Thursday, April 2, 2009

rock candy finally

i know i have been promising a post on making rock candy for some time. the problem is that it really takes time, and by time i mean 5-7 days to finish. i modified the recipe from the science of cooking.

i had to make some changes to the recipe for several reasons. first, this recipe has no flavoring or coloring. that seems way too boring for me like just eating plain sugar. personally, i used lemon extract since that was the only fruit flavored extract i had on hand; but you can use any fruit flavored extract. now, with lemon, the natural choice is yellow food coloring. i didn't have any yellow on hand. so, i went with pink and am calling my rock candy pink lemonade.
the second reason i had to modify the recipe is that it just didn't work for me the first time. to make rock candy, you need the solution to be super saturated to the point that it will no longer absorb any more sugar. when i tried to follow the recipe, i was nowhere near a super saturated solution. i tried once with the recipe recommendations and no crystals had formed. the second time, i added more sugar until i got a super saturated solution.
my rock candy recipe
5 1/2-6 cups of sugar
2 cups of water
a few drops of food coloring
3/4 tsp of fruit flavored extract
additional supplies you will need:
a cotton string or wooden dowel(i used a chopstick.)
small saucepan
a small glasses or jars (2-4)
if you are using a string, you will need a stick to suspend the string and a weight.
step 1: add the extract and food coloring to your water, and bring it to a boil. remember the color will be 3-4xs darker than the final product.

step 2: begin adding the sugar a cup to 1/2 cup at a time until the solution can no longer dissolve sugar. the solution may become opaque. keep stirring until it is transparent again.
step 3: allow the solution to cool down for 10-15 minutes so that you can pour it into the jars. while it is cooling, you need to wet the string or dowel and dip it in sugar so that the portion that will be in the jar is thoroughly coated in sugar. the dowel or string needs to have the sugar coating so that the crystals have a base to stick to. this is very important. if you forget to do this, you will not end up with rock candy.
step 4: pour the solution into a jar and lower the dowel or string into the solution. you will want to leave the solution in a cool dark place and cover the top with aluminum foil or saran wrap.
step 5: after a few hours, you should be able to see crystals form. if no crystals form, take the solution reheat and add more sugar. also use a new string or dowel. this pic was taken after about 3 hours.
step 6: after 5-7 days, you will have candy. you will need to take it out and allow it to dry off. then, enjoy.
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