Here’s a collection of tips I have for making candy, don’t miss the handy temperature chart at the bottom too…
Prevent Crystals: First butter the sides of the saucepan before adding the ingredients. When the mixture starts boiling and bubbling up, the grains of sugar can’t cling.
Saucepan Choice: Use a heavy saucepan that has high sides and the inside is smooth.
Stir: Always stir until the sugar is dissolved. One sugar crystal can cause the whole mixture to be grainy.
Beating: Beating is made easier by first cooling cooked mixture without stirring to lukewarm (110°F.). Use a buttered pan or platter. Always have pan ready before making candy.
Testing Candy: It’s best to use a candy thermometer, but if you don’t have one you can do the cold water test.
Cold Water Test: Drop a few drops of syrup into a small bowl of very cold water (not ice-cold). Form drops into a ball. The firmness indicates temperature of syrup.
Thermometer Test: Clip the candy thermometer to the pan after syrup boils. The bulb of the thermometer must be covered with boiling liquid. Read thermometer at eye level. Check accuracy of thermometer by placing it in hot water. When water boils, thermometer should register 212°F. If it is above or below, add or subtract degrees to make allowance in recipe.
|TEST||TEMPERATURE||COLD WATER TEST|
|Thread||230°F. – 234°F.||Syrup forms 2″ thread when dropped from spoon|
|Soft Ball||234°F. – 240°F.||Syrup forms a soft ball which flattens on removal|
|Firm Ball||244°F. – 248°F.||Syrup forms a firm ball which does not flatten on removal|
|Hard Ball||250°F. – 266°F.||Syrup forms a ball, hard enough to hold its shape, yet plastic|
|Soft Crack||270°F. – 290°F.||Syrup separates into threads which are hard but not brittle|
|Hard Crack||300°F. – 310°F.||Syrup separates into threads which are hard and brittle|
Source: Notes come from an old Five Roses Flour cookbook (1962?)