Getting just the right candy consistency can be difficult when you are starting out or if you are in an unusual climate. Here are some steps that may help you on your journey to candy perfection.
1. When you think your candy may be ready, or you want to test it, drop a small drip of your candy into a glass of cold water. It will gel instantly and usually sink to the bottom.
2. Then, prod and push it with your finger (or utensil) to test consistency. This will help you know what to expect from your finished candy. You can also pull the piece out of the water and roll it in your fingers to get a better idea of how it is turning out.
Here is a chart as a guide:
It’s also important to note this from the Science of Cooking website:
“Can weather affect candy making?
Oddly enough, it can. Cooking candy syrup to the desired temperature means achieving a certain ratio of sugar to moisture in the candy. On a humid day, once the candy has cooled to the point where it is no longer evaporating moisture into the air, it can actually start reabsorbing moisture from the air. This can make the resulting candy softer than it is supposed to be.
That’s why dry days are recommended for candy making, although the effects of humidity can be somewhat counterbalanced by cooking the candy to the upper end of the appropriate temperature stage.
Cool weather is also recommended for candy making, because—generally—the faster candy cools, the less chance it has to form unwanted crystals.
At The Fudge House on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, they like to make fudge on cool days for another reason: According to owner and candy maker Tom Lowe, people eat more fudge when it’s cooler.”