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Old 10-11-2008, 12:22 PM   #1
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Question Hard candies/sugarcraft

I made hard candy for the first time and had a blast doing it. I want to continue practicing with a goal of being able to sculpt some shapes by Halloween. I'm looking for tips for working with hard candy and in making shapes other than drops.

(After I got comfortable with drops, I started rolling logs and tried to twist them into shapes quickly but I don't really have any inspiration at that moment; I ended up with a few "S" and "U" shapes and "pretzels". Also, it cools so quickly and starts out very hot. Are there any tricks, for example, what shape do I first cut off the main candy to shape?)

Any advise, book recommendations, favorite recipes, or alternative websites for sugar craft will be much appreciated.

Cheers,
wm

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Old 10-13-2008, 09:48 PM   #2
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About the only thing I can tell you is you want to keep the main block of candy warm before final cutting and shaping. I remember catching some show with Jacques Torres making hard candies. He had a heat lamp setup similar to the heat lamps used for carving stations, if I remember right. You might want to call a local restaurant supply store.

I have to commend you for attempting this. I cook for a living, but haven't attempted much beyond peanut brittle.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:31 PM   #3
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Thanks.

Since I've posted this I've found a way to work with sugar that's relatively easy: pulling it. If you Google "pulled sugar" you'll find the method, which is pretty easy, and after a couple of goes with it you'll find that you just need some imagination to shape it. When the humidity goes back down I'll continue to practice writing with pulled sugar. It's really easy, you cut off a good chunk and pull it into the shape you want. I'm sure the heat lamp would be a boon but they're expensive and I'm having success with keeping the candy in a pan atop a pot of (nearly) boiling water.
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:57 PM   #4
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When I made lollipops, I found that the recipe was easy enough but the candy cooled too quickly to be able to keep pouring. I eventually poured it into a pan, scored and cut it into pieces.
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