Every now and then some sweets. Chocolate, a, lollipop or candy ... Nice pampering. Making your own is not difficult. Something for sugar aunts.
Sometimes you just have to pick them: all tasty and sweet fruit are candies. But you cannot keep them (long). Unless you do something about it.
1.Fruit drying is a first opportunity to make sweets: raisins, apricots, ..
2. A second step is to make them even sweeter (preserve) so they are ‘tastier’ and keep longer, dried or in syrup.
3. And for the next step we reverse the order: we add fruit (juice) or herbs (tea) to sugar and boil it or bil it down to a tough, no more fluid paste and a more pliable mass.
4.THis process can even be simplified by adding a binder such as gelatin, gum or agar (click on links for more info).
5. And in addition there is also a range of sweets to which we add milk, cream and / or butter.

snoeplolliesWith these principles and some creativity you can do it yourself. Create your own selections and variations of colors, flavors and effects (e.g. against cough ...)

Besides sugar, you can use other sweeteners, honey, syrup, stevia, (boiled and dried) fruit, liquorice.
Tasty additions: (slivered) nuts, raisins and other dried berries and (pieces of) fruits, (e.g. sesame) seeds. (Cocoa doesn’t grow here, I just let out.)

Strawberry mint gummies
Mix 25 grams of sugar (or coconut blossom nectar) with 1 full dessert spoon Marmello (vegetarian fruits gelling agent). Puree 200g strawberries and bring to boil. Add them together and allow 1-2 minutes to cook. Turn off the heat and scoop a tablespoon of finely chopped mint in the gelling juice. Pour into (ice) ramekins and leave to harden further in the refrigerator until it is shape stable.
Candy makes your clothes shrink.

Turkish delight
Boil 350 ml of water, 600 g sugar and 3 tablespoons golden syrup at 115° C. Keep it warm.
Mix 125 ml of orange juice and 3 tablespoons orange zest with two baggies of gelatin.
Dissolve 100 g of cornstarch in 125 ml of cold water and stir it in the hot syrup. On a medium heat, stirring, boil down to a thick sauce.
Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the orange apple mix, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 100g chopped pistachios. Sprinkle a cake pan generously with icing sugar. Pour the Turkish fruit there and leave it in a cool, dry place for 3-4 hours until it’s firm.
Cut the cake into cubes and roll them in icing sugar generously (against sticking).

Fruity candies
Apply 150 ml of freshly squeezed orange or lemon juice, and 200 grams of red fruit to the boil. Soak 10 g gelatin leaves to add, OR add 5 grams of agar agar powder (tablespoon). Stir well and let it boil.
Mix all smooth and pour into a dish or ramekins to stiffen. Store them in a box in the refrigerator.

Agar agar: unbranched polysaccharide, vegetarian gelatin substituting binder (with double binding force) from the cell walls of some species of red algae.

Lollies
Preheat soft fruit (such as strawberries, raspberries ...) gently till the juice releases.
Sieve the mass and dissolve 250 g of sugar and 2 teaspoons of liquid glucose (dextrose), stirring. Let this syrup boil further down.
Brush a marble slab with a little oil and stir in a few tablespoons of syrup. Insert if the syrup is still soft a stick in. Possibly glue with warm syrup. Allow to cool and harden.

Membrillo
You can cook cleaned and sliced quince to make delicious jelly. The remaining pulp you can mash and mix with about as much sugar and boil in to membrillo. Let it cool down in a baking tray, and cut cubes.
Classically they are preserved months to a year in sealed wooden boxes with bay leaves between them in a dry and cool place.

Salty liquorice

Sal ammoniac (ammonium chloride) is a white crystalline powder, the ammonium salt of hydrogen chloride (HCl). Although the raw materials (ammonia (NH3) gas and the hydrochloric acid (HCl)) are very aggressive, they together form a salt (ammonium chloride), which forms the basis for sweets as a salty liquorice.

Boil pieces of liquorice (root) in 250 ml of water. Sift it and let the extract thicken to about 50 ml. Turn heat to low. Dissolve 3 teaspoons of syrup or brown sugar. Add half a teaspoon of ammonium chloride for normal liquorice (or one and a half for salty licorice).
Soak a sheet of gelatin for 5 minutes in a dish of water.
Make in another saucer a paste of 3 teaspoons of wheat flour and some water.
     
Add both to the boiling licorice extract, and stir (prevent burning and formation of clots).
When the mixture is smooth and bond, pour it on a piece of greased plate and allow the liquorice to harden for several days.

Drop according to Living in 1870, excerpts from the then 'Winkeler Prins' (encyclopedia):

Made by boiling, extract of sweet carrot wood (Glycyrrhiza glabra and echinata) .. for trade wrapped in laurel leaves.. Dutch licorice: by adding powder of catechu. White liquorices is a mixture of gum, sugar, protein and orange blossom water.


Herbs bonbon
Make infusions of e.g. 3 marigolds, 5 sage leaves, 1 sprig of rosemary, 6chamomile flowers, three 'clusters' fennel seed, and 14 eucalyptus leaves.
Heat one cup of tea and one cup sugar, and stir until it boils. Once the stuff is 150 degrees C hot, remove from heat, stir, then pour in the dimples you've made in a plate full of icing sugar.

Elderberry goody
Make an herbal tea with a cinnamon stick, 5 cloves and some ginger in a pint of water. Let it simmer for half an hour and strain out the herbs. Put one kg of berries per half liter infusion, and let it boil gently.
Press berries through a cloth. Bring the juice to a boil with about the same amount of sugar (brown, white, candy, ..). This is elderberry syrup.
For sweets you let it boil gently and long. Pour the mixture on a with olive oil greased plate and let it cool to snip in pieces and roll into balls that you regularly sprinkle with icing sugar against sticking.

In immature and uncooked elderberries is nauseating prussic acid which disappears during cooking.
Throw all the berries in a bowl of water. The ripe berries are full of sugar and sink to the bottom due to their higher specific gravity, the unripe berries float. They can be skimmed or drained.

Caught drops
Mix one cup of sugar, half a cup of water, a tablespoon of lemon juice, one tablespoon of honey, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves. Let it boil and cool, drop it on a baking sheet and sprinkle with powdered sugar from sticking.

All caught drops and herbal candies are effective, at least as good as any placebo. And it has been scientifically proven to work. (Blue better than red.)

Toffee, fudge, fudge, caramel
are names for candy of cooked sugar syrup with milk and cream. The difference is in the choice of butter, cream or milk and the degree of heating of the sugar mixture. Fondant: 116-121⁰C, fudge: 116⁰C, caramel or fudge: 118-132⁰C, hard toffee, babblers: 146-154⁰C and candy, lollipops, decoration: 149-166⁰C.

The sugar syrup is cooked to 120° C up to 150° C: the water evaporates and the sugar concentration is so high that it gets a solid structure upon cooling.
You can add nuts, raisins, cocoa. Make bars or spheres. Toffee making rarely fails.
Sometimes sugar is first heated to 170° C for the caramelization which happens from 160⁰C.
The browning of our fudge is due to the Maillard reaction: browning of sugar with protein (amino acids) from the milk (allready at much lower temperatures).

Marzipan
Mix 250g blanched (to be peeled) almonds (without skin) with 15-200 g icing sugar (or some stevia) and a few drops of rose water and possibly a few teaspoons of water (or egg-white, or honey) to a firm smooth. Wrap in aluminum foil and store cool and dry.

Marshmallow (guimauve)
These soft, spongy sweets are (especially in the USA) known as candy to roasting over a campfire or barbecue. The exterior caramelizes crispy while the inside becomes thick liquid into stringy dripping. At least if it remains at the stick.
The original recipe was based on an extract of the mucus from the root of the marshmallow (mallow, Althaea officinalis), (French 'guimauve).
The root contains between 10 and 15% pectin, and has a relatively thick slime layer (20-30% of the total weight). The starch with proteinaceous material was used for making marshmallows. The mucus has a highly branched chemical structure similar to pectin, hence the functioning as a thickening agent, and the use in candy. The root is dug up in the fall and the cork layer is removed.
Also the plant's leaves are cooked edible, the flowers are used raw in salads.
Marshmallow's was mainly used medicinally since about 2000 BC. The carrot juice was mixed with nut flour and honey. Around 1800 in France there were added beaten egg whites (, rosewater) and sugar (to ‘pâte de" guimauve "’). Still later, the healing juice is replaced by gelatin, gum arabic, colors and flavors.

Candy is cheaper than therapy.


Indigenous gum: chewing or edible?

Conifers produce, often as protection against viruses and pests, resin at injuries. (Amber is fossilized resin.)
Deciduous trees have a similar product: gum. The difference is that resin is soluble in alcohol (and hardly in water), and gum is (largely) soluble in water. Gummi also als is a collective term for rubber, made from the rubber containing latex from the rubber tree.
We also know the word of gummy bears, sweets based on gum Arabic, a resinous gum of acacia species.

These are interesting, versatile and useful products that do not exist here and have no equivalent here. However, I often see fruit trees with resinous tears. That makes me curious.
Can you make paint or lacquer with it?
Make textile waterproof? (Probably not, gum dissolves in water.)
Make sweets with it?

Last year, I broke a hard sphere from a cherry tree. If I heat it(in the sun or on the stove) it becomes malleable again. You can kit e.g. two stones together with it. After that it becomes hard again.
I was thinking back to this when I wrote an article about making candy. Can we do that with our native gum in the Lower Countries?

As the tree is using the product to repel parasites it seems to me that it is clean and reliable. Is this wound protection also effective against fungi and bacteria?
In contrast, in the sticky syrup are much dust and microorganisms from the air and caught on the bark. But they also of course are on the fruit that I eat from the trees.

You can find the gum especially stone on fruit trees: plum, almond, cherry. So I just went outside to take the test. Last year I transplanted an almond tree. And that’s now "weeping" abundantly. I wondered how it would taste, and whether the other fruit trees  would have different accents from plum gum.
Not really. They all taste like ... nothing. Very neutral.

Fresh gum is crystal clear and slimy. As the droplets grow and age, they are from the outside tougher and finally hard. They color meanwhile also amber to very dark. But the taste remains neutral. And I did not become sick. The tough kibble much is easier and cleaner to harvest than the slimy drops.

The composition should largely correspond to tree sap. Xylem sap flows from root to leaf and consists mainly of water with hormones, minerals and nutrients. Phloem sap (from leaf to root) also contains sugar.

Much information is not to be found on this.
 "Resin" of the cherry was once apparently also used as a remedy for cough.
Apple and plum give gum which is edible and used as a gum (as birch pitch in ancient times?).
Chewing gum you can also make yourself.

In fruit growing the phenomenon is called gum disease. Little is known. Too much fertilizer is sometimes mentioned as a cause. The gum is a degradation product of the cell walls.
But Pseudomonas mors prunorum would arise because the bark is infected by a bacterium, causing cancers which form the gums.

There are apparently several causes for the formation of gum, and a plurality of types of gum.

Cytospora cancer is caused by the fungus Cytospora chrysosperma. The fungus enters the tree through a damaged bark. Small, bumpy fruiting bodies called pycnidia, form on the dead tissue, and giving the bark a rough texture. The pycnidia separate an orange or amber, jelly-like sap. The disease is called Gummosis.

In an old pharmacists book are cherry-tree gum (gum cerasi), peach gum (gummi amygdala Persocoe) and plum-tree gum (gum pruni) called a somewhat inferior substitute for gum Arabic.
They contain prunin and cerasin, respectively, are not soluble in cold, but in warm water.

It seems usable. But also a hard job to collect. Probably our ancestors used it, but took their secret to their grave. Leaving us in the false confidence that industrial products would be better.
If your grandmother know more about it, I eagerly look forward to that knowledge. Let me know…