Stages of Syrup Cooking:
Slightly more cooking is required on damp or rainy days than on a dry, clear day. Allowance is made for this in the following table. The higher temperature should be used on a damp day while the lower is right for clear weather. Soft ball, for fondant, fudge, panocha – 234 degrees F. to 238 degrees F.
Firm ball, for caramels – 246 degrees F. to 248 degrees F.
Hard ball, for taffy – 265 degrees F. to 270 degrees F.
Crack stage, for butterscotch – 290 degrees F. to 300 degrees F.
Hard crack, for brittles, sticks, lollypops – 300 degrees F. to 310 degrees F.
Hard crack stage, for clear hard candies – to 310 degrees F.

Cold Water Test:
Pour about 1/2 teaspoon os the hot candy into a cup nearly full of very cold water. Shape the syrup with the fingers of one hand.
Soft ball: The syrup can be formed into a soft ball which flatens on removal from the water.
Firm ball: The syrup can be formed into a ball which offers some resistance to the fingers.
Hard ball: The ball which is formed is distinctly chewy.
Crack: The mixture sounds britle when struck against the side of the cup; it can be broken by crushing between the fingers.
Hard crack: The brittle mixture will not stick to the teeth.

If a thermometer is used, it should be tested in boiling water. It should register 212 degrees F. If 214 degrees F., cook candy 2 degrees higher, if 210 degrees F., cook candy 2 degrees lower. Make your adjustments accordingly.

Keywords: Information, Candies, American, Sugar, Syrups, Frostings

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