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23

It's not an old wives tale; it's actually true to a point. I can't say it better than Exploratorium, Science of Cooking Can weather affect candy making? Oddly enough, it can. Cooking candy syrup to the desired temperature means achieving a certain ratio of sugar to moisture in the candy. On a humid day, once the candy has cooled to the point where ...


19

Thank you, all of you, who contributed by answers or comments to the thinking that leads now to this answer. I listened to all of you, and it worked. I can't describe how tickled I am. Your suggestions opened my mind to thinking that this could still "work" even if it didn't quite go as I had hoped. As it turned out, the end product exceeded my hopes. This ...


17

I think Doug and yossarian both touched on the main points, but to summarize, there are four reasons why you might not want to use a meat thermometer for candy: Range A meat thermometer might go from 140 F to 220 F or something like that, which is plenty for meat. Candy often requires a range from about 75 degrees (chocolate) up to 400+ degrees (hard ...


14

What you're observing is called syneresis. Most gelling agents such as gelatin and agar will tend to lose water over time, especially as the temperature goes up (i.e. from refrigerator to room temperature). What is in fact happening is that the squares are drying out and pushing water out to the surface, which is why the powdered sugar gets soggy or even ...


13

Be careful of substituting agar or any other "firm" gelling agent; you're likely to end up something closer to Turkish Delight and agar in particular has the property of syneresis (meaning that your gummy candies will dry up fast). I can think of a few things that would alter the consistency of a gelatin candy/dessert: First, it is very important to let ...


13

The keyword you are looking for is "fondant". Fondant is a soft candy characterized by a smooth texture that comes from small sugar crystals. It can be as simple as sugar and water boiled to the right temperature and allowed to cool undisturbed. Kind of like fudge without the fat and chocolate. The filling of Cadbury Creme eggs is called "poured fondant" ...


13

Pirouette cookies (here by Pepperidge Farm) are rolled wafer cookies. The inside is stuffed with chocolate, chocolate hazelnut or vanilla. Here's a recipe that includes a picture using them in a manner similar to what you're asking. You could follow the recipe, but tweak it to look more like a straw and with colors and flavors that suit your purpose.


12

Stick candy would be an option. They even usually offer it in many flavors including root beer or sassafras. Obviously, the root beer flavored ones are sort of boring looking but the other flavors come in many beautiful color combos. They may be slightly wider than what you want but they're pretty close. They're similar to the wider straws for shakes.


11

Grainy means your sugar formed crystals during the heating process. Lemon and other acids retard the formation of crystals, which is why one came out better than the other. I'd suggest adding some cream of tartar to the other one (which should do the same as the lemon, but without changing the flavor). In general, to lower crystallization, you should make ...


11

Heh... I used to work for a large commercial gummy-bear manufacturer, and can tell you that, when fresh, they were quite springy. A day in the drying room, followed by a couple months in the warehouse / on the shelf waiting to be sold, and they lose that springiness. Frankly, they all taste stale to me now. So yeah, try leaving them uncovered in the fridge ...


11

Pocky is probably about the right diameter, but doesn't have that spiral of color that would really look like a straw. Candy Sticks look right, but the available flavors might not be a great match for your root beer cupcakes.


10

That is Classic Series Guava Candy made by HongYuan. You can buy a 14oz bag on Amazon, here.


9

Gummy candy is essentially just water, sugar, gelatin, and a few other additives like food colouring. Gelatin's gel strength1 is partially dependent on its concentration. The more concentrated, the harder it gets. Gummy candies left sitting around will lose water due to evaporation, which makes the gelatin more concentrated and thus harder, and if you ...


9

This is actually (partially) true. It is more correct for fudge, not so much for candy overall. The texture of fudge and fondant depends a lot on the water contents where a 1% difference will matter and it will absorb moisture from the air during the cooling and beating period. So a high humidity will result in a runny fudge. Source: "On Food and Cooking", ...


8

Small amounts of natural fruit or vegetable juices should provide some colour without altering the flavour too much. If you have access to a juicer, carrot, beet, strawberry and blueberry all come to mind as colouring agents.


8

You can give your candies hard shells by dipping them into a melted mixture of one part water, two parts sugar, and 1/2 part corn syrup. Melt those ingredients together over medium to medium-high heat until the sugar has totally dissolved and the mixture is at the hard crack stage (295-310° F./146-154° C.). Remove your pot of glaze from the heat and ...


8

In Scotland we make a kind of fudge that is deliberatly hard and crystallised known as Tablet. This was a popular treat when I was growing up. Essencially the recipe for tablet, soft fudge, toffee and caramel are quite similar. The difference is made by how you cook and treat the mix as it cools. Essentially you need to know about sugar boiling points. ...


7

On the Splenda website it says that Splenda doesn't caramelize like sugar. Admittedly, it is talking about getting the golden brown colour in your baked goods, but I suspect since it doesn't happen in that instance, it wouldn't work in a hard candy.


7

You can make your own in minutes: (requires wooden spoon and bowl) 400g icing (confectioners) sugar 75ml water 150ml glucose 5 drops yellow food colouring (leave out for white!) Mix the water and glucose until smooth, then add the icing sugar until you have the desired consistency, then add the food colouring, if you're making the yellow centre! You can ...


6

As you mentioned it is all about how the crystals form. Some of the factors off the top of my head: How saturated is the solution - The more sugar packed into the syrup the more easily it will crystallize. How quickly it cools - The slower the bigger the crystals Interference - Do you have a starch or other sugar molecules gumming up the works? ...


6

If you are making your own marshmallows, you can add home made or purchased natural food color. With home made colors there is a trade-off: too much coloring liquid and you get the added flavor, too little, and the colors will be whitish. You make your own by concentrating the juices of blueberries, raspberries, spinach, or carrots, or by using turmeric. ...


6

Generally you have to work with it when it is still exceptionally hot. Hence the use of taffy-pullers and such devices. Silicon/heat-resistant gloves possibly, if you wish to work by hand, traditionally always "oiled hands". I've seen examples where the mixture is arrested, allowed to cool for a couple of minutes and quickly reheated slightly to return ...


6

It's difficult to find reliable information amidst all the marketing hype with xylitol, but here's what I've been able to figure out: Xylitol does have fewer calories, per unit of weight, than table sugar. However, xylitol is also less sweet than sugar. Factually, it has about 2/3 the calories of sugar. Anecdotally, it is about half as sweet, so if you ...


6

First, I don't know where you people all get these gelatin-filled Turkish delight recipes. Turkish delight is made with starch, not gelatin (at least the recipes used in Turkey are all with refined starch or rice flour). What you are making here is jell-o (if you use small amounts of gelatin) or gummi bears (if you use lots of gelatin). Second, about the ...


6

Cake decorating stores should have food grade edible foils, both silver and gold. These are specialty items that you are unlikely to find locally, and may have to order from online distributors. Surprisingly, even Amazon has a listing for silver leaf. You will find other sources if you google.


6

Hard candy (I think called boiled candy in England), such as lollipops or star mints is essentially pure sugar, with some color and flavor added. This type of candy will last essentially forever, if kept absolutely dry. There may be some degradation to the color or flavorings after six months or so, but the candy itself will last indefinitely. If moisture ...


6

It's not a question of "how long" as much as it's a question of "how hot." Sugar reaches the so-called hard ball stage somewhere between 250 and 265 degrees F. How long it will take your sugar to reach that temperature depends on a number of variables including the power of your cooking range and the type of vessel the sugar is being cooked in. Use either a ...


6

I don't think you physically can achieve the same results with a sous vide machine. Typically, those are designed to hold a water bath at a specific (relatively low) temperature. You can't hold water above its boiling point in an open container, because it's, well, boiling and will eventually evaporate. (You could do this in a sealed container, which is the ...


6

I've imported a dragon beard candy product from Hong Kong in the increasingly-distant past. The company I worked with used a maltose-based solution that had been boiled (wheat germ sugar). They'd typically heat the puck in a microwave or hot water bath before shaping the dragon beard candy so that it would be soft enough to work, but still have the tensile ...



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