Making hard candy is similar to making chocolates. If your conditions aren't right you will run into trouble. Humidity, temperature and ingredients are major factors that can affect the success of your candy.
Troubleshooting Hard Candy Problems
The key to successful candy making is temperature. Be sure to invest in a trusty candy thermometer. Never leave your candy mixture unattended. It will burn! Also, let the thermometer hang on your saucepan. Don't let it touch the bottom, or you will get an inaccurate reading.
Here is what your sugar will look like when it reaches a specific temperature:
- Thread 220-232 F
- Soft ball 234-240 F
- Firm ball 244-248 F
- Hard ball 250-266 F
- Soft crack 270-290 F
- Hard crack 290-305 F
- Caramel 305-340 F
Humidity plays a major role in the success of candy making. My grandmother always said, "never make candy on a rainy day". But what if you live in a humid area?
Always try to remove any chance of moisture getting into your candy. Your room temperature should be 60 to 68 degrees.
If you're lucky enough to live in a tropical setting, candy making will be difficult. Try to increase the temperature by 2 degrees from the recipe.
Just like baking, it is important to get the measurements right. Doubling a recipe may not work out. It's better to make a single batch, then repeat the process.