I had a few attempts at making Dragon Beard candy, and I can't seem to get a handle on the consistency of the caramel.
Here's the recipe I use:
200g sugar 13g dextrose 1g lemon juice 130g water - mix ingredients - heat up to 135°C - immediately remove from heat - pour into silicone containers - let cool until solid
Now from my understanding, there is quite a bit of chemistry involved, so the ingredients have to be measured precisely and the target temperature is very important, as it decides on the hardness of the caramel when solid. Too soft and the dragon beard will fall apart during pulling. Too hard and it will break.
I had a few previous attempts that turned out fine, so I thought I had the temperature figured out for this recipe, but recently another batch failed (too soft). I am using a digital thermometer, but it's a hand-held device, so I can't control precisely whether it touches the bottom of the pot or not, which might be a problem.
Also I wonder whether the time until the temperature reached is important. I am aware that the temperature plateaus for a time while the sugar does its transformation thing, and then starts to go up again, but I might be losing too much water during boiling if I wait too long.
There seem to be multiple factors that could potentially fail the process, so can anyone with experience on the matter help me out? Are there any tricks I may be missing?