Candy Temperatures

For every 500 feet above sea level it will be necessary for your to cook candy syrups 1 degree lower than indicted in most recipes. Below are common temperatures and distinctive traits that reveal the temperature if you do not have a candy thermometer. Using a fresh cup of very chilled water for each test will yield the best results.

Thread~Begins at 230 degrees
The syrup makes a 2 inch coarse thread when dropped from a spoon.

Soft Ball~Begins at 234 degrees
A small quantity of syrup dropped into chilled water forms a ball which does not disintegrate but instead, flattens out when picked up with the fingers.

Hard Ball~Begins at 250 degrees
The ball is more rigid but still pliable in the fingers.

Soft Crack~Begins at 270 degrees
Drop a small quantity of syrup into chilled water. It will separate into hard threads, which when removed from the water, will bend slightly.

Hard Crack~Begins at 300 degrees
The syrup separates into threads that are hard and brittle and will break easily.

Caramelized Sugar~ Begins at 310 degrees to 338 degrees
Between these temperatures, syrup turns dark golden, but it will turn black at 350 degrees, so use caution.

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