After much reading online and thinking about it, we finally got together and made some of our own Belgian candi sugar. It was really fun to make, not as stressful as we thought, and look forward to making more again soon! Here are some photos of our adventure making two batches along side each other. One batch was kept light, and another was a darker amber shade…
For this first batch, we followed instructions that “Josh the brewmaster” put together a few years back. Here is his blog post:
The items we used for this recipe:
- 4 pounds of pure cane sugar
- 2 cups of water (and then some extra to pour as needed)
- 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
- 2 stainless steel pots
- high temperature friendly spatulas
- 2 baking sheets
- parchment paper
- candi thermometers (ThermaPen is what we used)
A photo walkthrough of our adventure making Belgian candi sugar:
We started by measuring out 2 pounds of cane sugar into each of our two stainless steel pots, and put these on medium heat.
Each pot got 1 cup of water added, for the sugar to be dissolved into.
After the sugar was dissolved, the heat went higher and the 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar was added to the mix.
Our goal was to heat up the mixture and maintain a temperature between 260-275F for 20 minutes. Here the ThermaPen MK4 came in handy! Along the way, when the temperature got close to 275F we carefully poured in a couple of tablespoons of water.
After the 20 minutes boiling at the 260-275F range, we brought the mixture up to 300F briefly, and then turned the flame off. Right after that, we transferred the first batch to a parchment paper covered baking sheet.
Then we let the tray cool for about an hour on the side.
Meanwhile, we let the second batch continue boiling for an additional 20 minutes at 260-275F before also bringing that briefly to 300F. Actually, we accidentally let it spike up at 335F or higher before quickly turning off the flame and transferring to a tray for cooling.
Here the second batch sits in a tray and cools for a while.
The first batch after an hour was ready for the next step. Hammer time! We cracked it and tasted it, nice and light and also very brittle.
The second batch also was ready for the hammer after cooling. This batch had more flavor to it, but also it was more sticky perhaps due to the higher temperature spike.
We measured the resulting product, and found that we got exactly 2 pounds. It would appear that we got rid of all the water!
Here is the finished product from both batches. Four pounds of Belgian candi sugar waiting to be put to good use in future batches of home-brewed beer!