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What Is a Dolly Mixture?

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  • Written By: Andrea Cross
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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Dolly mixture is a traditional British confection composed of small pieces of fondant and sugared jelly. Thought to be almost 100 years old, dolly mixture sweets consist mainly of fondant, shaped into cubes, cylinders, and rectangles, that is made into a single or multiple layers of colors. Some of these shapes, usually cubes, are coated with hard candy shells. The mixture may also contain sugar-coated jellies in rounded cone shapes, although modern mixes often contain sugar-coated jelly bears. Often eaten on their own, these sweets are also a popular topping for ice cream and cakes.

This confectionery is usually sold in packets but can also be bought in almost any desired amount from bulk retailers. The sweets were originally pale in color, coming in light pinks, yellows, browns, and whites; however, modern dolly mixtures have much more vibrant colors and include purples, reds, and greens, although the shapes remain much like the traditional. The flavoring is composed mainly of different fruits along with vanilla. Like the colors, these flavors are more intense in modern versions. The dolly mixture sweets have also become popularized into jewelry, usually made of fimo and produced in the form of necklaces, bracelets, brooches, and earrings.

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Dolly mixture contains sugar, glucose syrup, and beef gelatin in addition to modified maize starch and vegetable oil. It also contains citric acid, flavorings, and fat-reduced cocoa. Colorings are an important part of the mixture with spinach extract as a surprise ingredient. A glazing agent, such as beeswax pectin, is also used.

The fondant sweets in dolly mixture are made by combining gelatin and cold water, which bakers heat in a double boiler until the gelatin dissolves. Then, they add glucose syrup and mix it in. Shortening or oil go in the pot next, and afterward, bakers remove the mixture from the heat. Glycerin, flavor, and color are next on the list, and then the mixture cools until lukewarm.

Bakers pour this mixture into a bowl or vat containing confectioners' sugar and stir it until it's thoroughly combined. They add more sugar as needed until the icing dough is no longer sticky and can be kneaded until it is soft, smooth, and pliable. If being manufactured on a large scale, the icing goes through machines that shape it into layered ribbons or tubes of single or multiple colors. Bakers can do this by hand too. Finally, they cut the shaped ribbons and tubes into small sizes and mix them accordingly.

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