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BAKERS BONUS - CANDY
Administrator, Saturday 21 June 2014 - 07:09:38



Candies, when completely cooled, can be stored so you can enjoy them now--and later.

Store individually wrapped candies in boxes, tins or cartons with tight-fitting lids.

Do not mix candies that absorb moisture (caramels, mints, hard candies, toffee) in the same container as candies that lose moisture (fudge, fondant, meringues). If these types of candies are mixed, the hard candies become sticky.

Use waxed paper to individually wrap or separate layers of fudge in storage container.

Candy Basics:
Before you begin, read the recipe all the way through and assemble all the tools and ingredients you will need. Many candy recipes require that you act quickly once the sugar syrup reaches the desired temperature. Use care when working with hot sugar syrup, as it can cause severe burns.

Choose the right pans. Heavy-bottomed stainless steel pans are best for cooking sugar mixtures. Thin, lightweight pans tend to conduct heat--and cook sugar syrup--unevenly.

Use a candy thermometer when called for. They meausre temperatures up to 400°. You'll find them in the kitchen-gadget section of many supermarkets, priced between $10 and $20.

Submerge thte bottom of the thermometer completely in the sugar syrup to get an accurate reading. Using a narrow pan with tall sides makes the mixture deeper, but, if necessary, you can gently tilt a shallower pan to submerge the thermometer bottom.

Melt chocolate gently for best results. If chocolate gets too hot, it may not set properly and will develop "bloom" (white streaks) on the surface when stored. Stirring chopped chocolate in a pan or bowl over hot, not simmering, water maintains an even, low temperature, resulting in glossy, firmly set chocolate.

Using a candy thermometer:
It can be tricky to know when a sugar mixture has reached the temperature that will yield the texture you're after. Thankfully, candy thermometers eliminate the guesswork. You'll find them at supermarkets and some hardware stores; make sure to choose one that measures temperatures up to 400°.

Test it first: If you have an old thermometer in the back of your gadget drawer, test its accuracy by immersing it in boiling water; it should read 212°. (If it doesn't, get a new thermometer.) Our favorite in the test kitchen is the Taylor Classic Candy and Deep-Fry Analog Thermometer ($13; available at housewares and home improvement stores), an inexpensive model that's easy to read and attaches securely to the pan's side.

Read it accurately: Attach the thermometer to the side of the pan after the sugar mixture has come to a boil. The placement of the heat sensor varies among brands, but generally the bottom of the thermometer must be completely submerged in the sugar mixture to get an accurate reading. If the mixture is too shallow, carefully tilt the pan until liquid completely covers the bottom of the thermometer when you want to check the temperature.



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