Who doesn’t love candy? They are one of the best desserts to have if you wish to have something sweet in an instant without using a bowl or spoon.
However, why go to the store to buy candies every time you’re craving to have some? You can easily make them at home within 20-30 minutes. Not to mention, a candy jar is a perfect present to gift someone on Christmas or Easter. Want to impress your family and friends at your next dinner party? Present them with a tray of candies!
As easy as making candy sounds; if you want the perfect taste and consistency then there are some tips that you should follow while making candy.
Hence, in this article, we would talk about all the major tips and tricks in preparing candy.
Eager to learn more so let’s get started!
Tips and Tricks to Make the Best Candy
Use the Correct Equipment
Although you don’t need any specific cookware to make candy; but utilizing the proper utensils is essential. Candy is essentially made in a pot or pan! Regardless of which cookware you use, just make sure that the pot/pan is big. In fact, if you’re cooking rice or even a curry; chefs recommend that you use a large pot. Cooking in a small or cramped pan can ruin the consistency of the food item.
The same rule goes for candy and investing in a decent big pot can prevent the candy mixture from boiling over and spilling on the stove.
Furthermore, for the cookware that you do choose; we suggest that you avoid an aluminum pan and carry on with a heavy material pan as candy is prepared at a high temperature.
However, to use the correct equipment, you need to know what equipment you will need for making candy. Although, as aforementioned, you don’t need some high-fi equipment to produce candy but if you have some of the tools that we are going to discuss, your life will become easier.
A candy thermometer is a must, we have discussed this tool at length in an upcoming section. You will also need a sturdy pot that is large enough to prevent any spills and poor consistency. Another tool that will make your candy making career easier is a dripping tool, they make your delicious treats look professional and are inexpensive too.
In addition to this, you will also need a pastry brush which helps to remove any cooking candy or syrup on the sides of the pan, without a pastry brush, this syrup or candy on the sides can burn, crystalize, and resultantly, ruin your candy.
Other tools that are helpful:
- Squeeze Bottle
- Measuring Cup
- Kitchen Scale
- Chocolate Thermometer
- Silpat Mat
In a nutshell, you don’t very specific cookware to make those delicious treats, but some seemingly unimportant tools will make it all the more easier and fun.
Fresh Ingredients….Amazing Taste!
The best thing about candy is the endless amount of flavors you can cook them in; peanut butter, caramel, fudge and, the list goes on!
Making candy at home….take advantage of this and play with the flavors. Combine various ingredients; who knows you might even invent a new candy!
Regardless of which ingredients you use; just use fresh items. Avoid using chocolate that you kept in the fridge 2 months ago. It might not be expired but using a recently bought chocolate would have its own freshness to it!
Sugar, butter/margarine, milk; whatever the recipe demands, steer clear from stale ingredients. The reason is clear, stale ingredients will cause the candy to taste “weird” and not right.
Organization is The Key
Nobody loves a messy kitchen! What’s even worse is that whilst cooking, opening the refrigerator or cabinets every time you want to grab something.
This not only wastes time but at various occasions can be quite annoying as well; especially while you are making candy.
While preparing the candy mixture, you need to keep your eyes on the stove at all times as if not careful; the candy can burn in instant! Just imagine; for a split second, you go and fetch something from the shelf only to come back and see that the candy batter is overcooked. All your hard work was wasted!
So folks, before you start making the candy, layout and measure all the ingredients. Clean the countertop and always keep a dishtowel with you at all times to clean the mess.
Follow this tip and cooking candy would be easier than baking a cake.
Don’t Cook Without a Candy Thermometer
Candy is cooked at a specific temperature. Generally, candy is just sugar turning into a hard crack stage and this is done at a temperature of 300-310 F. Overcook it and you would ruin the candy.
Thus, a handy candy thermometer is the way to go! It’s made up of glass so be very careful while using it. They very often come with adjustable clips so they can be fixed in the middle of the pot while the candy cooks.
The thermometer should never touch the surface of the pan or else you’ll get a false reading.
Follow the Recipe
Making candy from scratch or any snacks in general, especially when you are outdoor, is only easy once you get the hang of it! If it’s your first time then get ready for some disasters; if you ace cooking candy at your very first go then you’re one lucky person. Several individuals mess up quite a few batches before preparing the perfect one.
Regardless of how many times you have made candy; do not play with the recipe. Follow each ingredient and measurement as stated because even if you mess up a single step or item, the whole candy batch would be ruined.
Take It One Step at a Time
Although candy making will become an easy task for you as you continue to advance in this confectionery career of yours, it is important to go step-by-step and slow down to understand the entire process.
Part of this process is understanding sugar as working with sugar can be a tricky business as there are different types of sugars, sugar syrups, and taffies. Learn and practice making these things before you continue; we know it is too exciting but try not to get ahead of yourself.
Apart from this, try basic recipes first. Once you understand the purpose of each ingredient, the reasoning behind the given proportions, and the combination of them all, you will be able to ace the more complicated ones.
Storing the Candy
After you have made the candy and it has cooled down, move on to storing the candy in an airtight jar or container.
Several candies can be kept in a plastic wrapping sheet after dividing them into pieces. If you plan on gifting them to someone then we suggest that go the extra mile and get some pretty jars. Cut the candy and put them in the jar; finish off with a ribbon on the lid.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice, practice, and practice. We all know that practice makes perfect so do not be disheartened or discouraged if you don’t get your first batch of candies right. Remember the more you make these candies, the better you become at it. Be consistent and soon you will find yourself making some amazing candy and perhaps even come up with your own personalized recipe.
Don’t Be Afraid of Experimenting
Part of being a good confectioner is trying out new techniques. Don’t limit yourself to given recipes, flavors, and textures. In this process of experimenting, you’ll discover many new types of candies with different ingredients, and you’ll end up putting together some delicious candies.
It’s a win-win situation—you will have fun, discover new recipes, and become a better candy maker day by day. So, don’t be afraid of experimenting.
However, we recommend that you experiment once you master the basic recipes which is why we have recommended that you do not change recipes and follow them strictly. Once you master candy making, you can then experiment all you want.
Let’s Have Some Candy
There you have it! These are only some of the tips and tricks which you should follow while making candy. But if you don’t have plenty of time, you can always have your food delivered. Want to know more tips that are ‘in’? Reading our post about the hot chocolate bomb trend is a great idea.
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Here’s a delicious treat for those peach lovers.