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Old 03-04-2020, 02:00 PM   #1
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Help needed : Replicating "cracknell" / Peppermint Crisp

Hi everyone, new to the forums and not experienced in making/creating candy or chocolate. I have absolutely scoured the internet and to my surprise could not find one single DIY cooking site or channel that has attempted what I'm trying to do. I would very much appreciate advice from any knowledgable members of the forum.

Essentially, there is a chocolate made by Nestle and sold in South Africa, Australia and a few other place (Peppermint Crisp). I absolutely adore this chocolate and love making peppermint crisp tart, which is one of the best things ever. Re. the chocolate part of the bar, there's nothing really special about it, just normal Nestle milk chocolate. But the peppermint candy interior is incredibly unique and quite unusual (I can't think of anything quite like it, it has a very delicate crunch to it, not too hard) The peppermint sugar/candy is arranged in a delicate strata of what seem like long cylindrical crystals.

Recently I had the hankering to try and recreate this interior peppermint filling but for the life of me cannot figure out how they do it. There are plenty of videos online about rocky candy, sugar glass, etc, but these candies have almost a very different mouthfeel to Peppermint Crisp.

Within the ingredients for Peppermint Crisp they identify the "filling" as peppermint cracknel, which used to be something that was also apparently sold in the UK, but is now discontinued. The ingredients are listed as follows:

Peppermint Cracknel (42%)
- Sugar,
- Glucose Syrup (Derived from Wheat Or Corn)
- Vegetable Fat,
- Peppermint Oil,
- Colour (141),
- Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Wheat Flour)

Now, I can see why vegetable fat and emulsifier would be used in the chocolate, but why would they need to use it in the filling? Unless it is to soften/prevent crystallization of the sugar? Another thought is whether it is at all possible that they whisk/beat the sugar in a certain way to aerate it?

I'm busy putting together a shopping list for what I'm now considering is possible a ground-breaking new DIY chemistry recreation experiment. Can any experienced chefs/candy-makers/chemistry experts shed any light on how they're able to achieve this very unusual sugar crystal pattern and texture? Very much appreciated.

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Old 03-05-2020, 01:19 PM   #2
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I posted a close-up picture for reference.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...p-Close-Up.jpg
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Old 03-05-2020, 03:21 PM   #3
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I've had these bars in the past and LOVE them. No idea how to make the filling however. If you figure it out - post up. The bar itself would be improved with dark chocolate imo.

The texture of the crackle is vague reminiscent of this https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/26...eycomb-toffee/

But the "straws' they manage are baffling to me and perhaps need some high tech gear not found in a home kitchen.
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
I've had these bars in the past and LOVE them. No idea how to make the filling however. If you figure it out - post up. The bar itself would be improved with dark chocolate imo.

The texture of the crackle is vague reminiscent of this https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/26...eycomb-toffee/

But the "straws' they manage are baffling to me and perhaps need some high tech gear not found in a home kitchen.
Thanks Janet. I have a shopping list and I plan to do some cooking chemistry experiments at home. One of my approaches will be to:

- caramelize the sugar in a pan till golden
- add glucose syrup to the melted sugar
- add soy lechtin and vegetable fat to the mixture
(I think the glucose, soy lechtin and vegetable fat are important to keep the sugar crystals "soft")
- then i plan to beat/whisk the mixture to aerate it. I'm hoping the glucose syrup helps keep the mixture liquid-y so I'm not whisking a a rapidly hardening lump of rigid caramel.
- aerating is important for the next step, which I took inspiration from the "How To Cook That" Youtube channel where Ann Readon creates DIY Aero chocolates. ()
- Transfer mixture to a vacuum container. The rationale here is creating a vaccuum will expand the air spaces within the aerated sugar mixture. Once it sets it should hopefully have a texture and air bubbles in it.

The above in no way addresses how to get those "Fortress of Solitude" style cylindrical crystals but I think it's a start. I'll update with results.
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Old 03-06-2020, 07:26 AM   #5
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I just went to Google and did a boolean search using:

cracknell confection and reicpes

Found plenty of recipes.

What's a boolean search?

Quote:
Boolean search is a type of search allowing users to combine keywords with operators (or modifiers) such as AND, NOT and OR to further produce more relevant results. For example, a Boolean search could be "hotel" AND "New York". This would limit the search results to only those documents containing the two keywords.
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Old 03-06-2020, 12:25 PM   #6
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I don't think the soy lecithin is for the cracknell part. I'm pretty sure it's for the chocolate. I'm not supposed to have soy, so I read ingredients. Almost all chocolate has soy lecithin. I have found a brand that uses sunflower seed lecithin and that's what I use.
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Old 03-07-2020, 10:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by RCJoe View Post
I just went to Google and did a boolean search using:

cracknell confection and reicpes

Found plenty of recipes.

What's a boolean search?
Thanks RCJoe, you are correct in that there are plenty of cracknell recipes out there. Unfortunately that's where it gets a bit confusing, because there is a widely accepted cracknell home cooking recipe (made primarily of cornflakes and cocoa powder) that has noting in common with peppermint cracknell. So none of those recipes have been of any help. Thanks for the input though.
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Old 03-07-2020, 10:11 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
I don't think the soy lecithin is for the cracknell part. I'm pretty sure it's for the chocolate. I'm not supposed to have soy, so I read ingredients. Almost all chocolate has soy lecithin. I have found a brand that uses sunflower seed lecithin and that's what I use.
Thanks for the response. I also thought that at first, but Nestle lists the ingredients as follows:

"Milk Chocolate (58%) (Sugar, Full Cream Milk Powder, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Palm Fat (Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin)), Emulsifiers (Soy Lecithin, E476), Flavour), Peppermint Cracknel (42%) (Sugar, Glucose Syrup (Derived from Wheat or Corn), Palm Fat, Peppermint Oil, Colour (E141), Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Wheat Flour). Milk Chocolate contains minimum 22% cocoa solids and 25% Milk solids. May Contain Peanuts and Tree Nuts.

As you can see above, soy lechtin is listed twice as an ingredient, seemingly once for the chocolate and once for the cracknell, indicated by the collective brackets (). Which does lead me to believe they use emulsifier in the cracknell as well. Unless I am misreading that somehow.
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Old 03-07-2020, 10:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlJazz View Post
Thanks for the response. I also thought that at first, but Nestle lists the ingredients as follows:

"Milk Chocolate (58%) (Sugar, Full Cream Milk Powder, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass, Palm Fat (Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin)), Emulsifiers (Soy Lecithin, E476), Flavour), Peppermint Cracknel (42%) (Sugar, Glucose Syrup (Derived from Wheat or Corn), Palm Fat, Peppermint Oil, Colour (E141), Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Wheat Flour). Milk Chocolate contains minimum 22% cocoa solids and 25% Milk solids. May Contain Peanuts and Tree Nuts.

As you can see above, soy lechtin is listed twice as an ingredient, seemingly once for the chocolate and once for the cracknell, indicated by the collective brackets (). Which does lead me to believe they use emulsifier in the cracknell as well. Unless I am misreading that somehow.
That does look like it goes in both.
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