Candy making has held a fascination for me since I was very young. During my middle school and high school years, I spent a lot of time thumbing through cookbooks and looking at the pictures. I still remember discovering pictures of homemade lollipops, complete with sticks, in the Betty Crocker cookbook. Learning about candy making was a high spot in my high school and college foods labs.
Here are some important tips to remember when you make candy.
- Calibrate your thermometer every time.
- Look for days with low humidity; candy making works best on those days.
- Never double or halve a recipe for candy; it probably won’t turn out if you do.
- Have all the equipment ready before you begin, proper timing is critical.
- Read through the recipe directions in advance; know the next step in the process.
Calibrating a candy thermometer isn’t as hard as you might think. It is a good idea to calibrate, even if you have a brand new thermometer; these can be “off” too. Candy thermometers that read in two degree increments are easiest to adjust after calibration.
The thermometer can be calibrated by placing it in a container of boiling water. It is easy to fill the pan I will be using to make candy with water and bringing it to a boil. The water should be boiling at 212°. If your thermometer reads 212° then no adjustment is necessary. If the boiling water registers at 200° simply subtract 12° from the temperature listed in the recipe. For example, when the thermometer registers 200° and I need to subtract 12°, then I subtract 12° from the finished recipe temperature of 305°. I know that my peanut brittle will be done when the thermometer reads 293°. You would similarly adjust all temperatures listed in the recipe.
Don’t forget, you can contact us if you have questions about candy making.
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