different cooling properties on silpat?
I made a couple of batches of candy yesterday, and for the first time, turned it out of the pan and cooled it on a silpat. The first batch set up more slowly than usual, and the second batch didn't set at all (however, I'm willing to blame that on the fact that I made a couple of substitutions in the recipe).
Does the silpat affect the way something cools on it, compared to a baking sheet with parchment?
As a side note, I now have some really tasty, but really gooey, meyer lemon macadamia nut clusters. Suggestions on how to salvage them so they can be wrapped and packaged, or am I just going to have to peel them off the silpat and eat them myself.
I've been making candy on my silpat as well and love the nonstick properties more than ever. Not knowing anything about your recipe or substitutions, I would think that the problem is probably in your heating technique vs cooling.
If your sugar does not hit certain temperature marks, it won't harden to the proper texture (hard-ball, soft-crack, etc.) you're looking for. Usually more cooking can help candy attain the proper texture. But since you've already added in the nuts, I would just put it in the freezer and serve it cold and call it caramel.
I'm a fairly experienced candy maker (I've made this recipe in its original form many times), and I'm pretty sure I got it up to soft ball. Either I was wrong, or I got a little too much liquid in it. It's not runny, just gooey -- almost like soft taffy.
I could probably serve them if I removed them from the silpat, rolled them in powdered sugar and served them immediately, but I don't think I can wrap/pack them (I tried waxed paper and it was too sticky -- I haven't tried parchment, though).
I'd like to try another batch, but I don't want to blow another $6 worth of macadamia nuts unless I'm confident it will work.
re: Karl S.
Yeah, even as I typed "parchment on a baking sheet" I realized that a silpat, which doesn't conduct heat, is going to cause the food to retain its heat more than parchment on a metal baking sheet, which will conduct heat away.
Since candy is traditionally cooled on a cold surface (marble), I wonder if I should forego the silpat.
Anyone with more silpat experience got any tips?