Please could you help me find out what went wrong? I have made these before and they were slightly soft, but edible. This batch half set, but still runny


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves


  • Simmer for 20 minutes on low heat
  • Take off heat and allow to cool slightly
  • Drop onto baking paper
  • Dust with icing sugar
  • 4
    Probably the sugar didn't get hot enough or the low simmer didn't give the water in the ingredients enough time to evaporate. You really shouldn't be making candy without a candy thermometer. Feb 24, 2015 at 14:50
  • As Jbarker2160 stated this is purely down to not evaporating all of the water. It is possible to get "Hardball" stage sugar without a thermometer, however, my method Isn't exactly safe so I won't suggest it to anyone.
    – Doug
    Feb 24, 2015 at 17:35
  • 1
    Never ever boil candy based only on time. You can do it without a thermometer, by testing it frequently, but with a thermometer is so much easier.
    – user141592
    Feb 24, 2015 at 22:04
  • I don't do candy making, but my understanding is that before there were thermometers, you'd drop a bit of the sugar mixture into a cup of cold (ice?) water, and then check to see how it behaved ... 'hard ball', 'soft ball', 'hard crack' and the like. See exploratorium.edu/cooking/candy/sugar-stages.html
    – Joe
    Feb 26, 2015 at 12:13

2 Answers 2


you need a Candy thermometer. Sugar needs to be heated to the soft or hard crack temps in order to set as desired. If the sugar does reach the needed temp, then it won't do what you wanted. Hard crack makes hard candies, soft crack makes softer but firm candies.


Your Sugar was having water content more than desired & hence it could have been runny.

My Cough Candy Recipe

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 Table Spoon Honey
  • 1 Table Spoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tea Spoon Dry Ginger Powder
  • 1 Tea Spoon Licorice Powder
  • 1/2 Tea Spoon Clove Powder


  • Mix all Ingredients in a Open Mouth Vessel
  • When all contents are mixed well, heat the Mixture over Low Flame
  • After 10 Minutes, increase the Flame by Half
  • After 10 Minutes take Vessel of the Flame and allow it to cool at Room Temperature
  • Drop the Mixture over Baking Tray or Non Stick Greased Surface, with Spoon, making small Lozenges
  • Allow to cool fully & dust with powdered sugar

In India Sugar Syrup, also known as Chaasni, form a core ingredient in many Desserts. Indians have their own traditional analysis method when cooking Sugar Syrup. A drop of cooked syrup is kept on tip of Index finger, its slightly pressed by thumb tip. On slowly raising the thumb, thin threads of syrup can be seen. The number of threads help identify consistency & usage of Syrup. In case of Candy making, 5 threads syrups are the best. I know it would be very primitive to use such methods, but really certain things rely on Intuitions & Proximity.

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