Both professionals and clients believe that bakeries and cake shops are practically synonymous because the products easily cross over. However, confectionary differs remarkably. In fact, some establishments purposefully refer to themselves as confectioners so as to differentiate themselves from a cake shop that may also sell confectionary. In practice, though, both shops sell similar products to the general public.
The Spanish word for confectionery – confitería – comes from the word confit which is a thick paste made from sugar and shaped into circular or oval forms, in different colours and flavours. Confectionary sold by professional confectioners is made with sugar, candied fruit, dried fruit and other ingredients.
How do professional confectioners use candied fruit?
As well as finding cakes, tarts, and pies at a confectionary shop, you may also find:
- boiled sweets
- honey-coated dried fruits
- biscuits and cookies
- custard tarts
- olive oil wafers
Master confectioners usually like to use a lot of candied fruit because it adds colour, flavour, aroma and texture to their creations. For example, dried fruits are mixed with almonds and candied fruit when making turrón. Candied lemon, orange or cherry all work well for turrón.
Candied fruit can also be found in marzipan sweets. The raw almonds are mixed with sugar and other dried fruits. Small pieces of candied fruit can then be added and although not a common ingredient when making marzipan, the end result is an exclusive sweet that differs from that made by competitors.
The same is true with handmade sweets and bonbons. These are products that are never missing from a confectionery shop. They can be filled with cream, jam or candied fruit. It all depends on the professional chef’s creativity.
What type of candied fruit is most often used in confectionary?
Candied fruit is sometimes used as an ingredient, like in panettone, for example, but it most often found as a decoration for cakes, tarts, custards and bonbons. When mixed with fondant chocolate they become so attractive that clients cannot resist them.
A sponge cake is always more appetising if candied fruit is placed on top or as a filling. Making unique and interesting homemade products is a way to make clients loyal to particular Horeca establishments.
The most popular candied fruits are orange, lemon, kiwi and fruits of the forest such as blueberries, strawberries or cherries. The candied fruit used for the Spanish Christmas speciality, Roscón de Reyes, include special flavours such as melon and dyed pumpkin, watermelon and cherries.
As well as using more typical fruit in their dishes, some master bakers and confectioners choose to try new ingredients at their Horeca establishments, cake shops, sweet shops or confectioners. Some of the types of fruit they may use include:
Fruits with pips
Candied or stewed apple is used to make tarts, cakes and jams. Apple purée can also be used to glaze many products such as marshmallows or to fill sweets already mixed with honey, liqueur, or chocolate.
Pears cannot be set as they become slightly acidic, so they are used in purée to make jams, decorate tarts, cakes, waffles and others.
Quince gels nicely and can be used to make jellies, jams, marshmallows, etc, or can be candied. Quince fruit is very similar to apple but of a harder texture and therefore preferred for factory-baked sweet goods.
Candied fruit made from apricots, peaches, cherries or plums are commonly used in confectionary. Found in bonbons, sweets or cakes, candied drupe fruit can also be used as a key ingredient in jams, sauces and other confectionary products. Overwhelmingly popular, glacé cherries are the most common candied drupe fruit to be found in confectionary shops.
Citrus and other types of fruit
Candied fruit peel such as strips of orange, lemon or tangerine are used when making cakes and pastries, as well as being found in jams, sauces or as decoration or a garnish. Other fruits used by professional confectioners include melon, watermelon, pineapple and pumpkin.
At Lazaya we have been making candied fruit since 1940 and offer a wide range of products in different sizes and with various packaging options, all of which aids master bakers, confectioners and cake makers. Contact us today to tell us what you need to make your final products.