Have some warm chocolate, as for pistachios; some add a little butter or oil to make it work more free; make into balls about the size of a small marble, by rolling a little in the hand, or put some of the paste on a flat piece of wood, on which to form, and take off with a knife. Place on sheets of white paper about 1 in. apart. When the sheet is covered, take by the corners and lift up and down, letting it touch the table each time, which will flatten them; cover the surface entirely with white nonpareils, and shake off the surplus ones. When the drops are cold, they can be taken off the paper easily. The bottom of the drops should be about as broad as a sixpence. Some of them may be left quite plain.
Warm some sweet chocolate by pounding in a hot mortar; when reduced to a malleable paste, take a little, and wrap round a blanched pistachio nut, roll in the hand to form it as neat as you can, throw it in some nonpareils of various colours; let it be covered all over. Dispose of the whole in the same manner; fold them in coloured or fancy papers, with mottoes; the ends should be cut like fringe. Almonds may be done the same way, using vanilla chocolate, if preferred.
Take 4 oz. chocolate prepared without sugar, 1 oz. vanilla, 1 oz. powdered cinnamon, 48 gr. ambergris, 3 oz. sugar; warm the paste by pounding in the heated mortar, or on the stone, add aromatics in powder to the sugar, and mix well with the paste; keep closed in tin boxes. About 12 gr. of this is put into the chocolate-pot when it is made, giving an agreeable and delightful flavour, and rendering it stomachic. It may also be used for flavouring chocolate tablets.
Take 10 lb. prepared nuts, 10 lb. sugar, 2 1/2 oz. vanilla, 1 oz. cinnamon, 1 dr. mace, and 2 dr. cloves. Prepare nuts according to directions given. Cut the vanilla in small bits, pound fine with part of the sugar, and mix with the paste; boil about 1/2 the sugar to " blow " before adding to the chocolate, otherwise it will eat hard. Proceed as before, and either put in small moulds or divide in tablets, which are wrapped in tinfoil. This is ordinary "eatable " chocolate.
These are made in a copper comfit-pan, attached to a bar, having chains at each end, with a hook and swivel in the centre, by which it is suspended from the ceiling about breast high over a stove or charcoal fire. Steam pans are now used in large factories. A preserving-pan containing clarified syrup is placed inside the stove, or over another fire, that it may be kept hot, but not boiling; a ladle for throwing syrup into the pan, and a " pearling cot,"are also* needed. This last somewhat resembles a funnel without the tube, and having a small- hole in the centre with a pointed spigot fitted into it, which regulates the syrup run out. A piece of string tied several times across the centre of the top of the cot, and twisted with the spigot, allows it to be adjusted.
Sift Valencia almonds in a cane or wicker sieve, pick out any pieces of shell and any very small or large almonds, using those which are near of a size; take about 4 lb., put into the comfit-pan, and proceed as for caraways (1); or they may first have a coating of dissolved gum arabic; rub well about the pan with the hand, and give a dust of flour; then pour on a little syrup at small thread, work and dry well, give 3 or 4 more charges, and a charge of gum with a dust of flour. Proceed thus until they are 1/3 the required size, then dry for a day, and proceed and finish as for caraway comfits. For cheaper comfits, more gum and flour are used.
Pick the barberries from the stalks, and dry on sieves in a hot stove; when dry, put about 2 lb. into the comfit-pan, and proceed as for almond comfits, giving first a charge of gum and flour, and finish as others. Make of a good size, and quite smooth; finish with very white loaf sugar syrup.
(1) Sift 2 lb. caraway seeds in a hair sieve to free them from dust, put into the comfit-pan, and rub well about the bottom with your hand until quite warm, have some clarified loaf sugar syrup boiled to "small thread "; give a charge by pouring over about 2 tablespoonfuls; rub and shake well about the pan, that they may take the sugar equally, until quite dry. Be careful not to make them too wet in the first charges by using too much syrup, or they will lie in a lump and be difficult to part. It prevents sticking to pass the hand through them between a very swing of the pan, and adds to their smoothness. Give 4 or 5 charges, increasing the quantity of syrup a little each time, and let each charge be well dried before another is given, dusting with flour at the last charge. Sift in a hair sieve, and clean the pan. Put in again, and give 4 or 5 charges more, with a dust of flour at the last; then sift, and clean the pan. Proceed thus until they are 1/3 required size. Put in the stove or sun to dry until next day; clarify and boil some sugar to large thread, keep warm as before, divide the comfits, and put part in the pan, so as not to have too many at one time; as they increase in size, divide into convenient portions, so as to work them properly without encumbering the pan.
Give 4 or 5 charges of syrup, proceeding in the same manner as before, until they are 2/3 or more of the required size; stove until next day. Continue with each portion alternately, until all are done. On the third day, boil the syrup to small pearl, and give 8 or 10 charges as before, without using flour, lessening the quantity of syrup each time. Swing the pan gently, and dry each charge well. Put id the stove for 1/2 or 1 hour after each charge, and proceed alternately with each portion until finished, when they should be about the size of peas. Put in the stove for a day, then smooth with the whitest loaf sugar syrup boiled to small thread; add 2 or 3 tablespoonfuls of dissolved gum arabic to give a gloss. Give 3 or 4 charges with a very gentle heat, the syrup being cold and the pan scarcely warm. Work and dry each charge well before another is added; when finished, dry in a moderate heat. It is best to dry comfits in the sun, as it bleaches them. If the stove is at a greater heat than the sun on a moderately warm day, which is 70° to 80° F. (216 to 27° C), it will spoil their whiteness. (2) Bath Caraways are made in the same way, but only half the size. (3) Gingerbread Caraways. Sift the seeds, and warm in the pan, as for (1). Have some gum arabic dissolved, throw in a ladleful, and rub well about the pan with the hand until dry, dusting with flour.