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Old 08-06-2007, 12:05 PM   #1
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Question Barley Sugar Problems

Barley Sugar Problems - I have made this sweet without any problems but in the last couple of weeks it will not go brittle - I have large quantities of toffee which is delicious but I would rather it was brittle. I use a sugar thermometer and have not changed the recipe at all. I am also having the same problem with butterscotch. Is it possibly the humidity? I made a small trial batch last night which worked but got toffee again this afternoon - help!

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Old 08-06-2007, 01:35 PM   #2
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Sound to me as to much humidity, when I was much younger I use to pull sugar for buffet decorations, but when the humidity was way up it did not work. temp and formula were spot on >:-((((((((((((((((
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:37 PM   #3
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Ive never heard of barley sugar what is it?I have used barley malt syrup.
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpmcgrew
Ive never heard of barley sugar what is it?I have used barley malt syrup.
I hadnít heard of it either. At first, I though it was like peanut brittle, but turns out, itís a hard rock candy of sorts.
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Old 08-06-2007, 02:05 PM   #5
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Barley Sugar Recipe

250ml water
400g sugar
2.5 ml lemon juice
pinch of cream of tartar

The recipe comes from Mrs Beeton's book

If it is too much humidity, will cooking it longer sovle the problem. It does not want to be too dark or it will just taste burnt. We have lovely sunny weather for the last few days - could it be too little humidity?

Could it be the temperature of the room? The sun is on that side in the afternoon. If so should it be colder or warmer? I am scratching around for answers to this - I cant understand why it works one day and not the next! Still puzzled and not a little desperate!
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Old 12-08-2007, 05:00 PM   #6
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Wink you need a "brisk day"

Absolutely, humidity is the problem. I have an old heirloom recipe for "pulled mints". The first bit of instruction is to prepare the candy only on a brisk day! Grandma knew!
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Old 12-08-2007, 06:01 PM   #7
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barley sugar

have now got a range of heaters/dehumidifiers. As long as the humidity is 60% or less it works. The lower the percentage the better.

Thanks for the reply
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:48 PM   #8
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When you make candy, you are cooking the syrup to the point where you are removing a significant portion of water from that syrup. The point to which you cook it, soft ball, hard ball, hard crack, etc., determines the amount of water you are cooking out of the candy. So, as the candy cools, what you are after is a supersaturated solution of sugar. There is so little water in the solution that it will actually pull water out of the air in an attempt to come to equilibrium (see, you should have paid attention in science class). When all things are optimal, the crystalization process takes place in a very controlled manner. For example, when you make fudge, you cook the ingredients to the soft ball stage, washing down any sugar crystals that might be up on the sides of the pot. WHen the critical temperature is reached, you remove it from the heat and allow it to cool to aboutt 112 degrees F. At that time you add the flavoring, nuts, butter and THEN and ONLY THEN do you stir. This allows the sugar to crystalilze, although making only tiny sugar crystals as it sets. If you mess up and add ingredients or disturb your solution too soon (too hot) the crystalization process has more time, and thus forms larger grains in the fudge (ick). In your case, your candy isn't reaching the correct consistency because your supersaturated solution is pulling water out of the air and forming a gummy concoction rather than the crunchy result you want.
I read in another blog that if you touch your chin to your chest and it feels sticky, then there is too much humidity to make candy. Good luck!
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:57 PM   #9
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another thought:

Are you storing your candy in an airtight container?
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