Take four pounds of sugar, and break it into pieces; put into a preserving-pan the white of an egg, and a glass of pure spring water; mix them well with a whisk, add another glass, still whipping, until two quarts of water have been put in; when the pan is full of froth, throw in the sugar, and set it on the fire, being careful to skim it every time the scum rises, which will be the case as the sugar boils up. After a few boilings, the sugar will rise so high as to run over the edges of the pan, to prevent which, throw on it a little cold water; this will lower it instantly, and give time for the skimming, for the scum should never be taken off whilst the sugar is bubbling; the cold water stills it, and that is the moment to skim it. Repeat this operation carefully three or four times, when a whitish light scum only will rise; then take the pan off, lay a napkin, slightly wetted, over a basin, and pour the sugar through it.
The scum thus taken off, put into a china basin; and when the sugar is clarified, wash the pan and the skimmer with a glass of water, which put to the scum, and set it aside for more common purposes.
The various purposes to which sugar is applied, require it to be in different slates; these are called degrees, and are thirteen in number, called as follows:
Petit Lisse, or First Degree. Replace the clarified sugar in the preserving-pan, to boil gently, take a drop of it on the thumb, touch it with the fore-finger; if, on opening them, it draws to a fine thread, and in breaking, forms two drops on each finger, it is at the right point.
Lisse, Second Degree. A little more boiling brings it to this point; when the thread will draw further before it breaks.
Petit Perle, Third Degree. At this point the thread may be drawn as far as the span will open, without breaking.
Grand Perle, Fourth Degree. On still increasing the boiling, little raised balls are formed on the surface of the sugar.
Petit Queue de Cochon, Fifth Degree. Take up some of the sugar on a skimmer, and drop it on the rest, when it should form a slanting streak on the surface. Boil it a little longer, and it will reach the
Grande Queue de Cochon, or Sixth Degree. The streak or tail is now larger.
Souffle, Seventh Degree. Take out a skimmerful of the sugar, blow through it, and small sparks of sugar will fly from it.
Petit-Plume, Eighth Degree. The same proof as above; the sparks should be larger and stronger.
Grande Plume, Ninth Degree. Take the sugar in the skimmer, as before, give it a shake, and if the sparks are large, and adhere together on rising, it is at the right point.
Petit Boulet, Tenth Degree. Dip your fingers in cold water, and then into the sugar instantly, and again into the water, when the sugar will roll into a ball, which will be supple when cold.
Gros Boulet, Eleventh Degree. At this point, the ball or bullet will be harder when cold than at the last.
Casse, Twelfth Degree. Prove as above; the bullet should crumble between the fingers, and on biting, will stick to the teeth; at the next point,
Caramel, Thirteenth Degree, It should snap clean. This point is very difficult to attain, for in increasing the height, the sugar is apt to burn; it is better therefore to try the proof very frequently.
Another caramel is frequently used by the confectioner, and is of a deep color; it is made by putting a little water to the sugar, and boiling it without skimming, or otherwise touching the sugar, till of the right color, then take it off and use immediately.
If, on preparing the sugar, you happen to miss the right point, add a little cold water, and boil once more.
The skimmer should never be left in the preserving-pan after the sugar is clarified", nor after the scum is removed.
Be very careful not to stir or disturb the sugar, as that would cause its diminution.
In boiling the sugar (particularly the two last degrees), the sugar is continually rising and falling; and on falling, leaves marks on the sides of the pan, which the heat of the fire would soon burn, and thereby spoil the whole of the sugar; to avoid this, have by the side of you a pan of cold water, and a sponge, with which wipe the sides of the pan carefully, the instant after the sugar has fallen.
Blanch a quarter of a pound of bitter almonds, pound them to a very fine paste in a marble mortar, with the whites of four eggs; when perfectly smooth, add a pound of the best lump sugar (in powder), and five or six more whites of eggs; stir all together well, until of such consistence that it may be Kneaded without adhering to the hands. Divide this preparation into two parts, one of which, tinge of a red color, either with bolus armena, or cochineal, and perfume it with essential oil of roses or bergamot; leave the other portion of paste while, but flavor it as follows: - grate the rind of two fine sound lemons on a small piece of sugar, scrape off the surface, and when pounded in a small mortar, work it into the uncolored portion of sugar-paste, then roll it out to about half an inch in thickness (having previously sprinkled the slab with powder-sugar.) cut it with a tin-paste cutter about two inches diameter; arrange them on white paper, which place on a baking tin, and put them into a moderate oven for about three-quarters of an hour; proceed in the same manner with the colored paste. When cold, detach them from the paper.
Take a pound of flour, a quarter of a pound of sugar, a quarter of a pound of butter, a little salt, one egg; mix all together with a little water. This paste may be used for any second-course dish.
Take eight eggs, and whip the whites to a firm snow; in the meantime have the yolks beaten up with six ounces of powder-sugar; (both these operations should be performed for at least half an hour); then mix the two together, add six ounces of sifted Hour, and when well incorporated, pour in half a pint of rose or orange-llower water; stir the whole together for some time. Have ready some tin plates, well rubbed with butter; take a funnel that has three or four tubes, fill it with the paste, and push out your tablets; when the tin plates are full, put them into a pretty warm oven. When done, take them from the tins whilst hot.