Pastry term of the week: Panning
Panning is a process that coats a center (often a nut) with sugar syrup, chocolate or both. It can be done manually in a bowl for small quantities, but is usually done in a machine that looks like a cement mixer. As it rotates, the center picks up small amounts of coating and becomes smooth. Both syrup and chocolate can be colored. Once the coating is complete, they are polished in the same equipment to yield a shiny product.
Panned items, or dragées in French, include malt balls, Jordan almonds, M&Ms, lemon heads, and jawbreakers to name a few.