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Looking for a Candy School

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I'm interested in learning more about hard candy and was wondering if there are any advanced courses that I can attend where I'll learn more about it. I'm in Canada and I haven't found anything but I'm open to going to Europe since the U.K has many specialized candy stores. I've gone through pastry school so I don't want to learn that again and I know there are programs that incorporate candy into their curriculum but I'm interested in something more advanced.


This is what I mean by hard candy:

post #2 of 5
Honestly, I dont think school is all that nessesary for hard candy. How much time have you spent dabbling in pulled sugar? Practice practice practice, and you'll come up with some creative items. Pick up the book Chocolates and Confections, that will get you started. Also, get the paste colorant from Chef Rubber and candy oils from Lorann oils. The colors and flavors should not contain water, that will give you the best result for hard candies.
Chocolates and Confections has a good section on pulled sugar that applies specifically to candy, something that will be consumed. Also, get the book The Art of the Confectioner. Even though the latter book is mainly for sugar showpiece, its still pulled sugar and a good reference to have.

I really do hope that Chocolates and Confections inspires you to go beyond hard candy. The section on non-crystilline candies is the best, and can inspire anyone.

Ive seen what papabubble does, and its pretty cool, they do good work. There's also many other companies like them (Made in Candy, Sugar Sugar, Red Balloon Candy Artisans). My personal gripe is that they deal ONLY in hard candy. It does look neat making the little logos and patterns of fruit on the cross section of the candy, but at the end of the day, its really expensive hard candy. If you want to do hard candy, start pulling sugar. Add a flavoring oil to your sugar, cut in bite sized pieces, and you have hard candy. The colors and patterns are really up to your own creativity. Are you able to get a job at Papabubble?

Honestly, thats been one of the most interesting things about confections, it doesn't seem like there's any schools at all that teach it. Notters school will teach you all about sugar, but focus on showpiece aspect. Many culinary schools have a confections course, but won't gove you enough time or cover all the subjects well enough for you to become proficient at it, since much of the education is focused on pastry or cuisine. I hope it work out well for you in Europe, I think your best bet is to learn from someone who's been doing it their whole life...and that probably how they learned. It really is a special skill set, thats why you dont see too many Papabubbles all over the place :-)

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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all your suggestions! I would love to work at papabubble but they don't have a location in Canada and I don't know how easy it would be to work in the States or Europe. There's a link on their site if you want to open your own Papabubble store but I haven't enquired about it. I've done some pulled sugar but haven't spent too much time with it. I love your how to make gummies tutorial. It doesn't look too hard. I might try it buy the Greweling book. I don't think there's a candy store where I live where the candy is made by someone locally, they bring the candy from elsewhere. I just heard about a candy food truck which I was excited about but they bring all their candy from Germany. My baking instructor said I should go the U.K that's why I was thinking about doing that. He went there recently and tasted amazing candy like stuffed liquorice. I'm going to learn from those books that you mentioned for now.  


Do you know anything about kaptonhook? 

post #4 of 5

Hey Lacocotte, sorry for the late reply. I'm really glad you enjoyed the gummies tutorial! It was alot of fun making it! Definitely get Grewelings book, you wont regret it. Just make sure you get the professional edition and not the 'at home' version.


And I actually have heard of Kapton Hook. It's kind of an interesting service. Sounds like they will teach you whatever you want (only as far as hard candies go. The confectionery world goes far beyond that) as long as you got the $$$. What I did not know is that they have a book available for purchase that shows the ropes of making the designs in hard candies that are cut once the rope is cooled. It does look very interesting, this is the first time I've seen a book that spoke anything about making the letters or a design on the cut section of a hard candy piece, I've only gathered enough info on doing that through youtube videos. I would totally love to get this book, but I'm afraid $395.00 AUD is far far more then I would be willing to pay. It would be an amazing reference, but thats a very high price to pay. Also, from the sample pages, it seems like its more photographs then anything, I would hope there is some very technical info in there. I'm also a bit bummed because a while back I inquired about the price of the hard candy crimper they sell, but no one ever got back to me.

While were on the subject, check out the book On Food and Cooking, there is a sections on sugar and chocolate, some good info in there.

post #5 of 5

Jean Marie Auboine out of Vegas teaches some specialized hard candy techniques, including panning and large scale confectionary production techniques.


Most of the other highly specialized teachers and schools only focus on bon bons, showpieces and modern pastry.

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