There are many techniques to learn if you're serious about making candy, and the temperature of the syrup is one of the most important aspects. Make sure you have a reliable thermometer before you start. See below for instructions for testing a candy thermometer for accuracy.
Candy Temperature Chart
|Thread||begins at 230°||The syrup will make a 2" thread when dropped from a spoon.|
|Soft Ball||begins at 234°||A small amount of syrup dropped into chilled water forms a ball but flattens when picked up with fingers|
|Firm Ball||begins at 244°||The ball will hold its shape and flatten only when pressed.|
|Hard Ball||begins at 250°||The ball is more rigid but still pliable.|
|Soft Crack||begins at 270°||A small amount of syrup is dropped into chilled water, it will separate into threads that will bend when picked up.|
|Hard Crack||begins at 300°||The syrup separates into threads that are hard and brittle.|
|Caramelized Sugar||310° to 338°|
Between these temperatures the sugar will turn dark golden but will turn black at 350°.
To test your thermometer for accuracy, put it in a pan of water over high heat. Bring the water up to a rolling, vigorous boil. Making sure the thermometer does not touch the side or bottom of the pan, leave it in the water for 5 minutes as it continues to boil. The thermometer should register 212° F or 100° Celsius. If the thermometer is off by a few degrees, adjust your recipe accordingly. For instance, if it registers 210° F and you want to cook your syrup to the soft ball stage, or 235° F, cook until it reaches 233° F.
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