Sunday, October 25, 2009

Candy Girl - FAIL

I have always liked Turkish Delight aka Locum, although it is somewhat hard to find. Since I am now trying out candy-making, it seemed like a natural thing to experiment with. There isn't a recipe in my shiny new Jane Sharrock book, so again, in the face of all logic and sense, I chose to sail the perilous seas of internet recipes. Today's experiment was based on the recipe at . I have a bottle of rosewater from a recent trip to either New Sagaya or the International Market in Eagle River, so I am ready to roll. Things started out sedately enough with me stirring lava-hot sugar water, while the auxiliary ingredients waited next to me.

Then I get to the inevitable stage where I think it's never going to end. I'm stirring, I'm stirring. The temperature is staying the same, it's never going to get to 240 (soft ball stage). OMG! So I turn up the heat one notch. Then a weird thing happens. The burner is glowing red, the proto-candy is blooping away even more energetically, and actually starting to brown in spots. And the temperature is going down! As you read this, say it in the same voice you would say "The calls are coming from inside the house!", because that's kind of how I was feeling about the situation. So I turned the heat up one more notch. And the temperature went up about a degree, and then went down again! Well, this is monkey-paw level freaky. So I turned off the burner, dumped the mix in the prepared pan, and walked away. I didn't know if suddenly an anomoly in the space-time continuum had formed in our kitchen, reversing the laws of physics; or that unbeknownst to me, hot sugar water forms a mysterious 6th state of matter, or what. I just knew I was done with it, at least for the moment. This was several hours ago. So I just came back to the kitchen to see if anything could be salvaged of my Turkish delight.

Two pieces of good news awaited me. 1) No extradimensional creatures were hanging around the kitchen, having burst through the freakish temperature wormhole, and 2) the Turkish delight tastes fine - just sweet enough, with a lovely rose perfume. The bad news is that it is really way too soft. But I cut it up and shook it around with some powdered sugar and cornstarch anyway, because why not.
Then I decided to see if a more mundane explanation might be the cause of the problem. I took the same pan I had used for the candy (now shiny clean through the good offices of Mr EA) and the same thermometer. I clipped the thermometer on the pan, which I then filled with cold water. Heated the water to boiling, and hey presto - the thermometer is off! (We are at sea-level, rendering temperature readings extremely easy.) Although I feel a little silly about the fact that this was not my immediate assumption in this circumstance, well, I figured it out eventually. And I guess that counts for something. So, a new candy thermometer is on the shopping list, and as soon as I have it, I'll be giving this recipe another go. So that's something to look forward to!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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