Nonpareils are not just decorative, but fun too!

  • Nonpareils are edible, ornamental items used typically on confectionery and sweet food items, and are popular on desserts and children’s party foods, such as buttered bread or cupcakes.
  • ‘Nonpareils’ are also known as ‘sprinkles’, ‘hundreds and thousands’ and ‘100s & 1000s’, particularly in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
  • Nonpareils are very small, spherical in shape, and coloured brightly in numerous colours.
  • ‘Nonpareils’ sometimes describes confectionery items, like chocolate discs, or ‘freckles’, that are covered with hundreds and thousands.
  • Nonpareils originated as early as the 1690s, and are used in a recipe from the United States in the early 1700s, for the purpose of decorating a wedding cake.

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  • Nonpareils are generally made from sugar, starch and colour, and are difficult to replicate in household kitchens, requiring much skill and equipment.
  • Nonpareils were originally a neutral white in colour and coloured ones were available in the early 1800s in the United States.
  • Nonpareils became less popular in the mid 1900s, due to the introduction of the softer, rounded rectangular prism replacements called ‘sprinkles’ or ‘jimmies’.
  • The word ‘nonpareils’ originates from the French word meaning ‘having no equal’ and the confectionery has its origins in sugar coated seeds and nuts known as ‘comfits’.
  • Nonpareils are commonly available in supermarkets and grocery stores, though they have been available commercially as early as the 1840s.


Nonpareils, 2014, Wikipedia,
What are nonpareils?, 2014, WiseGEEK,
I. Day, Sugar-Plums and Comfits, 2003, Historic Food,


Candied Fruit

Candied fruit prevents fruit from spoiling – and tastes good too!

  • Candied fruits are food items, in particular fruit, that have been preserved by a sweetener, usually sugar.
  • ‘Candied fruit’ is also known as ‘crystallised fruit’, ‘frosted fruit’, ‘glacé fruit’ and ‘glazed fruit’, although the candying processes may vary among the terms.
  • Candied fruit is typically candied by letting fresh or rehydrated fruit boil, and then sit in sugar syrup, and the sugar content of the syrup is gradually increased each day.
  • Candied fruit can take from a few days to many months to become completely candied, and dried fruit will achieve this outcome faster.
  • The candied fruit method causes the water to be extracted from the fruit and replaced with sugar, and this creates a type of pressure that repels some microorganisms that helps to preserve the fruit.

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  • Cherries are the most commonly candied fruit, and other fruits include oranges and their peel, mandarins, figs, melons, and pineapples, and lemon peels, chestnuts and ginger are also often candied.
  • Candied fruit is typically sold and stored in airtight containers, so moisture cannot spoil the fruit, and it is popularly used in desserts and baked goods, most notably in fruitcake.
  • Candied fruit is said to have originated from the Middle Eastern Arabs, as an important banquet food, which spread into Europe most likely in the 1500s.
  • Of all candied fruits, limes are one of the most difficult to successfully candy due to the chemicals in the rind, and usually the process is only achieved in commercial settings.
  • Candied fruit is approximately 80% sugar, and usually contains small amounts of fibre and manganese.
Candied Fruit, 2011, Cooks Info,
Candied Fruit, 2013, Wikipedia,
What is Candied Fruit?, 2014, WiseGEEK,


Cherry Ripe Chocolate Bar

“The Big Cherry Taste” – the slogan of Cherry Ripe.

  • Cherry Ripe is a rectangular chocolate bar that is an original Australian product.
  • Cherry Ripe bars are manufactured by Cadbury Australia and New Zealand.
  • Cherry Ripe bars consists of a coconut and cherry filling mix that is covered with a unique dark chocolate blend called ‘Old Gold’.
  • Cherry Ripes were invented in 1924 by MacRobertson’s Steam Confectionery Works, that was founded by Sir Macpherson Robertson.
  • Cherry Ripes are the oldest chocolate bars to be manufactured in Australia.

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  • According to a survey conducted by Roy Morgan Research, Cherry Ripe was Australia’s most popular chocolate bar in 2012 to 2013, with 10% of the population consuming one in a typical four week period.
  • The original MacRobertson’s Cherry Ripe logo was used on the wrapper until 2002, when it was redesigned.
  • Cherry Ripes comes in sizes of 18 grams (0.6 ounces), 52 grams (1.8 ounces), 80 grams (2.8 ounces) and 216 grams (7.6 ounces).
  • Cherry Ripe bars have a flavour of sweetness and a soft texture, and can be used as a dessert ingredient, to make mud cake, cheesecake or brownies.
  • A homemade slice of the same name, that mimics the flavour and texture of Cherry Ripe bars is popular and can be made using readily available ingredients.


Cadbury Cherry Ripe, 2010, Candyblog,
Cherry Ripe, 2014, Cadbury,
Cherry Ripe, 2014, Real Australian Travel,
Cherry Ripe (Chocolate Bar), 2014, Wikipedia,


Chocolate Brownie

Do you like your chocolate brownies fudgy or cakey?

  • Chocolate brownies are a cooked, sweet food that resembles something between a cookie and a cake, and are presented in the shape of a bar or a square.
  • Chocolate brownies often have the texture of cake or fudge, and can have additional nuts, frosting or icing, cream, chocolate chips or the like.
  • Chocolate brownies are generally made with flour, butter, eggs, cocoa powder or chocolate, and sugar.
  • A chocolate brownie is often served by itself as a snack or dessert, with ice-cream, cream or icing sugar, often as snacks with tea, milk or coffee.
  • It is believed that cake like chocolate brownies were first made by one of Chicago’s (USA) chefs from the The Palmer House Hotel, in the 1890s, for American Bertha Palmer, as a lunch box snack for ladies, originally containing walnuts and using apricot glaze.

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  • It is rumoured that chocolate brownies were made due to a mistake of either placing chocolate in a cookie batch, no flour in batter, or no baking powder in batter.
  • Chocolate brownie recipes were first published in 1904, in two different American published cookbooks, with slight variations in the recipes, one of which was called ‘Bangor Brownies’.
  • If the chocolate brownie ingredients are altered slightly by removing or substituting the chocolate with another ingredient, it is known as a ‘blondie’.
  • Although the origin of the name is uncertain, ‘chocolate brownies’ may have come from the characters of the 1887 book ‘The Brownies: Their Book’ by Palmer Cox.
  • Chocolate brownies quickly became popular, and have remained a common treat, and their popularity has spread to a number of other nations in the world.
Chocolate Brownie, 2014, Wikipedia,
Martin C, Brownies: The History of a Classic American Dessert, 2012, History Scene,


Cocoa Powder

No cocoa, no chocolate… that would be the end of the world.

  • ‘Cocoa powder’ is also known as  ‘cocoa’, ‘cocoa solids’ and ‘cacao’.
  • Cocoa powder is processed from cacao beans, that grow in pods on Theobroma cacao trees that are native to south and central America.
  • Cacao beans, when fermented, dried and ground, contain a mix of 50 to 60% cocoa butter and 40 to 50% cocoa solids, and the latter is generally sold as ‘cocoa powder’.
  • Cocoa powder, combined with cocoa butter, is the main ingredient of chocolate, so therefore it is also used in many chocolate flavoured products like cakes, biscuits, flavoured dairy products, and chocolate syrup.
  • Cocoa powder is coloured in many shades of brown, from light brown to red-brown to dark brown.

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  • Cocoa powder is very high iron, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus, with 100 grams (3.5 ounces) making up over 100% of the recommended dietary intake, and it is high in zinc.
  • In 1828, the Dutchmen Casparus van Houten, a chocolate factory owner, made an hydraulic press to separate cocoa powder and cocoa butter.
  • Cocoa powder is said to be the food with the highest content of flavonoids, which may positively affect the cardiovascular system.
  • Cocoa powder was originally processed to easily make beverages of hot chocolate, that had become popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, which can be quite healthy without extra sugar or the like.
  • Cocoa powder contains a number of chemicals that can make people feel happy and promote positive feelings.
Cocoa Solids, 2013, Wikipedia,
Some like It Hot: Best Hot Chocolate Mix & Cocoa Mix, 2014, The Nibble,
Teta K, Cocoa: Benefits for Health, Fitness & Fat Loss, 2011, Metabolic Effect,



Liquorice… love it or hate it?

  • Liquorice is a sweet that is traditionally flavoured with the plant of the same name, and it is believed that this type of sweet was first made in Holland in the early 1600s.
  • ‘Liquorice’ sometimes has a different spelling – ‘licorice’, and is also known as ‘black licorice’.
  • Licorice is often moulded in the shape of large straps, rope, or cylindrical shapes, although many other shapes are also available.
  • Liquorice, and is sometimes combined with other ingredients like chocolate or sweet candy to make confectionery like liquorice allsorts and chocolate bullets,
  • The main ingredients of liquorice is sugar, flavouring and wheat flour, and often molasses is used, as well as a shiny glaze such as bee wax, while Dutch licorice has a significant quantity of salt added to give it a salty flavour.

Black, Licorice, Liquorice, Rope, Twisted, Black, Shiny, Cut, Ten Random Facts, Sweet,

  • Liquorice is generally made by melting and cooking the ingredients, then pouring the mixture into a mould, or hand shaping the mixture, and then cooled.
  • Liquorice traditionally contains a sweetener, glycyrrhizin, found in the flavouring extract, which has potentially significant negative side effects if too much is eaten at once, including rises in blood pressure, heart failure and swelling, although some positive effects can also be experienced, including the removal of mucous from the respiratory system.
  • Although liquorice is typically black, red and other coloured versions are also manufactured, and they mostly come in different flavours.
  • Some liquorice products contain anise or aniseed, instead of, or in addition to licorice root extract, due to the similar flavour it has.
  • Liquorice is generally low in fat, and it also has a lower sugar and carbohydrate content compared to other confectionery.
Liquorice (Confectionary), 2013, Wikipedia,
Ross A, Liquorice: All sorts of Health Benefits, The Sydney Morning Herald,


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