Old fashioned sugar candies

Posted by on 25/03/2013

Its been a while since I’ve updated on here, sadly haven’t had as much energy as usual and spent a bunch of time painting instead of cooking.  I was motivated to post again as my boyfriend Ryan started up his own blog over on Weetabyt.es focusing on computer networking, linux, video streaming issues etc, basically all the cool stuff we do around the house to manage our own network, voip, video streaming, content serving, and networked gaming. Some of it is a bit above my head but it is all really neat and I’ve found the end results to be really useful. Playing videos on my xbox ftw!

Before we get started on the candy that I made this week, here is one of the paintings that I’ve done recently:
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I call it “Asymmetric Geometric”.

Now on to the recipe!

This week I experimented with sugar work, and made some home made candies. You will need a candy thermometer for this, trust me, I’ve screwed up every time I’ve tried using the alternative method(dripping sugar into ice water to test its stage). For these candies I had a goal of 295f. Next time I’m going to take them off the heat a bit faster as I believe it managed to burn a bit on me. Still tasted good! It could have been an issue with thermometer placement, but since this was my first time working with a candy thermometer its not a bad result. More testing will have to be done and I will definitely blog about it!



Next time I’m going to try taking it off at 275f to see the difference. Candy cooks in stages as the temperature rises, the heat you take it off at greatly changes the behaviour of the sugar as it cools. This is why the thermometer is required, as the time it takes to jump from not ready to burned can be seconds.

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I got this thermometer this week, as well as a new set of cookware. Its quite exciting. The backdrop is one of my Silpat baking mats, if you do not have one you can work the sugar on an oiled baking sheet. Thermometer required, fancy equipment: optional.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup water: I soaked hibiscus flowers in the water to colour the candies.
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1 cup sugar

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1/2 cup corn syrup

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Put all of these in a pot on medium heat. I use a separate burner we own as molten sugar can be a pain to clean off a flat top stove. Stir constantly until the sugar melts and everything starts to simmer.

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Brush the sugar on the sides down with a wet pastry brush and insert sugar thermometer. I tried clipping mine to the side but my pot was too large and It was not deep enough, making my reading difficult. Make sure you have a small enough pot to fully submerge your termometer or it is basically useless!

For candy you want the hard crack or soft crack stages.. soft is 275ish and hard is closer to 300f. At 295f I pulled mine off the heat. Sadly my temperature was a bit off so I got a bit of burn and caramel flavour. Not enough to ruin it, but it defeated the purpose of the colouring I added by turning everything golden!

Once you reach your goal temperature take candy off the heat. Once it stops bubbling stir in your flavouring, and food colouring if you need it. I used two teaspoons of rose water for a floral flavour, but any flavour oil or extract can work. Waters and oils do need to be added in slightly more quantity than extracts to get a full flavour.

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At this point pour your candy onto the surface you will be working on. A greased pan, a silpat, or even a marble counter top works. Use a heat proof spatula to stretch and fold the candy into itself as it cools. Eventually it will stick together and no longer flow, getting harder to spread and losing heat. Now its ready to work! If its still hot to touch give it a moment as you can get burned very easily by molten sugars.

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  Roll the sugar into a log. Then pull the sugar into a long strand, fold it back into itself, and stretch it again. It will start taking on a different streaky appearance the more you stretch and worknit, catching light quite nicely. Finally pull it into one long even thickness strand, and using scissors cut it into bite sized candy pieces.

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Don’t they look pretty!   At this point I sprinkled them with corn starch to keep the candies from sticking together while stored.

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Here you go! A bowl full of delicious rose flavoured home made sugar candies, and all in all it really didn’t take that much time! Plus, I didn’t even have to try very hard to make it gluten-free. Next time I’m thinking of moulding them like lollipops instead of  stretching the candy, but that is a blog post for the future.

Until next time,

Sean



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