Make Rock candy At Home – A Perfect Party Favor
I have never been patient enough to make rock candy. Those crystals that make up the pretty, shimmering rock-like texture form when a saturated sugar solution is left undisturbed. If you poke it, stir it, taste it or disturb it in anyway the crystals get shy and won’t form. Of course the last time I tried to make it I was in grade school and just couldn’t resist “checking” it. But look at the pretty pastel version by Anita Chu from her book Lollipop Love. I am emboldened to try again. Her directions are very clear and will lead all of us to success! Check out her Dulce de Leche Swirl Lollipops as well.
Excerpted with permission. Lollipop Loveby Anita Chu. Published by Chronicle Books, 2015. Photographs by Antonis Archilleos.
Rock candy is perhaps the simplest form of candy: it’s purely large crystals of sugar clustered together on a stick, and nothing else. Called rock candy because the crystals resemble rock formations, this candy is popularly made as a science experiment to help show how crystals form. If you are doing this with kids, they will especially love adding different colors and flavors to the mixture to get some wild rock candy. You will need 12 wooden skewers to make these.
- Sugar for coating the skewers, plus 6 cups/1.2 kg
- 2 cups/480 ml water
- Few drops food coloring (optional)
- Few drops candy flavoring (optional)
- Find several 1-qt/960-ml glass jars that have as large an opening at the top as possible and are tall enough to accommodate the wooden skewers you are using for the candy. (Wide-mouth canning jars work well.) Be sure they are completely clean and dry.
- Wet the wooden skewers in water, roll them in sugar to coat, and let dry. (These are the seed crystals that will encourage more sugar crystals to form on the skewer.)
- Bring the 2 cups/480 ml water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.
- Add the 6 cups sugar, 1 cup/200 g at a time, stir¬ring to ensure it is fully dissolved. The sugar should be completely dissolved, and the mixture clear. Boil the mixture for about 10 minutes.
- Add the food coloring (if using) and candy flavoring (if using) and stir to combine.
- Let the solution cool for about 10 minutes. Pour the sugar solution into the jars, filling them about two-thirds full.
- There are a couple ways to suspend the skewers in the jars. One is to use a piece of Styrofoam large enough to cover the jar. Stick the skewers about 1 in/2.5 cm apart in the Styrofoam, then flip the Styrofoam over and place over the jar so the skewers are now immersed in the solution. Another method is to use a clothespin or clip that is long enough to rest across the opening of the jar without falling in. Secure the skewers in the clip and lay the clip across the jar opening. For both methods, make sure the skewers are suspended about 1 in/2.5 cm from the bottom of the jar and that the skewers are spaced about 1 in/2.5 cm apart to allow the crystals room to grow. You can probably fit about four skewers per jar.
- Cover the jar with foil or plastic wrap. Place the jar somewhere at room temperature where it can be undisturbed for the next 5 to 7 days.
- Over the next few days, crystals will start forming and growing up the skewers. Leave the sticks undisturbed to allow the biggest crystals to form. (If no crystals form within a couple of days, the solution may not have been saturated enough. You can try again by starting over and remaking the solution with an extra ½ cup/100 g sugar.)
- Remove the candy when you are satisfied with the amount of crystals grown on the skewers.
- Store wrapped in cellophane bags, twist-tied shut, in a cool, dry place for up to 1 month.