I recently made some hard candy;

2 cups sugar
3/4 cups corn syrup
1 cup water

Heat to hard crack

I was hoping to be able to work with the result, coloring two halves and twisting them together to make a candy cane like confection.

I was really surprised by how quickly the mixture hardened, while it was still quite hot.

Is there a technique for producing my desired result?

2 Answers 2


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 some pliability. Speed is certainly of the essence though.

Few videos about, look for sugar pulling, even if it is not the sort of manipulation you had in mind, it will show you how to deal with hard crack sugar.

Overall, asbestos hands seem to be required!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6WRd7JZFdQ (warning, a few expletives, it is very hot stuff!)

  • 1
    I made some candy canes last December and did quite well with large blue nitrile gloves stretched over some work gloves. The nitrile is OK to over 500 °F, though you do have to worry about whatever's under it melting.
    – Nick T
    Commented Jan 28, 2014 at 7:21

Probably too much glucose or not the right temperature

Use 5:1 ratio of sugar to glucose. Depending what your sugar is made from and where it was made

You can use more cream of tarter (Potassium bitartrate) and even less glucose, but there is a delicate balance of too much cream of tarter and sugar that wont "work". Around one level tsp of cream of tarter per 1Kg of sugar on the 5:1 ratio

Add colour around the 140C mark, add cream of tarter after removing from heat

Some sugars are OK at 148C, some around 160C, each sugar source is slightly different

Experiment with different ratios and temperatures for one source of sugar

You need a hot bench or heat lamp to keep the sugar warm between pulls and other workings

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