Sunday, December 09, 2007

Hard Candy

I made three versions of this recipe: one with cloves, one with anisette and one with kirsch flavouring. The clove I made into giant lollipops which worked well. I didn't have a mould for them so I oiled a baking sheet and poured over the sticks-they came out pretty even, considering.

For the lozenges, I oiled small muffin tins. From the picture you can see how sloppy I was, but that was all easily broken off leaving a smooth disk. I sanded the licorice ones with sugar, but left the kirsch ones plain. You do need to wipe off the oil.

The kirsch flavouring was so-so. It reminded me of Chericol-a cough syrup we used to take as kids. On the other hand, how cool is it to make your own cough drops?

The recipe is so adaptable that with a change of flavouring and food colour the possibilities really are endless. The house smelled so good while I was making these.

I've seen some overly complicated recipes (Gourmet, December 2007) for making hard candy and really, it just isn't necessary. In fact, I looked at that recipe and could see a couple of places where unless you were very fast, it would all go seriously wrong-quickly. This recipe is more forgiving.

You Will Need:

1 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/3 cup water

1/4 teaspoon flavouring (if using concentrated oils, go a bit lighter as a few drops is all you need)

Gel food colouring

Prepare moulds or cookie sheets by spraying well with oil.

In a heavy, medium sized pot combine the sugar, corn syrup and water. Mix until dissolved. Over medium heat, cook until it reaches 300 degrees. Once the sugar is dissolved, you don't need to keep stirring.

Remove from heat and stir in the flavourings and food colouring. Stir quickly and pour into moulds using a large soup spoon.

Allow to set and then pry loose with a thin knife. Wipe off excess oil and either sand with sugar or leave plain. Wrap individually.

*About clean-up. Don't try to pry the sugar off the pan and utensils. Let it soak in hot water and it will all come loose (like candy dissolving in your mouth).

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