it to rapidly cool the hot sugar.

  • Where it comes in contact with the table

  • will cool off quickly.

  • But the bits not in contact don't cool that fast.

  • So, by folding the candy together,

  • we get to even out the heat

  • and pick the temperature we want.

  • We may want it to act more like a liquid

  • or more like a solid or somewhere in between.

  • - [Uri] Yeah, we're getting real close to stretch time.

  • - [Greg] Next, we make the amber sugar white.

  • This is a hand-wrought iron hook.

  • It's thicker than most of the other hooks that we encounter.

  • And this lets it radiate the heat better

  • so the candy is less likely to stick to the hook.

  • We have several hooks in the store,

  • but the one that I used today came from a store

  • called Mullane's, which was opened in 1848 in Cincinnati.

  • We changed the amber into white.

  • We pulled it about 75 times.

  • Each time we folded it, it trapped air bubbles

  • on the inside.

  • Those air bubbles are great

  • because those little round bubbles reflect light

  • back out and the random light

  • that they reflect appears white.

  • Then we start making the stripes on the heating table.

  • - [Uri] Make sure my stripes are super even in sickness.

  • - [Greg] Candy canes didn't always have stripes.

  • The first candy canes were white.

  • Actually, if you look at Victorian greeting cards,

  • which is the best way to look at the history of candy canes,

  • 'cause they showed up on them,

  • it wasn't until the late 1800s the first stripes came out.

  • And this is partially because people thought

  • of peppermint as a white color.

  • - [Uri] I just wait for these two

  • to actually get stuck together.

  • - [Greg] One of the things about candy

  • that we have to be careful with is the colors

  • will migrate from one point into another.

  • In the candy canes, if they're too hot,

  • the red would actually bleed into the white parts

  • of the candy.

  • We don't want this to happen.

  • We do this by controlling the temperature

  • and the only way we can really tell the temperature

  • at this point is by feel.

  • We know how stiff the candy needs to be.

  • And that just comes with practice.

  • - [Uri] Here we come!

  • - [Greg] The batch roller twists the candy

  • as it forces it down the taper.

  • We don't want it to go too far, but it's kinda useful

  • in this case, to a point, because it puts the spiral

  • on the candy cane.

  • - [Uri] The first candy cane is born.

  • - [Greg] We add a spiral with our hands,

  • but we do it at the machine first.

  • Then we add the hook on the candy cane.

  • The hook on the top of the candy cane is made by bending it.

  • If you think of this, it's behaving like a tube.

  • The inside white is softer than the outside,

  • so we have to bend it very carefully.

  • We use our hands in a very similar way to a tube bender

  • that a plumber uses.

  • Then we have a little guide we use

  • to make sure they're all a consistent size.

  • And that's how we make candy canes.

  • Next, we'll make the drop candy.

  • [candy shatters]

  • We start the process the same,

  • boiling the sugar and adding the flavor.

  • The sugarplum is a drop candy where everything

  • is the same color.

  • Everything else we did used multiple colors.

  • Because of this, we could cheat a little.

  • We could add the coloring and the flavoring

  • in the pot at the same time.

  • - [Uri] Hot pot!

  • - [Greg] And when we poured it on the table,

  • we could pour it thinner and over a larger surface area

  • so it'll cool faster.

  • It just speeds up the candy making process.

  • We can tell by the texture of the sugar

  • the temperature of the sugar

  • and then we add the citric acid

  • 'cause citric acid will burn if the sugar's too hot.

  • And the citric acid is the acid

  • that makes the flavors right.

  • Most of these flavors come with no acid in them

  • and most fruits have acid in it.

  • - [Uri] Just gets impossibly thin.

  • - [Greg] The problem with teaching candy making

  • is it's all about touch.

  • [hands clap]

  • The consistency changes constantly.

  • There's one point that we wanna cut it.

  • We wanna cut it when the outside is hard

  • and the inside's still liquid

  • so we can average out the temperatures.

  • - [Uri] You can see it's starting

  • to become a little bit more compact.

  • - [Greg] But then when we wanna manipulate it,

  • we want it more of a clay consistency

  • when we're doing the initial shape,

  • but we want it to get harder to keep the shapes

  • once it's done.

  • It went from a liquid to now it's behaving

  • like a non-Newtonian fluid.

  • And that means that right now it's flowing like a liquid,

  • but if you put a lot of pressure in it,

  • it would behave like a solid.

  • I still have a pair of scissors from my great-grandfather

  • when he was a tailor and they probably

  • took two weeks of salary to buy,

  • but he kept them for a lifetime

  • and he died before I was born.

  • The things that I own here for this candy making,

  • I don't feel like I'm an owner of,

  • I'm just a caretaker of, because they're gonna be here

  • generations after me and I have to preserve them

  • for the candy makers that follow me.

  • This is 150 year old equipment.

  • The machine is a fruit drop roller.

  • We're doing this by passing the candy through it

  • and getting out the shape at the other end.

  • Today, we use the diamond shape.

  • The diamond candy not only looks pretty,

  • but gives eight surfaces to be in your mouth

  • so the flavor spreads faster.

  • So we like this for subtle flavors like the sugarplum.

  • These candy machines haven't changed much