Clear-colored hard candy/lollipop

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Joined Dec 25, 2017
https://goo.gl/images/GuP9r3

(In case my lost it too long to read (it is entertaining though!) : I'd like to get the clear color lollie as shown in the pic.

Instead, I get an amber ish/light brown color even just with using water, light corn syrup and organic cane sugar. Could it be the pot I'm using?). Thanks all for your help!!!

Hey there!

Soo I'll try to keep this brief. Keyword: try. Lol.

I'm starting a new hobby: lollipop making, and have to mention that I have zero culinary training and have almost zero idea what I'm doing as well, lol! I actually kinda suck LOL :( but I'm trying my hardest and very much want to be successful at this. I just really (really!) need some guidance with finally making clear-colored lollies. Specifically, as clear as Sweet Caroline's clear lollies. (Hopefully these img links will upload, if not, please Google Sweet caroline clear lollipops, then click "images" you'll see the gold/pink how clear the base is, and you will see just how stinkin clear and beautiful those heaven babies are!)

The major issue is my lollies color turns amber/light brown and it is never fully clear ! :| I usually notice it right after the hard crack stage (which is about 300°-310° on my thermometer). I'm using a mixture of water, light corn syrup and organic sugar. Once it reaches 300° I submerge the bottom of pot into freezing cold water and swish for 15 seconds. I add my vanilla extract and swish for another 10-15 sec.

From the hard crack stage and on, I'm noticing the color turns slightly amber. It is never clear colored.. Ever! :( I have color coordinated my decorations for a clear colored lollie and really want it to be super clear.

Could anyone, especially classically trained chefs please help a clueless lil chica like myself out? I'm so badly wanting to make my clear lollies! Also, does it matter what type of pot I use to make these in?

Also, lol I could a proper answer on this part but.. How in the world are you supposed to properly dispose hot sugar? Will it solidify in pipes like pip would+ sorry if it's a dumb question, I warned you that I don't have any culinary training! Lol.


Hoping to hear back super soon cause I'm very much needing help!! I'm so into making lollies now even though idk what the heck I'm doin. lol.

Thanks soooo much to all in advance for your assistance! I truly appreciate it!!
 
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Ok, so please forgive my typos lol my gosh. Um, Im new to this site and don't see an edit option soo, hope you can figure out what I was trying to say for the most part, haha
 
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2 possibilities.

1. Your thermometer is faulty and you overshot the temperature a bit. At 320°F, the sugar starts to take on a brown hue.

2. Your organic sugar is to blame. I don't know which one you use, but the organic sugar I use is never crystal clear even when I just turning it into a simple syrup.
 
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Thank you for your quick response, Pat Pat!

Would you suggest just to take the pot off right at 300° (then place in the cold water to prevent further cooking), or a little before 300?

I may look into using just regular sugar to help with the clear coloring.

Also, does pot type matter at all?

How does one properly dispose of hot sugar? When I searched on (how to dispose hot sugar) - Only got results for "cleaning burnt sugar off pot"

Any other pointers you may have is also greatly appreciated, if any others!

I will start with those. Anyone else, please feel free to share! Thanks again, Pat Pat!
 
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Also I saw a lollipop recipe that called for Cream of TarTar, why would that be used/what is that for in lollipop making?

Oh and, if I wanted to substitute the corn syrup with another clear, high viscosity liquid, what could I replace it with?
 
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;)Good morning...having Christmas in the country with my namesake Grands and they have been giggling around the tree for hours until everyone in the house is now awake.
Thank God for coffee lol.

Anyways welcome to Chef Talk G GlamSugarPop !
I have always loved the idea of creating beautiful confectionery treats but I never found the patience needed for the perfection it requires.
I will ask the obvious first.
What color vanilla are you using?

Now for a couple of housekeeping facts.
Sugar has all sorts of impurities that will burn and discolor the batch.
I am sure there is a way around this problem...maybe a certain brand or an additive...someone will be along and clear things up ;) I am sure.
300 degrees F is the temp you need to shoot for.
That is called the crack stage....any lower and the candy will be gummy and won't hold shape.
Cream of tartar is an acid (a byproduct of wine making for a fun fact) and helps prevent your molten sugar concoction from crystallizing which is a big deal when you have stood babysitting a vat of lava and have the burn wounds to prove it.
About pans...look around and invest in a heavy gage SS pan with a pouring neck on it.
Clean per manufacturers directions.
I would stay away from anything with a sprayed on non stick coating.

One last thing....I am sure you will be doing a lot of reading as you progress with your hobby.
There are a few CT members who are very into hard candy molding.
Have not seen them in ages but if you want to try to contact them try the search at the top of the page.

There you go...everything I know.
Not much is it lol.
Merry Christmas!

mimi
 
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Would you suggest just to take the pot off right at 300° (then place in the cold water to prevent further cooking), or a little before 300?

Candy making is precise stuff. I would suggest that you aim for it exactly with the help of an accurate thermometer. Of course, with practice, you'll learn to adjust the timing according to your equipment and working environment.

Also, does pot type matter at all?

I would say somewhat. Some pots make your life easier, but I have successfully made candies in all kind of pots.

How does one properly dispose of hot sugar? When I searched on (how to dispose hot sugar) - Only got results for "cleaning burnt sugar off pot"

You don't. You let it cool down first, then dilute it with water and pour that away.

Also I saw a lollipop recipe that called for Cream of TarTar, why would that be used/what is that for in lollipop making?

Without being too scientific, cream of tartar turns the sugar in the recipe into another type of sugars that keep the candy clear and smooth.

Oh and, if I wanted to substitute the corn syrup with another clear, high viscosity liquid, what could I replace it with?

As a continuation of the previous answer about cream of tartar, corn syrup contains those sugars that keeps the candy clear and smooth; so you'll usually never see a candy recipe asking for both, only one or the other. The common substitutes you can use are glucose syrup and honey.
 
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Hi Flipflopgirl, thanks for your response!!

What color vanilla are you using?

Well, just realized that I'm using a brown colored, organic vanilla bean. Perhaps that is the culprit (one of the reasons, anyway) why my lollies are amber-ish. I didn't think about this before, Thanks!

About pans...look around and invest in a heavy gage SS pan with a pouring neck on it.
Clean per manufacturers directions.
I would stay away from anything with a sprayed on non stick coating.
I'll look into investing in a heavy gage SS pan. Do you have any recommendations (that aren't super expensive? hehe I know that may be an oxymoron with SS but I am not looking for something that will break my bank, if you know what I mean).

One last thing....I am sure you will be doing a lot of reading as you progress with your hobby.
There are a few CT members who are very into hard candy molding.
Have not seen them in ages but if you want to try to contact them try the search at the top of the page.
Thanks for the recommendation! I will try that
 
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Joined Dec 25, 2017
Candy making is precise stuff. I would suggest that you aim for it exactly with the help of an accurate thermometer. Of course, with practice, you'll learn to adjust the timing according to your equipment and working environment.

I have a Wilton Candy Thermometer that I got from Amazon. I believe it was the highest rated one.

I would say somewhat. Some pots make your life easier, but I have successfully made candies in all kind of pots.
From a previous poster (flipflopgirl, thanks again btw!) I should probably opt for a heavy gauge SS pot. I am unsure of what I'm using currently b/c as mentioned, I'm super clueless when it comes to cooking. My husband actually bought it and is the fantastic cook of our family.

You don't. You let it cool down first, then dilute it with water and pour that away.
Ah.. mystery solved :) Thought it would harden like oil would.. hehe


Without being too scientific, cream of tartar turns the sugar in the recipe into another type of sugars that keep the candy clear and smooth.
Got it. If switching to regular sugar and a clear edible oil (like my clear-colored almond extract) does not do the trick (to make it a clear lollie), then I will look more into Cream of Tartar, since as you had mentioned, it keeps the candy clear and smooth. I noticed that I could not add too much though, otherwise, it makes my candy sour.. I think I added too much or something. lol

As a continuation of the previous answer about cream of tartar, corn syrup contains those sugars that keeps the candy clear and smooth; so you'll usually never see a candy recipe asking for both, only one or the other. The common substitutes you can use are glucose syrup and honey.

I know I could find this next question on the internet (probably) but I think I trust you more right now since you really seem to know what you're talking about (and websites could be misleading at times). What is the difference between corn syrup and glucose syrup? I saw a couple of videos saying that they are the same thing, but then other videos that said they are different.

Thanks again, Pat Pat. You are super awesome for helping me, and I really appreciate your extensive knowledge and feedback!
 
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That was my first thought.

Followed with wondering about the accuracy of your thermometer.

I use the WIlton Candy thermometer (pic/Amazon link is in my previous reply to Pat Pat). I notice that the temp stops half way for some reason, am I supposed to hold it at a certain diagonal ? I was trying to clip my thermometer to my pot but since my pot is super small, it has a higher chance of the thermometer bottom touching the bottom of the hot pan (thus, not giving me an accurate read).

Thanks Fatcook for your reply!
 
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Got it. If switching to regular sugar and a clear edible oil (like my clear-colored almond extract) does not do the trick (to make it a clear lollie), then I will look more into Cream of Tartar, since as you had mentioned, it keeps the candy clear and smooth. I noticed that I could not add too much though, otherwise, it makes my candy sour.. I think I added too much or something. lol

I should elaborate a bit more. By "clear", I mean clear as opposed to opaque. The candy could be any colour, but clear (translucent).

What is the difference between corn syrup and glucose syrup? I saw a couple of videos saying that they are the same thing, but then other videos that said they are different.

To put it simply, they started out the same (from corn) but differ in the processing part; resulting in the corn syrup being about as sweet as regular sugar with the consistency of shampoo, while the glucose syrup is less sweet and a lot thicker/stickier. However, they can be used somewhat interchangeably in most recipes with negligible differences in the finished products.
 
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Joined Jun 27, 2012
A couple of years ago I had a face palm moment re why I was having such a rough time taking the temp of the sugar syrup.
The pans I was using were too wide and therefore the level was too shallow.
The bulb of the thermometer was barely covered.
So I went to the Amazon site and plugged in some descriptors and ended up buying a smaller, deeper SS pot with the pour feature.
When I get home I will dig it out and get back to you with the brand name.

mimi
 
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Joined Dec 25, 2017
I should elaborate a bit more. By "clear", I mean clear as opposed to opaque. The candy could be any colour, but clear (translucent).

No worries, I knew what you meant. I figured you meant transluscent. Thanks for the info!

I
To put it simply, they started out the same (from corn) but differ in the processing part; resulting in the corn syrup being about as sweet as regular sugar with the consistency of shampoo, while the glucose syrup is less sweet and a lot thicker/stickier. However, they can be used somewhat interchangeably in most recipes with negligible differences in the finished products.

Hmmm.. If corn syrup and glucose syrup are somewhat interchangeable, I may give the glucose syrup a try. Wouldn't hurt to give it a shot. You have been super helpful, Pat Pat, thanks so much!
 
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Joined Dec 25, 2017
A couple of years ago I had a face palm moment re why I was having such a rough time taking the temp of the sugar syrup.
The pans I was using were too wide and therefore the level was too shallow.
The bulb of the thermometer was barely covered.
So I went to the Amazon site and plugged in some descriptors and ended up buying a smaller, deeper SS pot with the pour feature.

mimi

I hava a feeling that my pan may be a bit too small for what I am trying to accomplish (making lollies, specifically lol). I will look into getting a SS pan.. which leads me to what you brought up below:

When I get home I will dig it out and get back to you with the brand name.
Yes, please do! I would greatly appreciate it if you would tell me that. Any guidance/feedback is welcome! Thanks flipflopgirl! :)
 
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Joined Dec 27, 2018
I'm a little late on this thread but have been getting into candy making and thought I'd answer what I could in case it might help someone else.

It's not made specifically for candy, but I've had good luck with my Cooks Standard pots. They're well made, have excellent heat distribution, and are very cheap as far as good quality 3-ply stainless goes. I recently bought a 1.5 quart one that's okay for a small batch (2 cups sugar) but I wouldn't go much more than that or you risk it boiling over. The 3 quart is good for probably the largest batch a home cook is likely to attempt. They don't have pour spouts but the rim curves out and pours without running down the side of the pan.

I made a mistake with a batch recently and had a pan full of 300F molten sugar to dispose of. I grabbed a 8 quart pot, filled it with cold water, and then drizzled the molten sugar into the pot while making a circle inside the edge of the pot. As soon as the pan was empty I was able to lift out what looked like a wreath made from very thin sticks. To my mind this was overall much simpler than trying to dissolve a big blob of solid sugar.

I have had issues with my hard candy being sticky if I don't take the temperature all the way to 310F before turning off the heat. I usually keep the flame at med-high until it hits 280F, then I turn it to med-low and sneak up on the final temp. Leaving the flame too high can result in a lot of variation in the temperature and make it difficult to get a consistent reading. Lowering the flame you don't get as large of bubbles and the readings are much steadier.

Even without food coloring my sugar mix always looks amber as soon as the sugar dissolves, well before there would be any browning of impurities or of the sugar. As was mentioned, the brown vanilla probably doesn't help. I've read that you can get clear vanilla, though I've never actually seen it.

Did you even achieve the clear color you were shooting for?
 
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