Part 4

Back to the laboratory

January 5, 2003 Here's what I did today,

Combine all in a 2 qt saucepan. Heat on high. Stir until the sugar dissolves, about five minutes. Every 5 minutes or so after that, use a pastry brush to wipe water down the side of the pan to make sure the sides of the pot remain clean of any splatters. I measured the temperature with a candy thermometer that hangs just off the side of the pot. I left the mixture on a high boil until the temperature reached 130 degrees Celsius. It took about an hour.

While this was heating, I oiled a granite table. I put ice cubes in a large plastic bag and set it on the granite to cool it down.

Once the mix hit 130 degrees I lowered the stove to medium-high so that the temperature would rise more slowly. I also used a dry paper towel to dry condensation off the granite.

As the mix reached 150 degrees I poured it out on the granite and added the flavoring.

The plan was to work the candy, but it STUCK LIKE GLUE to the board. I used my oiled pastry knives to scoop it up as best I could, but it really stuck. I mean stuck. Really stuck. Angela ran in and oiled another part of the granite for me. I scooped up what I could and moved it to the oiled portion. It didn't stick as badly.

Once it cooled a bit more I picked it up in oiled hands and worked it to a sheen. Cut it up with scissors and I have candy.

This batch is a bit too soft.

Things to try next time:

  1. Go up to 155 degrees C
  2. Start with only one cup of water to shorten the cooking time
  3. Use butter on the granite and renew it right before pouring out the candy
  4. Don't pre cool the granite; I think it would be fine to be at room temperature
  5. Would it make a difference to use beet sugar?
  6. Would it make a difference to add some Karo syrup to the mix before heating?

So this is where I am now. I'm ready to go back at it again. As I learn more, you'll be able to read about it here. If you learn something, let me know.


Continue... when?