Make Homemade Candy: Helpful Hints

| December/January 1994

• With a pastry brush, continuously brush cold water over the inside walls of the pan of boiling syrup. This cools the sides of the pan and keeps sugar crystals from forming; don’t stir the brush down into the syrup. If butter is an ingredient of the candy recipe, buttering the sides of the saucepan will also help prevent crystalization; if not, it may affect the flavor.

• An inexpensive Chinese wooden rice paddle (often sold for use with woks) is perfect for beating fon­dant syrup.

• Wearing a pair of latex gloves will allow you to begin pulling taffy or ribbon candy sooner without burning your fingers.

• Spray molds, marble, or forms with a light coating of vegetable spray to prevent sticking and possibly breaking the candy.

• A candy thermometer that touches the bottom of the pan will register temperatures inaccurately. Adjust the clip on your thermometer to the height of your pan before you start cooking, or hold the thermometer in the center of the pan.

• Fruit juice will lighten in color and turn somewhat yellow on cooking. A red juice will end up pink to orange, and purple juice will look blue to green. Orange, grapefruit, lemon, and lime juices burn readily and thus are not recommended.

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