Hard candy is a tasty treat that you can make and enjoy. The candy-making process is fairly simple, but there is room for small errors that can affect the hard candy flavoring. For instance, your candy can taste grainy if you don’t follow proper procedures. When you bite into hard candy, the last thing you want is a grainy and off-putting texture. Fortunately, we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn how to keep your hard candy from becoming grainy today!
What Makes Hard Candy Grainy?
When making hard candy, it’s essential to keep your mixture a liquid until you’re ready to transfer everything onto a baking sheet. When you leave sugar crystals on the sides of the saucepan to re-introduce into the mixture, the candy will crystalize and become grainy. When you stir the liquid candy, you may not recognize the grainy texture, but you will taste the crystallized sugar bits when it hardens.
Grainy Hard Candy Solution
To prevent grainy candy, you need to wipe the sides of your saucepan with a wet pastry brush while boiling the candy. An alternative method is to put a lid on your pan for three minutes at the beginning of the boiling process. The science behind this method is that the lid will trap condensed water and wash it down the sides of your pot. If you make hard candy in the microwave, use a clean spoon to stir the liquid candy after it finishes cooking.
Best Hard Candy Tools
When making hard candy, it’s best to have certain tools on hand to make the process easier and get the best results. Here are some tools you should consider:
- Candy thermometer
- Pastry brush
- Hard candy molds or cooking sheet
- Metal utensils
- Medium saucepan or pot
Easy Hard Candy Recipe
If you’re new to making hard candy or want a simple recipe, check this one out:
- 2 cups of sugar
- ¾ cups of water
- 2/3 cup of light corn syrup
- Hard candy flavoring (a few drops will do)
- Medium 2-quart saucepan
- Wet pastry brush
- Candy thermometer
- Candy molds or baking sheet
- Food coloring (optional)
- Measure your sugar, light corn syrup, and water into your medium saucepan and blend. Place on low heat and continuously stir until the mixture boils.
- Cover the saucepan with a lid for 3-4 minutes. The sugar crystals on the side of the saucepan will wash down into the rest of the mixture.
- Place a candy thermometer into the saucepan and let the liquid candy boil without stirring. Use a wet pastry brush to wash any crystals that might form on the sides of the pan.
- When the candy reaches 280 degrees, lower the heat to not discolor the candy.
- When the candy reaches 300 degrees, remove the pan from the heat and let it stand until the bubbles simmer down.
- Add a few drops of your preferred hard candy flavoring and coloring, and gently stir it in the mixture.
- Pour the mixture into candy molds or a baking sheet. Once the candy hardens, remove it from the mold or lightly break it on the sheet.
How To Store Hard Candies
To store homemade hard candy, place it in a dry place at room temperature, and it should keep for 3-4 weeks. Never place hard candy in the refrigerator because moisture and condensation can make it sticky. Your candy will last longer when you place it somewhere like a dry pantry. When gifting homemade hard candy, you can write instructions on the bag or attach a small note.
How To Gift Hard Candies
When you gift hard candies, it’s best to place them in plastic wrap for immediate usage. For example, if you make lollipops, you can place the candy part in wrapping and tie them with a twist-tie. As previously mentioned, you can attach a small note for proper storage methods if the person does not plan on eating the candy soon.
Tips for Making Great Hard Candy
- Stock up on the basic hard candy tools and make sure everything is clean before starting the candy-making process.
- Add a flavor factor to your candy. Peppermint, cinnamon, and cherry are classic flavors, but don’t stop there! You can add delicious hard candy flavoring, like Strawberry Spunk or Candy Apple, for tasty hard candy.
- Always use fresh ingredients. Sugar is the main component of hard candy, and it’s important to use a new bag because other kitchen ingredients haven’t tampered with it.
- Check out the weather forecast before making hard candy. Did you know that humidity can affect the outcome of your candy? Sugar attracts water, so rainy and humid days can hamper your attempts at making hard candy. It’s best to wait for a clear and dry day.
- Organize your tools and ingredients. Depending on the amount of candy you make, you will need different measurements of ingredients. Take notes of the number of batches you will make and pre-measure everything accordingly.
- Go easy on the food coloring. When you add colors like green and yellow, they look more appetizing when you apply them with a light hand.
- Keep a bowl of cold water nearby your stove. You use high heat to make hard candy, and the cold water can catch spills or act as a hand soother if you come in contact with the hot liquid.
- For an easy clean-up process, soak your saucepan in hot water until the excess hardened candy dissolves. Then, use dish soap and a warm towel to clean the rest.
Hard candy is a delicious treat to make. However, small errors can affect the taste of your candy creations. If your hard candy tastes grainy, you’re likely re-introducing crystalized sugar into a pot of liquid candy. Hopefully, our guide on how to keep your hard candy from becoming grainy was beneficial to you. If you’re thinking about making hard candy soon and want to add tasty flavoring, you should consider Get Suckered. We’re a top flavoring manufacturer who can enhance your hard candies. Browse through our selection of awesome choices today!