Nancy Barber (nlbarber) wrote,
Nancy Barber
nlbarber

Candy thermometers

I make candy once a year, if that. And it's always the same thing: Aunt Fan's Caramels, in the variations of vanilla/chocolate, with/without nuts. For this exercise, I need a good candy thermometer as I've never gotten the hang of dropping blobs of cooked sugar into water to find out if it's "soft ball" stage yet. Finding a good candy thermometer is an ongoing process.

Tonight was the night for the first batch of caramels, so this afternoon I pulled open the drawer of thermometers. Four of the candy variety surfaced: 2 fat glass tubes with the paper scale inside, one by Farberware and the other by Springfield, a dial type made by Taylor, and a metal scale holding the thermometer itself, made by Good Cook.

I plopped all 4 into a pan of water, brought the water to a boil, and observed the temperature reading. The Springfield tube was the only one to register close to 212 F/100C. The Farberware tube was not too far off. The Taylor dial (which only was marked in Farenheit) was significantly low, as was the one from the Good Cook. The Good Cook one was possibly not far enough submerged because of the design of the metal holder--but then, it wouldn't get further under during the caramel making, so it won't work.

I will throw away the Taylor and the Good Cook. I used the Springfield to make a batch of caramels tonight (chocolate, with nuts)--will see how they turn out when I try to cut and wrap them tomorrow. A little too tough is OK, but too soft will run out of the wrapping paper. I hit the "soft and chewy, but stays in the wrapping paper" about 1/3 to 1/2 the time, on average...
Tags: cooking
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