Tough Hard Candy Experience

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This might be almost the 10th time(over 2 years span haha) that I tried my hands at pulling hard candy. None of them have been perfect till now.. I just don't know what goes wrong. Its so damn frustrating. But Thomas Edison made thousands of trials before succeeding.. and probably I shud follow his positive influence in here and not despair. I believe my problem was because I did not succeed but I did not document the findings.. So, the improvement made were just based on whatever mind capacity I had over the mistakes I've made earlier. Which I shud the admit, that I am just terrible with my long term memory. So here I am, writing this, just to let myself know what I did and how I did it and perhaps plan some improvements over my next trials.

Some backgrounds over my encounter with hard candy experience. As usual, I love to sift thru youtube to watch how people made chocolates truffles and confections and what not. (At that time, my passion was for chocolates..and I do still have that passion now). And then I came across this video that I'm posting here, which is so damn cool, showing how lollies are made. I've never seen it being made or sold in Malaysia. It just brings back my memory over the kiwi candies we bought on our trip to New Zealand few years back. Strong kiwi flavored candy, a bit sour, with texture which are not so chewy but not so hard either. I can't remember what they call it either but those were just awesome. BTW, i also loved their Whittakers chocolate with kiwi bits in them.. Arghhh what a bliss..

Ok, back to my experiment on Sat morning. I have 2 recipes in hand. One was from and the other from my Peter Grewling book. If I compare both, there's not much difference. The ingredients are the same, but the quantities varies a bit. But I wanted to experiment a little. I wanted to add some corn starch and see if this could minimize the stickiness of the resulting candy. Being in Malaysia, with 80% humidity almost all day, sticky sticky sticky is always a problem. So, here goes the 2 different recipes I got

  1. From

  1. From Peter Grewling

Regardless of what the book or the website says, I decided to add the flavorings, the citric acid and the coloring based on my own jurisdiction.

Past problems that i think i need to address this time
1) The table or pan or whatever that holds the cooked sugar are not well oiled. The sugar sticked to the pan, to the scaper, to the table and I had such a great great time cleaning up the tough mess before. Even worse, it sticked to my thumb on my last attempt. That was so... excruciating...
2) The cooked sugar hardened and cooled pretty fast. Probably it took even less than 5 mins before it already hardens which makes pulling a pain. Problem maybe because I'm doing a small batch.
3) I did it using thin gloves. I definitely need a thicker glove.

So this time around, I made a few changes.
1) My marble table are well oiled.I am not going to pour the sugar in to the baking pan like before and shove it in the oven to prevent it from hardening fast.
2) My spatula, my scraper, my scissors, my steel bowl are all well oiled
3) I have a new pair of leather gloves. I bought it last week after sugar burning both thumbs on my last attempt. I lathered the glove with heck a lot of shortening to ensure, again the sugar won't stick to it.
4) I lined out the flavoring to add and the coloring as well. I intend to divide the cooked mixture into 2 portions to make 2 flavors, grape and apple. With green for the apple and violet for the grape. I mixed the 2 ingredients into a small panadol syrup measuring cup which I have been collecting from my frequent visits to the clinics. I pour around 2.5 ml of the flavoring and this turns out not to be too enough to flavor the 1/4 kg of sugar I had for each sugar portion. So, bear in time I need to add a little bit more flavor. And my approach of mixing the coloring with the flavor doesn't work huhu. The color sinks to the bottom of the small cup and stucked when I tried to pour it out of the small cup. Actually the violet color got stucked, but not the green one. Given the nick of time I had to work the sugar, I don't bother to scrape out the flavor, color mixture out of the small cup...heheh. I think that's why my candy lacks the flavor.So, next time... just use the measuring spoon. No need to be so creative....
5) I did this one to help... Hubby is not around. If he's around, he'll help me (although what he did was standing nearby with his blur2 face not knowing what and how to help haha.. pity him). Sorry dear that I'm complaining... But your moral support and a shoulder to cry on is nothing to beat... sob sob..and that is the reason why I need u by my side most of the time...when I get into trouble ... haha..
6) I am adding a little bit of salt(probably 1/4 tsp), a few tsp of corn flour(2tsp I think) and a bit of citric acid. The salt tone down the sweetness of the candy and that is good. The corn flour... urmmm I don't know really whether it works or not to curb the candy stickiness. Since this time, I've oiled everything pretty perfectly, I didn't get the sticky problem. I think I'll add them again in my next attempt. And the citric acid.... arghh.. I really don't know how much I need. Long time ago, I added too much and the candy irritates my throat although the sourness was acceptable. This time, the sourness didn't show up at all. How to balance this? Next time I think I'll try for 3/4 tsp of citric acid for this amount of sugar.
7) I cooked the sugar to about 293F as compared to 280F I did before. Cooking it to ~290F makes the candy harder. Cooking it to 280F makes it a bit chewier and the texture became more like the kiwi candy. (Actually I don't know whether the final cooked temp or rather the amount of agitation involved as the defining factor on the resulting candy texture. I believe its the temp). In fact the recipe in Peter Grewling stated to cook it to 313F, but I did not, coz I don't want it to be too hard.


Chocolate Syrup Recipe

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Found this homemade recipe for Chocolate Syrup. Di zaman kemelesetan ekonomi ni ok jugak dapat buat sendiri all these things. The ingrediensts are simple and its definitely a lot less cheaper.... Enjoy it with your ice creams, with your morning bowl of cereals and whatever u can think of. I believe u can also make it in the microwave for convenience purposes if u like.. So enjoy..



  1. Combine cocoa, sugar, and salt in a saucepan.
  2. Add water, and mix until smooth.
  3. Bring this mixture to a boil
  4. Allow it to boil for one minute, be careful this does not over boil.
  5. Remove from heat, when this cools add the vanilla.