Looking For Tips On Teaching A Candy-Making Class

Sugar Work By KittisKakes Updated 3 Dec 2009 , 11:04pm by KittisKakes

KittisKakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
KittisKakes Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 1:43pm
post #1 of 8

I've been asked to teach a 2hr class on making candies. I've made some candies, but they're not my forte. It's supposed to be as much of a hands-on class as possible. The problem, there's no way to set up melting pots for chocolate or heating anything in general. I can have one and do demo's, but they want me to get everyone involved. And my knowledge on making candies is limited.

So, do any of you have any tips on what to teach? I can have ingredients prepped ahead of time. Like I can have the ganache already made and cooled for truffles, but what else should I do?

7 replies
bobwonderbuns Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
bobwonderbuns Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 1:59pm
post #2 of 8

Make sure you have a good microwave and a frig/freezer in the room as well as a sink (and preferably an oven.) Look up a variety of easy candies to make and come prepared for those. You might want to take other candy classes to see how others teach as well. Recruit students as assistants, they love that! That should give you a start.

KittisKakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
KittisKakes Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 2:18pm
post #3 of 8

Thanks. I hadn't thought about a microwave. And unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be anywhere else to take a class for candy. I would have jumped on that otherwise. The class will be in March, so I have a little bit of time to prep.
They've also got me teaching 2 seperate cake decorating classes. I'm not worried about those though. This was set-up by a company that offers their employees classes on furthering their education and interests. Not open to the public. I'm not a Wilton instructor, but I know what I want to teach for cake decorating.

leahk Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
leahk Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 4:40pm
post #4 of 8

When we did a group demonstration someone brought a microwave. Chocolate was melted in a big bowl and then plastic cups were filled with choclate to pass around. We made sure to have one mold per person, usually people sitting next to each other swapped so they could each get a few shapes. I pre-prepared the fillings and demonstarted how to made filled chocolates. Then each person did a tray.

Fillings I used: peanut butter cup, candy fondant (with added extracts), nougat and truffle.


bobwonderbuns Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
bobwonderbuns Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 4:48pm
post #5 of 8

Are you thinking more like a chocolate candy class or a candy candy class or a mix of both candies and chocolates?

KittisKakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
KittisKakes Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 5:21pm
post #6 of 8

Probably both. And whatever is easiest to teach. I have 2 hours to do whatever I want. They planned it before Easter so they can take what they learn and use it during that holiday.

I've made truffles, cake balls, pralines, turtles, choc covered cherries & strawberries. I've used molds for chocolate and have even done sugar beer bottles. So, I have some limited experience. I'm just not sure on what would be appropriate to teach to a class. Especially when they want them to participate as much as possible.

I'll see the room I have in January. That's where I'll also be teaching the cake decorating class. I guess I was just trying to figure out a plan of action.

TexasSugar Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
TexasSugar Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 6:09pm
post #7 of 8

Well if the room has some plugs I'd get an surge box and set up a couple of melting pots (or crock pots as long as they have a low setting) or heating pads.

I'd also stick to simple, simple for the first class. 2 hours sounds like a lot of time but it really is not.

I did a class on using candy molds, but we had 3 hours. I demo-ed the different things you could use as candy molds (the plastic molds, cookie cuttiers, the cookie treat pans, silcone cupcake holders...) and showed them some little examples of different things using those. My examples were not all related to the current holiday, but I tried to show things using different holidays so people can see they can use the same things often.

At the end I set tables for them, and they shared a plate of melted candy melts to do the painting and then they filled thier plastic molds and did the sticks in them. They left the class with a little pot with their lollipop sticks in it.

I also did another one that focused on dipping stuff. This is what I would do if I were you, that way you don't have to worry about the fridge aspect of things. In the pervious class I had to run back and forth to the fridge in the break room, so I didn't want to do that again.

We dipped pretzles, oreos and marshmallows in candy melts. We stuck the pretzels sticks in the marshmallows and then dipped them in chocolate then rolled them in different things (like chopped nuts, crushed graham crackers, holiday sprinkles, mini M&Ms). You could also look around for ideas like marshmallow snowman or the pumpkins. We dipped everything in chocolate and white chocolate, but to show them color I had two bags of red and green candy melts and showed they could drizzle over the pretzels to add some color.

You can also show how they can package them to give as gifts.

The plus about those is that it isn't alot of overhead for you (marshmallows and pretzles and oreos are pretty cheap) AND it is items they can easily get at home with out a bunch of added expense or things to store that they might not really use.

You can also do truffles, have the ganache ready to roll then show them different things to roll them in... cocoa powder, powder sugar, nuts. Or do chocolate covered cherries or mint patties.

The good thing about all of the above is that the chocolate will set up rather fast with out having to be put in the fridge or freezer. They can bring in a cookie sheet and you can cover it with wax paper for their 'work station'.

At the end of the class I took the left over melted chocolate and showed them how to make pepermint bark (white chocolate and crushed peperments) and chocolate covered popcorn with the regular chocolate.

KittisKakes Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
KittisKakes Posted 3 Dec 2009 , 11:04pm
post #8 of 8

Thanks guys. This definitely gives me something to work with. The class will only have a max of 12. So, I'm thinking I might even break it into stations.

Quote by @%username% on %date%