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Old 01-29-2019, 10:08 AM   #1
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Hard candy foaming up and tasting bitter

So I've made hard candy successfully a few times already but the last few times I've tried something weird has happened; when I add the ingredients at the end (citric acid, food coloring, natural flavoring, and either zest or fruit puree) and whisked to combine the whole mixture foamed up and when the bubbling stopped the mixture was dark brown and very, VERY bitter. The specific recipe I tried was for sour orange hard candy with 2 g orange zest and 24 g citric acid plus about half a dram of flavoring. I tried again omitting the zest and using about half the citric acid thinking that might have been the problem but the same thing happened. Not sure what I'm doing wrong. Please help!

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Old 01-29-2019, 10:13 AM   #2
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Wow, I’m not a candy maker by any means, so I really can’t help. But I would like to welcome you to DC!
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Old 01-29-2019, 12:34 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, Teacups!

The bitterness you are describing is from that very dark caramel. It sounds like you are making candy in which you don't want caramelizing, so you don't want to go much over 300°. And the foaming up is something that happens anytime you add moisture to these superhot syrups. The only thing I ever add is butter, but even this does it, with that little bit of moisture in it - I just add it gradually.

Are you using a candy thermometer? I'm talking about the kind that you clip onto the pan, and leave it there (I have one of these that has mercury in it, so it is really old, but works great!). Those instant types are ok, when bringing a syrup up to a lower temp, for some other use, but at these high temps, you can't (or rather, shouldn't, unless you have welding gloves) hold it in there the entire time, and in the time that it takes for the temp to register, even in the most instant, the temp can increase enough to start caramelizing. Maybe this happened?
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Old 01-29-2019, 12:38 PM   #4
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Hi Teacups
Welcome to DC

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Old 01-29-2019, 12:47 PM   #5
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Thank you for replying. I am using a candy thermometer but the recipe said to cook till 315 degrees, not 300. So I probably cooked it too much. Also if adding moisture at the end causes the foaming should I be adding those ingredients sooner?
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Old 01-29-2019, 04:12 PM   #6
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Teacups,

Were these unsuccessful recipes new? Since this only started recently, and you had some recipes that went well, what was different?

I don't know when you can add those other ingredients, as I never make the colored and flavored hard candies, just the English toffee, and brittles, which cook to the higher temps - 315-330°, when the color is from the caramelizing. The vanilla is added at the very end, in the English toffee, along with the nuts.

Maybe you should test your thermometer, to see if it's accurate?
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Old 01-29-2019, 04:31 PM   #7
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Welcome to DC, Teacups..

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candy, citric acid, corn syrup, food coloring, natural flavoring, sugar, water

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