Rachel Khoo

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Posted by Rachel

July 3rd, 2012

I want candy

Raspberry caramel in the making

What do you get when you put together sugar, cream, glucose syrup and a bit of flavouring? Well if you do it right, you can create delicious soft chewy caramels. On my last trip to Stockholm I discovered Parlans Konfektyr, and so when I knew I was going to be in Stockholm again, I contacted them to see whether I could take a little peek behind the scenes of this delicious old skool candy shop.

Caramels are individually wrapped in silicon lined baking paper.

Sandra, the store manager, was very happy to have me in exchange for wrapping some caramels, which you might think is a simple thing to do but let me tell you after “trying” to wrap a dozen or so, it ain’t as easy as it looks. My wrapping skills were no where close to the staff average of around 250 caramels an hour. They even have bit of competition with a top five list of fastest staff on the wall.

My name didn’t even make it on the wall. Too slow :(

This little caramel factory used to be an old bakery (the bakery was there since 1938) and now instead of kanelbulle (although they make a few baked treats to eat in the shop), they make 10 different types of caramels. In 2010 they first set up shop in a restaurant in Östermalm before moving to this bakery in November 2011.

Roughly 50kg of sugar (much more during Christmas) gets transformed into 125kg worth of caramels a week. 10 different flavours are currently made: Chocolate & cocoa nibs, lemon & vanilla, fresh raspberry, classic vanilla, almond & vanilla, passionfruit, peppermint & polka (Swedish peppermint candy), salty licorice, blackberry and vanilla & sea salt.

The bestsellers are licorice and vanilla & sea salt. They have 6 or 7 flavours which they are always make plus a couple that are seasonal: passionfruit, blackberry and raspberry are the flavours of the moment.

Caramel left to set.

Producing the caramels is a bit of a labour of love as everything is still done by hand (no high tech machines here). I know from making soft caramels myself that ingredients have to be carefully weighed and cooked to the perfect temperature.

Getting the caramels to set to the perfect consistency is a bit of a science. Too hard or too soft caramels just won’t do. The caramels that don’t make the cut get melted down and made into a delicious sauce instead.

The caramel tasting board.

Once the caramels are perfectly set they are cut by hand and also tasted for quality control purposes (that’s my excuse for tasting everything) to make sure the flavours are consistent.

A caramel cutting rolling pins.

Before the candies make their way to the shop floor they need to be wrapped. My wrapping skills not being so great I got put on stamping duties. Each wrapper is individually stamped with the brand name and caramel type (talk about taking handmade to an extreme!).

Wrapped, they are boxed in an airtight container (humidity will make the caramels sweat and too soft) or put into one of the lovely gift boxes.

And so my sweet adventure ended with a well-earned break: a cup of coffee and a caramel (or two).

Parlans Konfektyr Nytorgsgatan 38, 116 40 Stockholm

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8 thoughts on “I want candy

  1. That sounds amazing Rachel! Thanks for the sneak peek into the makings of what looks to be delicious caramel. Definitely would have to keep them in mind if and when I get to visit Stockholm one day.

  2. Yummy!, I’ve just started the whole twitter thing but this is most definitely one of my favourite follows. Just popping out now to find some lovely chocolate! Dee

  3. Mmmmh! What is it about caramel that is so delicious. I’m obsessed with it ever since I made a salted caramel apple crumble. Sweden just went to the top of my list of places I have to visit as soon as humanly possible.

  4. Thanks for the peek behind the scenes, Rachel! I live a block away from them and their caramels are lovely. I just love the whole atmospere in the store with the sellers dressed in vintage.

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