Artificial Fruit, Eggs, etc - Prepare plaster moulds from the natural objects; make in 2, 3, or more pieces, so as to relieve freely, and have a hole at one end into which the sugar may be poured; let them be made so that the parts fit together exactly; for this purpose, have 2 or 3 round or square indentations on the edge of one part, so that the corresponding piece, when cast, will form the counterpart, which may at all times be fitted with precision. Let the object you would take the cast from be placed in a frame of wood or stiff paper; embed a part in fine sand, soft pipeclay, or modelling wax, leaving as much of the mould exposed as you wish to form at one time, and oil with sweet-oil; mix some prepared plaster with water, to the consistency of thick cream, and pour over; when this is set, proceed with the other portions in the same manner until complete. Let dry and harden for use. Take sufficient syrup (clarified with charcoal) to fill the mould, and boil to small ball; rub some against the side, so as to grain it; when it turns white, pour into the moulds; take out when set, and put into the stove, at a moderate heat, to dry.
The moulds must be soaked for an hour or two in cold water previously to their being used, which will be found better than oiling them, as it keeps the sugar delicately white, while oil does not. Colour according to nature with liquid colours and camel's-hair pencils, or the usual pigments sold in boxes may be used. If a gloss is required, the colours should be mixed with a strong solution of gum arabic or isinglass, to the desired tint. Eggs and fruit may be made as light and apparently as perfect as nature, by having moulds to open in two, without any orifice for filling them. Fill one-half with the grained sugar, immediately close the mould, and turn it round briskly that it may be equally covered all over. To accomplish this, it is necessary to have an assistant.
Take fine Valencia or Jordan almonds, and sift all the dust from them; put a pint of clarified syrup into the pan for each lb. of almonds, and place it with the almonds on the fire; boil to ball, then take off and stir the mixture well with a spatula, that the sugar may grain and become almost a powder, whilst each almond has a coating. Put into a coarse wire or cane sieve, sift all the loose sugar from them, and separate those which stick together. When cold, boil some more clarified syrup to feather, put in the almonds, give 2 or 3 boils in it, take from the fire, and stir with the spatula as before, until the sugar grains; sift and separate, and keep in glasses or boxes. A third coat may be given in the same manner as the second, if they are required large.
These are made with raw sugar and skimmings. Put some water with the sugar to dissolve it; when near boiling, add the almonds, and let boil in it until it comes to small ball; or when the almonds crack, take from the fire, and stir with a spatula until the sugar grains and becomes nearly a powder; put into a sieve, and separate the lumps.
For each lb. of sifted almonds, use 2 1/2 lb. loaf-sugar, made into a syrup. A roundbottomed copper pan is best for making these in. The almonds may be boiled in the sugar until they crack, before being taken from the fire to be stirred and separated for the second coat; or, when the sugar is boiled to ball, the almonds may be put in; then take from the fire, and stir well with a spatula, that the sugar may grain, and each almond have a coating. Put the pan on the fire ~ again, and keep constantly stirred, that the loose sugar may melt and burn about them of a fine brown. Either way will give the burnt flavour, from which they take their name. Turn into a coarse sieve, sift all the loose sugar from them, and separate those that stick together. Boil the same quantity of clarified syrup as before to feather and colour it to the desired shade with prepared cochineal. Let it attain the same degree again before taking the syrup from the fire, then put in the almonds and stir them as before until the sugar grains, and again sift and separate. The sugar for the third coating must not be boiled quite so high as the last, and there must be only sufficient to just cover them. Immediately the sugar begins to grain about them, turn out on the stone, and cover with a pan or cloth.
After a few moments, separate and put in boxes or glasses, when cold. The colour of these almonds is considered to be much brighter when the syrup is boiled rather higher than the required degrees for the second and third coats, and the colour added to reduce it, after it is taken from the fire.
Finely grate the inside of a coco-nut; mix 6 or 8 oz. of the grated nut with 1 lb. sugar; use water to moisten the sugar in the proportion of 1 pint to 3 lb. Boil to bare crack, grain the sugar by rubbing some against the side of the pan, and pour into oiled or buttered tins. Some give an additional flavour by adding a little raspberry jam, or orris powder (which will also give somewhat the flavour of a raspberry, if a little tartaric acid is used with it). With the jam more particularly it forms a most delicious compound. It should be coloured with prepared cochineal to give the red colour of raspberries, otherwise it should be white. Machines are now generally used for preparing the coco-nut.
These are done the same as burnt almonds, but they are usually denominated prawlings, the nuts being only put into the sugar for 2 or 3 minutes before it is taken from the fire, and stirred.