The many facets of marble: candy factories use marble slabs as work surfaces with ideal heat-exchange

Marble as work surface in candy factories.

The candy craft makes use of the insulating properties of stone to make perfect clear hard candy

Natural stone has excellent insulating properties, a well-known fact: in ancient times, people used to take pre-heated warm stones to bed wrapped in cloth; today those inclined to nip a high proof drink, often use a cooled stone. Since stone does not melt, the drink is not watered down.

We recently came across another age-old use form stone. Marble slabs, several centimeters thick are used as a working surface in candy production.

Also ideal: marble surfaces for working fudge.

Note that the production sites are shops in which craftsmanship is the method rather than automation.

We asked for a commentary at the Bremer Bonbon-Manufaktur in the German city of Bremen from where Annika Büsselmann wrote us a long enthusiastic mail.

„Marble is an ideal work surface for producing candy because it stores the heat for the duration of production.“ I.e. 150° C, the temperature at which the viscous mass sweet sugar and glucose mass leaves the kettle. The cooling phase is critical. Cooling down too quickly prevents the candy becoming hard as glass.

This is true also for addition of aroma and the kneading process, when bubbles are worked into the mass to intensify flavor. And muscles are needed for this line of work and for pulling the mass, „which guarantees a high gloss of the candy“ writes Annika Büsselmann.

But it is just as important that marble conducts the heat away from the mass and allows the candy and itself to cool down. „One must never spread molten candy mass on a hot marble slab lest the mass sticks to the marble.“

A secret for copy cats: „We give the marble slab a coat of wax-based release-agent“. This seals the pores of the marble and prevents candy mass from bonding with the stone.

Marble as work surface in candy factories.

Slabs of marble, like those used in the Bremer Bonbon-Manufaktur, are 3 cm thick and made of a light pink marble. Why pink? „Pink underscores the contrasting color of the candy mass and fits in with the candy design of the factory.“

For manufacturing fudge thicker slabs are needed „as the mass remains on the marble slab to cool completely“, according to Annika Büsselmann.

Theoretically one could also use granite slabs, says the expert. „But in our opinion marble has the best properties as a work surface. We like to work on marble.“

Bremer Bonbon Manufaktur (German)

Video: Fudge

Photos: Bremer Bonbon-Manufaktur

(23.10.2017, USA: 10.23.2017)