Prevent Hard Candy From Melting
Is there something I can add into a hard candy recipe to prevent hard candy from melting?
I've been making lollipops and they start to melt in their wrappers after a couple of weeks. Is there something I can do or add into a basic recipe to prevent this from happening? What do commercial manufacturers do to prevent this?
Even commercial lollipops will go a bit funny over time, but I think I know what you're talking about.
One of the things that causes this "melting" to happen when making homemade hard candy is the humidity. You need to be sure that there isn't too much moisture in the air on your candy making day (less than 35% humidity). Or, make them in an air conditioned house. :)
It's amazing, but the candy mixture absorbs the moisture which causes the sugar to break down much more quickly and you get that melting that you are referring to.
Commercial manufacturers these days use Isomalt a lot in their candy making. Apparently it doesn't absorb moisture like regular sugar does, so that gets better, longer lasting, results.
A couple of other tips to help you get the best results and prevent hard candy from melting are as follows:
- Heat the mixture quickly (at high heat) without stirring throughout the cooking.
- Bring the candy to 300° to get the hardest results. It may start to color (brown) at that stage, so watch it.
- Have your flavor and color oils already poured in a separate dish and ready to go so you can quickly add it to the candy mixture when you remove it from the heat.
- Don't over stir when adding the oils (flavor and color). You only need a few seconds of stirring to distribute the flavor and color, but too much stirring will break it down.
Hope that helps a bit. Let us know if you find that you have better success at preventing your hard candy from melting as a result.