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Just Sugar Syrup
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Recipe Created By: Laura Giletti
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
Prepare a place to pour your sugar syrup. This can be a nonstick silicone pan liner, like a Silpat or other brand silicone pan liner, parchment paper, or nonstick foil. The nonstick foil is currently only available from Reynolds. It is coated with silicone so it does not have the allergy concern that an oil would bring. You can use hard candy-grade molds but those must be sprayed with oil so the sugar does not stick. Do not use plastic chocolate molds or ice trays as they cannot handle the heat. Silicone baking pans or molds can be used. Be sure to place these on a heat proof surface.
Put both ingredients into a pot on medium heat. Put lid on top. Wait until you hear simmering and lift lid gently. If you see only clear bubbling liquid, keep the lid off. Otherwise re-lid, wait a minute, and check again.
Here's the hard part: do not stir or agitate at all. Do not even touch the pan unless necessary. Agitation will help create sugar crystals and give a sandy/gritty texture to the candy. For kids who are no-foods this might be a good thing as it is a different texture.
If you have a candy/frying thermometer, attach thermometer. This step is optional.
Be patient. Cook to 300-310 °F (hard crack stage). If you do not have a thermometer, wait until you see sugar start to turn golden. When the edges of the pan are brown, take it off the heat.
Pour sugar syrup into your molds being careful because it is very hot.
In my experience 310 ° is rather bitter tasting, so for eating, aim for closer to 300 °F. For those without a thermometer, you simply don't want to have brown all the way across the bottom of the pot.
If you are using the candy for decoration, I have accidentally gone up to 335 °F and the sugar was clearly burned but it came out a beautiful ruby-red brown.
Cleanup from sugar making is easy but slow. Simply soak in warm water. Thicker bits might need to sit overnight.
If you need more sugar syrup than this recipe yields, it's best to make multiple batches instead of doubling or tripling the recipe as you need to work quickly with the hot syrup as it continues to cook from the retained heat and sets up quickly once it starts to cool off.
The directions for this recipe are based on using granulated white sugar. If you use a different type of sugar, the color gradient directions may not work for gauging sugar temperature. It is best to use a candy thermometer or the "crack stage" guidelines to make sure you are getting the correct temperature.
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If you prefer to measure by weight:
300 grams sugar
150 grams water
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