29 March 2011

Making Rock Candy

I'm secretly attempting to build up a little stash of treats for the girls' Easter baskets, shh! So we're making some yummies, and each time a few of them mysteriously disappear... so far unnoticed. Kaia had yet to make rock candy, and hasn't everyone got to make rock candy at least once? So we started there. We poured 3 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water into a pan.
Over high heat, Kaia stirred it until all the sugar dissolved.
While we waited for the water to boil, Kaia prepared food colouring and flavouring in jars.
We used lime juice in the green, lemon juice in the yellow, spearmint in blue, and orange oil in the orange. (Okay, it ended up being pretty red... Kaia got a little overzealous with the red food colouring.) They smelled sooo delicious, Kaia couldn't stop sniffing each jar over and over while we waited. I had to convince her that they wouldn't taste very good to drink.
When the sugar water mixture came to boil we removed it from the stove and poured it into the jars. We gave them a stir and set them in the fridge to cool. While they were cooling, we prepared some cotton kitchen twine by tying it to sticks, dipping the strings into the sugar water mixture, and taping them to the counter to dry. 
 When the mixture seemed a bit cooler than room temperature, we took the jars out and hung the strings in them so that they didn't touch the bottom or sides. The following picture was taken the next day, and we knew something was wrong. Most of the sugar was separated from the water.
We waited anyway, and a week and a half later we had these pretty funky looking rock candies. Not the prettiest rock candy I've ever seen, something is definitely amiss, but tasty none the less!
We are now the proud owners of an actual candy thermometer, so I think we shall be trying this project again with a bit more precision.

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